The Domino Effect


A domino is a rectangular block used to play games like solitaire, Concentration and Five-Up. It can also be used to create intricate designs, as the artist Hevesh does with her incredible displays.

Hevesh makes her installations by laying out thousands of dominoes in long lines. She uses a technique she calls “engineering design” to make sure each section of the display works individually before putting it all together. She films her tests in slow motion so she can pinpoint what needs to be changed before the entire installation falls apart.

She starts with the largest 3-D sections first and then adds smaller flat arrangements, then lines of dominoes that connect them all. It takes her a few nail-biting minutes to make each section of her installations fall, but once she hits that magic moment, the physics of gravity work in her favor.

When the first domino in a line falls, it has a lot of potential energy stored inside it. This energy is converted into kinetic energy (the energy of motion) and transferred to the next domino, creating the push needed to knock it over.

This is called the domino effect. It’s a term that originated in political science, but it applies to any situation in which a single action could lead to larger, more dramatic events. For example, if we change our eating habits by reducing our daily fat intake, it will trigger a domino effect of eating less fatty foods in general.

Hevesh believes the domino effect has been shown to happen in many different situations. It’s a phenomenon that’s similar to the way we can use our brains to form habits, as explained by psychologist Robert Cialdini in his book Influence.

It’s all about commitment and consistency. When people commit to a new habit, they tend to stick with it because they feel like it aligns with their goals and values. This helps them believe in the strength of their own character, which ultimately leads to good behavior.

Similarly, when we try to form a new habit in life, it’s important to keep things small and manageable. If we attempt to create a big impact without breaking it down into smaller pieces, we can easily get overwhelmed and quit.

The domino effect is a simple idea, but it can be powerful when it comes to changing our lives for the better. If we can understand the principles of physics and how to apply them to our everyday lives, we can be more effective in forming new habits that lead to better outcomes.

A great way to implement the domino effect in your life is to identify one goal or habit that you want to improve and focus on that. Then, create a plan to improve that habit and stick with it until it becomes a part of your routine. Then, watch as other habits automatically fall into place and lead you to success!