8 small things to start doing now if you want to be ahead of everyone else in 10 years

In life, it’s often the small things that make a big difference.

As Lachlan Brown, I’ve spent years diving into the principles of mindfulness and Buddhism, and I’ve learned that the key to being ahead is not about grand gestures but about consistent, mindful actions.

In other words, if you want to be ahead of everyone else in 10 years, you should start doing little things right now. Don’t wait for a big change to happen. Start with small ones.

In this article, I’m going to share with you eight of these small, transformative actions. These are simple habits that can set you on the path to success.

Let’s get started. 

1) Embrace mindfulness

In the fast-paced world we live in, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. But if you want to be ahead of the curve in 10 years, start embracing mindfulness now.

Mindfulness, a concept I’ve studied deeply as a Buddhist practitioner, is the practice of being present in the moment. It’s about paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings without judgment.

You see, when we are mindful, we are better able to make thoughtful decisions rather than reacting impulsively. This can lead to more effective problem-solving, improved relationships, and ultimately, a more satisfying life.

And it’s not just me saying this. Science backs up the benefits of mindfulness too. Studies have shown that regular mindfulness practice can lead to reduced stress, improved focus, and even better physical health.

How do you start practicing mindfulness? It’s simple. Begin by setting aside a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on your breath. Notice your thoughts as they come and go, but don’t judge them or try to change them.

Over time, you’ll find that this small practice can have a big impact on your life.

Being ahead isn’t just about achieving external success. It’s about cultivating internal peace and clarity too. And mindfulness is a powerful tool for doing just that.

2) Cultivate gratitude

Gratitude is another small habit that can make a big difference in your life.

I’ve personally found that taking the time to appreciate the good things in life can shift your perspective and help you focus on what truly matters.

And I’m not alone in this belief. Thich Nhat Hanh, a respected Buddhist monk and mindfulness teacher, once said, “The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.”

What he means is that even in the midst of challenges, we can always find something to be grateful for. And doing so can bring us joy and peace.

So how do you cultivate gratitude? It’s simple. Start by setting aside a few minutes each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for. It could be something big like a loving family, or something small like a warm cup of coffee in the morning.

By making this a daily habit, you’ll start to see the world in a more positive light. And this shift in perspective can set you on the path to success.

After all, it’s hard to be motivated and driven when you’re constantly focusing on what’s wrong in your life. But when you focus on what’s right, you’ll find the energy and inspiration to reach for your goals.

3) Accept impermanence

Now, this may seem a little heavy, but stick with me. One of the core teachings of Buddhism is the concept of impermanence. Nothing lasts forever. Not the good times, not the bad times. Not even us.

Embracing this truth can be tough, I won’t lie to you. But once you accept it, it can actually be incredibly liberating.

Why? Because when we accept that everything is temporary, we stop clinging to things, people, and experiences. We stop resisting change and start going with the flow of life.

And here’s where it gets interesting. When we let go of resistance, we free up mental energy that can be used to move forward. We become more adaptable, more resilient, and more open to new opportunities.

So how do you start accepting impermanence? It starts with awareness. Notice the changes happening around you and within you. Observe them without judgment or resistance.

Change isn’t something to be feared. It’s an inevitable part of life and a sign that you’re alive and growing.

Start embracing impermanence now. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but in the long run, it’s one of the best things you can do to be ahead of everyone else in 10 years.

4) Practice mindful communication

In a world where we’re constantly connected, it’s surprisingly easy to feel disconnected. We’re often so busy thinking about what we’re going to say next that we forget to listen to what the other person is saying.

Enter mindful communication. This is a practice of being fully present in your conversations, really listening, and responding thoughtfully. It’s about expressing yourself honestly and clearly, without causing harm or misunderstanding.

Practicing mindful communication isn’t just good for your relationships. It’s also good for your personal development. When you communicate mindfully, you learn to manage your emotions, understand others better, and build stronger connections.

But let me be honest here, practicing mindful communication can be challenging. Especially in tense situations or with people who don’t practice it themselves.

But trust me, the effort is worth it. Not many people take the time to truly listen and respond thoughtfully. If you can master this skill, you’ll stand out in any crowd.

Start small. The next time you have a conversation, try to really listen. Put away distractions and focus on the other person. Respond thoughtfully and honestly.

Mindful communication is a skill that takes practice. But if you stick with it, you’ll see the benefits in all areas of your life.

5) Live with impact and minimal ego

I’ve spent a good amount of time exploring how to live life with maximum impact and minimum ego. In fact, I’ve written a whole book about it: Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego.

The concept is simple but transformative. It’s about making a positive difference in the world, not for recognition or praise, but simply because it’s the right thing to do.

And it’s about letting go of the ego, that part of us that’s concerned with status, image, and recognition. The ego can be a major roadblock on the path to success because it often leads us to make decisions based on fear or pride rather than what’s truly best.

So how do you start living with impact and minimal ego? It starts with self-awareness. Notice when your ego is driving your actions and make a conscious effort to shift your focus to making a positive impact.

This isn’t always easy. Our society often values status and recognition over genuine contribution. But trust me, when you let go of your ego and focus on making a difference, you’ll find a level of fulfillment and success that far surpasses any external recognition.

True success isn’t about how much you get, but about how much you give. Start living with impact and minimal ego now, and you’ll be far ahead of the game in 10 years.

6) Embrace self-compassion

Self-compassion is a concept that’s deeply rooted in Buddhist teachings, but it’s something that many of us struggle with. We’re often our own harshest critics, beating ourselves up over every little mistake.

Let me be honest with you: being hard on yourself doesn’t make you stronger or more successful. In fact, it often does the opposite. It leads to stress, burnout, and a lack of confidence.

On the other hand, self-compassion – treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding you’d show to a good friend – can be a game-changer. It can help you bounce back from failures, keep going in the face of challenges, and ultimately, achieve your goals.

Practicing self-compassion isn’t about letting yourself off the hook or ignoring your weaknesses. It’s about acknowledging your mistakes and shortcomings, learning from them, and moving forward.

So how do you start practicing self-compassion? It begins with mindfulness. Notice when you’re being hard on yourself and replace self-criticism with kind and understanding words.

You’re human, and humans aren’t perfect. You’re bound to make mistakes and that’s okay. What matters is how you respond to those mistakes.

Start embracing self-compassion now. Not only will it make you happier and more resilient, but it’ll also set you apart from everyone else who’s still stuck in the trap of self-criticism.

7) Practice patience

Patience is an often overlooked virtue in our fast-paced, instant gratification culture. But it’s a virtue that can set you far ahead of the crowd in the long run.

Buddhist teachings emphasize the importance of patience. As Dalai Lama once said, “Patience is not just about waiting for something… it’s about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting.”

And he’s right. Patience isn’t just about sitting idly by as time passes. It’s about maintaining a positive attitude, even when things don’t go as planned. It’s about staying calm and composed, even in the face of adversity.

But let’s be honest here. Patience is hard. It’s frustrating to wait for results, especially when you’re working hard and doing everything right.

However, the reality is that most good things take time. Success doesn’t happen overnight, and neither does personal growth.

So how do you cultivate patience? Start by setting realistic expectations. Understand that things take time and remind yourself of this when you start getting impatient.

Remember: patience is a skill that can be developed with practice. And it’s a skill that can set you far ahead of everyone else in 10 years.

So start practicing patience now. As you cultivate this skill, you’ll find that not only do things become less frustrating, but your ability to handle challenges will improve dramatically.

8) Embrace boredom

Now, this might seem counterintuitive. After all, who wants to be bored? But hear me out.

In our always-on society, we’re constantly bombarded with information and distractions. We’ve become so used to being entertained every moment that we often forget how to just be.

Mindfulness teaches us the value of being in the present moment, even if that moment is boring.

Boredom can actually be a powerful tool for mindfulness practice. When we’re bored, our minds naturally start to wander. Instead of reaching for a distraction, try observing your thoughts and feelings. Notice where your mind goes when it’s not being directed.

This can be a tough practice. It’s not comfortable to sit with boredom. But like anything else, it gets easier with time.

Embracing boredom can lead to increased self-awareness, creativity, and even a greater sense of peace and contentment.


Success isn’t always about making big leaps. Sometimes, it’s about taking small, consistent steps towards your goal.

If you found these points helpful and want to delve deeper into the principles of Buddhism and mindfulness, I invite you to check out my book Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. In it, I share valuable insights and techniques that can help you live a richer, more fulfilling life.

Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So why not take that first step today? You might just be surprised at how far you can go.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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