We are all in the same hypothetical boat given this pandemic that none of us were completely prepared to meet head-on. With that said, it is during these times that it is critical for us to be forward-thinking for ourselves, our families, our teams, and our companies. At this point in the pandemic, we may feel a bit seasoned and even numb to it all, however, we must make marginal improvements daily to stay afloat both personally and professionally.
This article is an excerpt from the New York Times best-selling book Atomic Habits by James Clear which I happen to currently be reading. Devouring the pages to help me stay on track and improve during a time where routine seems like a distant memory.
This excerpt goes into detail on how the smallest shifts in habits can have such profound effects even if it does not feel it at the moment. It is at that exact time when you feel as though you are treading water that the greatest improvements will be recognized down the road.
“Improving by 1 percent isn’t particularly notable—sometimes it isn’t even noticeable—but it can be far more meaningful, especially in the long run. The difference a tiny improvement can make over time is astounding. Here is how the math works out: if you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done. Conversely, if you get 1 percent worse each day for one year, you will decline nearly down to zero. What starts as a small win or a minor setback accumulates into something much more.”
If you are like me and are searching for ways to turn these lemons into lemonade, I urge you to take a look at this excerpt and learn more on what Dave Brailsford did to push the British Cycling team onto a new trajectory, leading the team to 178 world championships and 66 Olympic or Paralympic gold medals as well as 5 Tour de France victories in what is widely regarded as the most successful run in cycling history…. all by making 1% improvements.
Well done to James Clear for writing such an actionable book and to Mr. Brailsford for the extraordinary success he has had over his career.
Most people love to talk about success (and life in general) as an event. We talk about losing 50 pounds or building a successful business or winning the Tour de France as if they are events. But the truth is that most of the significant things in life aren't stand-alone events, but rather the sum of all the moments when we chose to do things 1 percent better or 1 percent worse. Aggregating these marginal gains makes a difference.