Be like bamboo
Too often, we convince ourselves that massive success requires massive action. Think about this one: if you can get 1% better each day for one year, you'll end up thirty-seven times better after 365 days. But this is also true: if you get 1% worse each day for one year, you’ll decline nearly down to zero.
So the effects of small habits compound over time. However, we often dismiss small changes because they don’t seem to matter very much in the moment. If you study Japanese for an hour tonight, you still haven’t learned the language. We make a few changes, but the results never seem to come quickly and so we slide back into our previous routines.
Imagine you are flying from Brussels to Istanbul. If the pilot leaving from Brussels would adjust the heading just 3 to 4 degrees south, you will end up somewhere on a Greek island. Of course, such a small change is not really noticeable at takeoff, but when magnified across the European continent, you will arrive at the wrong place. Similarly, a slight change in your daily habits can guide your life to a very different destination. Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions and all these actions combined can create a major change. In fact, this principle can be seen everywhere. Cancer spends 80% of its life undetectable and then, all of a sudden, it takes over the body in months. Or think of bamboo. During the first 4 to 5 years of its growth, you can barely see it. And why? Because bamboo is first building an extensive root system underground before exploding 15 meters into the air within 6 weeks.
So the most powerful outcomes are often delayed. This is one of the core reasons why it is so hard to build habits that last. All big things come from small beginnings. So start today. And do not focus on the goals. Winners and losers have the same goals. Focus on the process to reach the goals. And make sure you love the process. When you fall in love with the process rather than the result, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime the process is running. Be like bamboo: you will get what you repeat.
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