The Domino Effect

A domino is a rectangular block with a line down its middle visually splitting it into two squares each bearing a different number of spots or dots called pips. A domino may be blank or marked with a series of numbers ranging from one to six on each end; 28 such dominoes form a standard set for playing various games. Each domino has a value, and the sum of the values on the two ends can determine the outcome of a game.

Stacking dominoes on their sides in long lines and then toppling them over can create complex geometric designs. Dominoes are also used to play a variety of games that involve the placing or stacking of pieces on their ends in order to complete a sequence of steps, similar to the action of a falling house of cards.

While many of these games are designed for children, many adults enjoy using dominoes to build logical structures and to create patterns. These types of activities are sometimes referred to as “spatial reasoning” exercises, which are used by educators to teach children the importance of spatial organization and to develop their analytical skills.

Dominoes are often made of ivory, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl), bone or dark hardwoods such as ebony. They are typically painted or inlaid with a contrasting color to highlight the pips. They may be embellished with carving, gold or other ornamentation.

When a domino is tipped, it causes the next domino to tip and then all of the subsequent ones. The resulting chain reaction is known as the domino effect, and it is often referred to in personal development or organizational contexts. For example, Jennifer Dukes Lee, an author and speaker who specializes in home organizing, suggests that when one small change is made to your daily routine, the rest of your habits will soon follow suit. In other words, if you start making your bed each morning, you will be prompted to maintain a tidy household and to begin developing identity-based habits that you will continue to build upon.

For example, if you take a certain amount of time each day to exercise, your nutrition habits will improve as a natural side effect. In fact, researchers at Northwestern University found that when participants reduced their sedentary leisure time and spent more of their time walking and running instead of sitting around watching television, they subsequently decreased the amount of fat in their diet. In this way, one positive behavior led to another.

Dominoes can be a useful tool in setting goals for yourself and your team. Good dominoes are usually challenging and require a chunk of time to complete, but they are also important milestones in achieving larger goals. Identifying and focusing on these tasks can help to give you the momentum necessary to make larger changes in your life and career. For instance, if you decide to work on creating a financial plan, breaking this large goal down into smaller, more manageable tasks can help you achieve success over time.