The day to day progress
I want to share a couple of videos here on the importance of day to day progress, and sticking with it.
Here’s a guy who couldn’t touch his toes. Like, not even close. Then, 41 days later, he was able to. Watch the progress over time here.
He worked on it every day, and watch the progress he was able to make.
Here’s another one, where a girl learns to dance over the course of a year.
While it only shows a few days, it’s incredible to see the change from the beginning to the end of the year.
And finally, one that I also love, and enrages me when reading the comments that appeared on Reddit, YouTube comments (granted, it’s YouTube comments), and HackerNews, who spent most of it arguing about the 10000 hour rule, missing the fucking point entirely.
Here’s someone (despite not being Asian, as the comments like to pointed out) working at Table Tennis every day for a year, and the progress he was able to make.
So what if he’s not Asian? He put his time in everyday for a year, and consistently, and that was it. He kept at it.
He probably didn’t sit around telling people on Reddit about how he was thinking about doing it.
He probably didn’t spend hours watching YouTube clips or reading books on Table Tennis, he just started playing. That is what matters, at the end of the day.
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
How many people do you know who try something for a bit, only to get distracted by something two weeks later, and the process repeats itself? Now, I’m all for experimenting for seeing what sticks and what does not, but if you’re doing that, you’re the person practicing the 10 000 kicks once.
Would you want to challenge the girl above to a dance off? Or the guy who worked on Table Tennis for over a year? Unless either of those are skills that you have been honing for longer than them, I would think not.
But what if you don’t have time for it?
This is always a fair point, and there’s two things to take away from this.
- When you start out, you don’t need to be pouring hours and hours into it.
- If it’s something you care about, you’ll find time for it.
You don’t need to spend 3 hours a day working on something on a daily basis. Try just 10 minutes, and watch that grow overtime.
Is it something you care about? You’ll find yourself making time for it. Suddenly, arguing in a Reddit comment thread about emac or vs vim or reading buzzfeed quizzes on which Game Of Thrones Character won’t be as appealing to you. Instead of watching motivational videos with uplifting music and cliche quotes or looking at those cheesy motivational quotes with pretty backgrounds, you’ll be spending that working on the things that you want to put time towards.
Maybe you find yourself feeling less and less compelled to have Netflix binges on their original content and you can only rewatch How I Met Your Mother So Many times. Maybe you’ll get up a little bit earlier to give yourself more time to focus on things. Or while everyone at work takes their lunch to go eat an overpriced meal that will slowly add inches to their waistline and detracts from their bank account, you’re spending your time working on something that matters to you.
Want to know why the self-help industry does so well?
It gives you that fleeting glimpse, that feeling that “ok, finally I’m going to start doing it!”. You paid your hard-earned cash to spend a few hours or a weekend to get pumped up and it lasts…for awhile. Then, you start to backtrack, and the process begins again. Luckily by then, your favorite guru will have the latest version available!
Let’s be honest here…despite the way technology has evolved and changed the world around us, we as humans have not really changed for a very long time.
Human nature hasn’t changed over the years. Why do you think people still regard the works of philosophers from thousands of years ago, or fictional books that people have been reading for over a hundred years?
Look, I’m not saying that you stop slacking on everything (including slack itself) and just drilling down at what you do.
You don’t need to schedule every single minute down to a t on what you are doing. You just need to know that each day, you put your time into whatever your working on. Nothing, and I mean nothing, else will matter more than that. Mix it in with goals, and you got a surefire system that doesn’t require you reading books upon books or attending a 3000 seminar
There are no shortcuts. You can spend time reading about things (and yes, that’s a good way to spend some time), but especially to begin with, you’re far better just going out and trying things out, whatever that may be. If it’s something you’re into, then you can delve deeper in and make new discoveries that will help drive you forward even further. If you start photography, you’re far better off just clicking and mucking around with settings and experimenting instead of reading 5 books on photography. If it’s something you like, then you can look to books to find ways to become better at it.
You don’t need to do it EVERY day, especially if emergencies come up, but even putting in 5–10 minutes is far better than not doing anything at all. And if you don’t break the chain, you will win.
As long as you keep trying, and keep putting the hours in, you will win.
So go put in your time.