Did you know you are born with the secret knowledge to achieve ultimate success and satisfaction in your life? People spend millions of dollars each year searching for this “secret” and we are all born with it. The problem is we get so good at at, that we forget it after a few years.
A year or more ago I stumbled across a cleaning blog, that spoke about breaking up really big challenges, like cleaning up a filthy kitchen, into 10 – 15 minutes a day. That is how I conquer the stacks of papers on my desk. 10 minutes here to organize business cards. 10 minutes before lunch to file away clients folders. Breaking up what would otherwise seem like an overwhelming task into 10 minute segments over a series of days, takes away the FEAR and prevents PROCRASTINATION.
Now I realize that this has become a common life hack, but at the time I read it, I still wasn’t applying it to my life. Now I apply this strategy in all areas of my life. I mow the front yard a different day than the back yard. I rarely ever vacuum the entire house in one given day. Reading, journaling, writing old friends– all these have become enjoyable again. Conquering miniature tasks on a daily basis is way more manageable. And accomplishing little things can make a huge impact over time. If you were to improve just .003 each day- that’s only 3/10 of one percent, a very minor improvement, but if you kept that up for the next five years, here’s what would happen to you:
The first year, you would improve 100 percent (you would already be twice the person you are today. By the completion of year two, you would improve 200 percent. The third year, 400 percent. And in the end of the fourth, 800 percent. AND BY THE COMPLETION OF YEAR FIVE-by simply improving 3/10 of one percent each day-you will have INCREASED your value, your skills, and the results you accomplished 1,600 percent. That’s 22 times BETTER than you are today. That doesn’t even take into consideration compounding. That’s just adding on 3/10 of one percent each day. WOW! This is the concept behind Jeff Olson’s The Slight Edge.
If you have had the distinct pleasure of watching a child learn to walk, you know that it doesn’t usually happen in a weekend. First there is crawling, then they begin to pull themselves up, next is cruising–moving from one piece of furniture to the next for support and mixed in all these steps is lots of falling. In the process of learning how to walk, you probably spent more time failing than you did succeeding. But did you ever have the thought of quitting? Did you ever tell yourself, “I’m just not cut out for walking-I guess I’ll crawl for the rest of my life?” No, of course you didn’t. So, why do you do that now?
Why are your goals today any different? What’s changed? When did you lose the ability to set a goal, go for it, and achieve it? How come you don’t do what you did when you were one or two years old?
The answer is quite simple:
Somewhere along the way in your life, you became unwilling to take baby steps and you became afraid to fall, afraid to fail. You lost belief in the basic truth that the simple little disciplines done again and again over time would create the desired success. The people around you became more jaded and less supportive. You came to expect immediate results. You forgot “the secret” you were born with.
Stop seeking immediate results and start taking baby steps again. Find small ways to make improvements in your life. Do it daily. Remember that small improvements daily, a mere 3 tenths of one percent, can add up. 10 minutes each day toward your goals will add up.
You see the “secret” you were born with is that you are capable of amazing feats. You were born with the ability to set goals and the basic hardware to achieve them — all of them, if you are willing to cast fear aside and are willing to fail several times before you get there. Failing is merely a part of the baby steps. You must crawl before you walk, and you must persevere through all the falling, before you walk on your own. And soon after you walk you will run and jump.