A domino is a small, flat, rectangular block used as gaming objects. They are also known as bones, pieces, men, or cards. Dominoes are traditionally made from wood, bone, or plastic, and they are arranged in rows or angular patterns to form a track or game board for a variety of different games. Dominoes can be played with a simple tally of points (as in tic-tac-toe) or with more complex rules that award points for forming certain shapes, such as squares, lines, or 3D structures. In the Western world, dominoes are commonly played with either a set of wooden or ivory pieces with engraved dots (pips) or a set of domino tiles in a range of colors with matching pips on each side.
A domino has a number of different properties, including friction and potential energy. When a domino is standing upright, it has potential energy, or stored energy that it can use to push on the next one. This push causes the first domino to fall and creates a chain reaction that continues until all of the pieces are fallen.
Dominoes are similar to coding, in that one command can trigger a series of actions. These commands are called “domino actions.” One example of a domino action is Admiral William H. McRaven’s advice to University of Texas graduates in 2014, when he told them to make their beds every morning. When Jennifer Dukes Lee started making her bed each morning, it was a small victory, but the effect on her life was huge. It changed the way she thought about herself. She viewed herself as the type of person who makes her bed, and this new belief influenced other habits.
Throughout history, the domino theory has been used to explain events that were considered unrelated. For example, it was argued that Eisenhower’s support of Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam and non-communist forces fighting communism in Laos influenced John F. Kennedy to increase U.S. military support in Southeast Asia, even though he faced domestic opposition to these policies.
While domino is often used as a metaphor for a series of events or outcomes, the term can be applied to any small action that has a large impact. In personal and professional development, domino actions are those small victories that start a chain reaction of change. A small win can make you more motivated, excited about what the day will bring, and ready to take on challenges. Whether it is making your bed, starting an exercise routine, or eating healthier, a small victory can lead to more and more positive behavior changes. These are the domino actions that help you build identity-based habits. The more domino actions you have, the more successful and happy your life will be.