Dominoes are small, flat, rectangular blocks used in gaming to form a line or structure with one another. They are sometimes called bones, cards, men, or pieces, and are made of wood, bone, or plastic. Typically, each domino features an arrangement of spots or dots on its faces and is blank or identically patterned on its other side. A domino’s identifying marks are known as pips, and its total value is usually expressed as the sum of pips on each end. Each domino belongs to one of two suits, based on the number of pips it contains, and can be combined with adjacent dominoes to create chains and other structures.

Domino is a popular game for children, with its simple rules and easy-to-use, stackable components. But domino also has an important message for adult life: one small action can have a profound impact. The key is to pick the right dominoes, those tasks that will contribute to a larger goal and help you knock over other areas of your life.

A domino effect can be seen in many ways, from a domino chain that creates a waterfall of effects, to the way a single domino in a curved line can cause other pieces to tumble as it crashes into them. This concept is a powerful metaphor for personal growth, and it can be illustrated by examining the domino effect in action.

Lily Hevesh first started playing with dominoes when she was 9 years old, when her grandparents gave her their classic 28-piece set. She loved setting up the dominoes in a straight or curved line and flicking them to see the entire display fall. Today, she is a professional domino artist with an impressive portfolio and over a million YouTube subscribers.

Hevesh has mastered the science of domino art, and she says that one physical phenomenon is crucial to her creations: gravity. Because a domino is so light, gravity quickly pulls it toward the ground once it’s been knocked over. This creates an incredible effect, allowing her to construct intricate designs that can take several nail-biting minutes to complete.

Hevesh teaches us that domino actions are high leverage actions, ones that can trigger a chain reaction in your life. They’re the little things you can do daily that have a big impact—the equivalent of the drop that creates waves in a glass of water. Whether it’s making your bed, exercising regularly, or eating healthy, each of these actions is similar to a domino effect: a small, regular effort that can have a dramatic impact on your life. And as these dominoes tip over, they’ll create the momentum you need to move your other priorities forward.

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