The Ripple effect of small changes

One day, during my stint as the Trivandrum City Police Commissioner, a communist party leader walked up to me and said with a smile — “Looks like you are getting ready for war!”

That day, the Communist Party was conducting a protest march to the Chief Minister’s residence, which we were preparing to block. Normally, police officers would take it casually and put on the helmets at the last minute.

But because of a directive from the new DGP, that day, we had put on the full riot gear well in advance — helmets with face mesh, body protectors, shields, batons, and other riot equipment. And that day, we felt a confidence we hadn’t felt earlier.

Going forward, this preparedness became the norm.

Once the officers started taking this one thing seriously, they showed the same seriousness elsewhere.

During my 3-year stint as the police chief, we had zero instances of excessive use of force or mismanagement. This was the power of ‘no compromise.’

If we want to change our lives, start with a small compromise we routinely make — maybe something as simple as not showing up on time. Then make it a mission to stop making that compromise.

Gradually, the no-compromise mindset will percolate into everything else you do.

The way we do one thing gradually becomes the way we do everything.


– Rajan

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