Here are my musings on how we create and build good habits, and how we develop them to make them consistent.
WHY TINY CHANGES LEAD TO REMARKABLE RESULTS
“It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the
value of making small improvements on a daily basis. Too often, we convince ourselves that
massive success requires massive action. Whether it is losing weight, building a business, writing
a book, winning a championship, or achieving any other goal, we put pressure on ourselves to
make some earth-shattering improvement that everyone will talk about.
Meanwhile, improving 1 per cent 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’s how the math works out: if you can get 1 per cent
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 per cent worse each day for one year, you’ll decline nearly down to zero.
What starts as a small win or a minor setback accumulates into something much more.
Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. The same way that money multiplies
through compound interest, the effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them. They seem
to make little difference on any given day, and yet the impact they deliver over the months and
years can be enormous. It is only when looking back two, five, or perhaps ten years later that the
value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent.”
That’s from Part I: The Fundamentals, Chapter 1: The Surprising Power of Atomic Habits.
This kicks the book off with the story about Brailsford and his astonishing turnaround of the
British cycling team via marginal gains. Moral of that story: Little things matter. A lot.
We talk a lot about Optimizing just a little more every day, aggregating and compounding those
tiny little gains over an extended period of time. Now, we have the math for what happens when
we get just 1% (!) better every day for a year. We’re 37 (!!!) times better.
But get this. Create a spreadsheet (like this) and run that 1% daily improvement out for another
year. Guess what? After two years, you’re not 74 times better. You’re now 1,400 (!!) times better.
Why stop there? Run it out another year. After the third year of aggregating and compounding
those 1% gains, you’re now 53,405 times better. Four years? You’re 2,017,828 times better. Five
years? You’re 76,240,507 times better.
Shall we run it ten years out? OK. Let’s. Result: Well, on day 3,472 we hit our last normal number.
We’re 998,822,690,009,590 times better. (That’s nearly a quadrillion times better by the way.)
Then we break our Google Spreadsheet by day 3,650 when we’re at 5.87074E+15. I don’t even
know what that means, but I assume it’s even more zeroes. Lol.
All that to say Little things matter. A lot. Especially when we compound them over time.
Of course, those numbers get absurd quickly. But… THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT!!
Harvard Professor (of the Psychology of Possibility) Ellen Langer comes to mind. She tells us
that our potential is UNKNOWABLE. Literally. It’s impossible to know what we’re capable of
until we let go of the limits. And start doing the little things. Consistently.
Ralph Waldo Emerson comes to mind as well. In Self-Reliance, he has a great line about the fact
that great human beings have an aura about them. He says that it’s almost as if they have a train
of angels escorting them. (Perhaps that’s what the “E+15” means in our math above. 🙂
As he puts it: “The force of character is cumulative. All the foregone days of virtue work their
health into this. What makes the majesty of the heroes of the senate and the field, which so fills
the imagination? The consciousness of a train of great days and victories behind. They shed a
united light on the advancing actor. He is attended as by a visible escort of angels.”
Here’s another way to put it: Imagine a plane taking off from LAX. The desired destination is New York City. But… If the nose of the plane is pointed just 3.5 degrees south and
the pilots don’t correct for it, they’ll land in Washington D.C. rather than NYC. 90 inches off at
the start equals hundreds of miles off at the end. Again, little things matter. A lot.
P.P.S. One very important thing to remember. Compounding is magic. Although we’ll
never be perfect, to see the benefits we need to make sure we don’t give back our gains.
THE PLATEAU OF LATENT POTENTIAL
“If you find yourself struggling to build a good habit or break a bad one, it is not because you
have lost your ability to improve. It is often because you have not yet crossed the Plateau
of Latent Potential. Complaining about not achieving success despite working hard is like
complaining about an ice cube not melting when you heated it from twenty-five to thirty-one
degrees. Your work was not wasted; it is just being stored. All the action happens at thirty-two
degrees. When you finally break through the Plateau of Latent Potential, people will call it an
overnight success. …
Mastery requires patience. The San Antonio Spurs, one of the most successful teams in NBA
history, have a quote from social reformer Jacob Riis hanging in their locker room: ‘When
nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a
hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will
split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it—but all that had gone before.’”
We’re still in the first chapter on the surprising power of atomic habits. <- Little things add up
to big things. Got it. The problem is that it takes TIME for those little things to add up to those
big things. Unfortunately, too often we want our lives to change x days after starting the new diet
or fitness program or whatever. And, when the results don’t IMMEDIATELY show up, we stop
doing the little things that would have led to the success we’re after.
That gap between our effort and results? James calls it the “Plateau of Latent Potential” and tells
us: “It’s a hallmark of any compounding process: the most powerful outcomes are delayed.”
Darren Hardy wrote a whole book on a similar theme called The Compound Effect. Remember
our doubling penny? The magic doesn’t REALLY start until we’re pretty far into the process.
Jeff Olson wrote a book called The Slight Edge all about doing the little things consistently as
well. He tells us that people want to go from “plant to harvest” without “cultivating.” He says:
“Plant, cultivate, harvest. And that second comma, the one between cultivating and harvest, often
represents a long period of time.”
How about you? Have you (like every other human on the planet!) ever bailed during the
“Plateau of Latent Potential” phase—before we got to see the true value you were building?
Remember the stonecutter. And the melting ice cube. All that energy put in before we get the big
results? KNOW the DELAY is an essential part of the process.
“Identity change is the North Star of habit change. The remainder of this book will provide you
with step-by-step instructions on how to build better habits for yourself, your family, your team,
your company, and anywhere else you wish. But the true question is: ‘Are you becoming the type
of person you want to become?’ The first step is not what or how, but who. You need to know
who you want to be. Otherwise, your quest for change is like a boat without a rudder. And that’s
why we’re starting here.
You have the power to change your beliefs about yourself. Your identity is not set in stone. You
have a choice in every moment. You can choose the identity you want to reinforce today with
habits you choose today. And this brings us to the deeper purpose of this book and the real reason habits matter.
Building better habits isn’t about littering your day with life hacks. It’s not about flossing one
tooth each night or taking a cold shower each morning or wearing the same outfit each day. It’s
not about achieving external measures of success, like earning more money, losing weight, or
reducing stress. Habits can help you achieve all of these things, but fundamentally they are not
about having something. They are about becoming someone.
Ultimately, your habits matter because they help you become the type of person you wish to
- They are the channel through which you develop your deepest beliefs about yourself. Quite
literally, you become your habits.”
Welcome to Chapter #2: How Your Habits Shape Your Identity (and Vice Versa).
That chapter comes right before we are introduced to the four “laws” of habits. But, before we
learn the what and the how we need to start with the WHO.
Specifically: WHO DO YOU WANT TO BECOME?! <- THAT is the ultimate driver for our habits.
So, before we go any further: WHO DO YOU WANT TO BECOME?!
A healthy/fit athlete? A super-productive person? A great husband/wife/mother/father?
As you contemplate that, contemplate this: “The more you repeat a behaviour, the more you
reinforce the identity associated with that behaviour. In fact, the word identity was originally
derived from the Latin word essentitas, which means being, and identidem, which means
repeatedly. Your identity is literally your “repeated beingness.’”
<- Wow. Your identity is LITERALLY your “repeated beingness.” <- That’s beautiful.
And, your identity, as James tells us, emerges from your HABITS: “Whatever your identity is
right now, you only believe it because you have proof of it.”
Therefore… Want a new identity? Repeat the desired behaviour as frequently as possible. And…
Want to repeat the desired behaviour as frequently as possible, live from your new identity.
There’s so much in this chapter that’s worth highlighting it’s almost absurd. Although the rest of
the book is equally good, the book is worth it for this section alone. Get the book for more.
For now, imagine the optimus you. Go be that.
THE 4 LAWS OF BEHAVIOR CHANGE
“If behaviour is insufficient in any of the four stages, it will not become a habit. Eliminate
the cue, and your habit will never start. Reduce the craving, and you won’t experience enough
motivation to act. Make the behaviour difficult, and you won’t be able to do it. And if the reward
fails to satisfy your desire, then you’ll have no reason to do it again in the future. Without the
first three steps, a behaviour will not occur. Without all four, a behaviour will not be repeated.
In summary, the cue triggers a craving, which motivates a response, which provides a reward,
which satisfies the craving and, ultimately, becomes associated with the cue. Together, these four
steps form a neurological feedback loop—cue, craving, response, reward; cue, craving, response,
reward—that ultimately allows you to create automatic habits. This cycle is known as the habit
Welcome to Chapter #3: How to Build Better Habits in 4 Simple Steps.
The four steps form the “habit loop” and the basis for the 4 Laws of Behaviour Change. They are
(once again): Cue + Craving + Response + Reward. We have a cue in our environment that leads
to a desire to do something, we respond, and we get a reward. Repeat. Here’s the quick look at the 4 Laws of Behaviour Change that are driven by those steps:
How to Create a Good Habit How to Break a Bad Habit
The 1st law (Cue) Make it obvious. Make it invisible.
The 2nd law (Craving) Make it attractive. Make it unattractive.
The 3rd law (Response) Make it easy. Make it difficult.
The 4th law (Reward) Make it satisfying. Make it unsatisfying.
Each of those 4 Laws gets its own section in the book with really-well organized sub-chapters
that help us figure out how to actually apply wisdom to our lives. Again (echo!), check out the
book for the details. For now, let’s take a SUPER quick look at how we’d build a habit.
Let’s say we want to meditate first thing in the morning.
Law #1: Make it obvious. James tells us we can use implementation intentions such as, “I
will meditate first thing in the morning in my bedroom.” (Note: When and where are super
important. Be precise and increase the odds of crushing it.) You can also make the cue obvious
by “designing your environment.” Perhaps you could put the cushion you’ll sit on in your way
from your bed to your bathroom, so you trip over it. That’s “obvious.” (Or, if you want to work
out, put your gym clothes in the same spot, etc.)
Law #2: Make it attractive. Think about all the research demonstrating the benefits you
want—a calm mind, etc. You can also pair it with something you really enjoy doing like drinking
a cup of tea or coffee AFTER you meditate. Another good way: “Join a culture where your
desired behaviour is the normal behaviour.”
Law #3: Make it easy. The easiest way to make it easy? “Downscale your habits until they can
be done in two minutes or less.” (Think silly-small Mini Habits.) We also want to “Master the
decisive moment. Optimize the small choices that deliver outsized impact.”
Law #4: Make it satisfying. Give yourself an immediate reward after doing your new habit.
James also tells us to never miss twice—very much like the idea of “Habit suicide” we discussed
in Superhuman by Habit. And, he recommends: “Use a habit tracker. Keep track of your habit
streak and ‘don’t break the chain.’” <- For me, once I committed to meditating daily, in addition
to the benefits of a calmer mind, I started experiencing (after the Plateau of Latent Potential,
btw!), I LOVED my streak. I’m now over 10 years in and I’ve missed one day. Super satisfying.
Insert your desired behaviour. Follow the 4 Laws. And… Do the opposite for the stuff you want to
get rid of. How about a quick walkthrough of a bad habit we’d like to break? Eating junk food?!
First: Make it invisible (not obvious). How? Remember to “buy your willpower at the
store.” In other words, DON’T BUY JUNK FOOD. (And throw away what you have.) Make it
INVISIBLE. (Why? Well, when it’s “obvious”/insight, what do you do? You eat it!! lol)
Second: Make it unattractive. “Reframe your mindset. Highlight the benefits of avoiding
bad habits.” For example, imagine your energy stabilizing and your health Optimizing, etc.
Third: Make it difficult. “Increase friction” by increasing the number of steps between you and
your bad habits. For example, you need to drive the grocery store to buy junk food!
Fourth: Make it unsatisfying. Keep that reframe from above in mind and make the
connection between your spike/crash energy levels and that junk food!
Your turn! What’s the #1 good habit you’d like to create? #1 bad habit you’d like to break? If you
feel so inspired, spend a moment working it through the model!
THE SORITES PARADOX
“There is an ancient Greek parable known as the Sorites Paradox, which talks about the effect
one small action can have when repeated enough times. One formulation of the paradox goes as
follows: Can one coin make a person rich? If you give a person a pile of ten coins, you wouldn’t
claim that he or she is rich. But what if you add another? And another? And another? At some
point, you will have to admit that no one can be rich unless one coin can make him or her so.
We can say the same thing about habits. Can one tiny change transform your life? It’s unlikely
you would say so. But what if you made another? And another? And another? At some point, you
will have to admit that your life was transformed by one small change.
The holy grail of habit change is not a single 1 per cent improvement but a thousand of them. It’s
a bunch of atomic habits stacking up, each one a fundamental unit of the overall system. …
The secret of getting results that last is to never stop making improvements. It’s remarkable
what you can build if you just don’t stop. … Small habits don’t add up. They compound. That’s
the power of atomic habits. Tiny changes. Remarkable results.”
That’s from the final chapter of the book. First, quick etymology lesson: James tells us that
“sorites” is derived from the Greek word for “heap.”
When you give someone a coin that doesn’t make a very big heap. But then you add another. And
another. And another. And at SOME point, that additional coin makes the person wealthy.
And, so it is with our habits. It’s not, as James says, the one 1% improvement. It’s the 1,000.
Those improvements don’t just aggregate. They COMPOUND.
And we already know about the power of compounding. Going back to our spreadsheet for a
moment. On that 1,000th day, we’re 20,751 times better than we were on day 1.
So, I say, while standing on a soapbox shouting: Let’s have fun getting to 10 years and
3,650 1%-gain days en route to being a QUADRILLION times better than our current selves.
THE 2 MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS FOR TOMORROW
“To set yourself on the right track, ask yourself those two critical questions: (1) What are the
three most important things I need to get done tomorrow? and (2) What is the single most
important task I must get done? The questions work within your brain’s ‘channel capacity’ to give you direction and prioritization in manageable doses. When you start your day, you know the three most important things you need to get done by the end of the day, and you know which of those three things is the big, glow-in-the-dark priority. You’ll be amazed at how much clearer your decision-making becomes—and how much more efficiently you’ll use your time—just by taking this simple organizational step.”
Those are your two most important questions:
(1) What are your “3 Most Important” things to get done tomorrow?
(2) What’s your “1 Must”? <— The glow-in-the-dark (love that image) hugely important thing that will most powerfully move you forward.
Simply implementing this one Big Idea can, literally, completely change your life. (Seriously.)
Jason and Tom talk about the fact that super successful people aren’t trying to be “busy.” They’re focused on being PRODUCTIVE.
And, of course, you can’t be genuinely productive unless you’ve slowed down long enough to figure out what needs to get done. (And then discipline yourself to do it.)
In The ONE Thing (see Notes), Gary Keller tells us we need to throw away our To-Do list and start creating a Success List. Same Idea.
Let’s Organize your Tomorrow Today.
3 Most Important:
Imagine your life in 5 years if you took the few minutes to establish these priorities every.single.day and then nailed it 90% of the time. (Take a moment to see and feel that.)
Now, imagine your life in 5 years if you DON’T take the time to establish those priorities every single day and/or you fail to nail it 90% of the time.
Which life do you want? Time to Organize Tomorrow Today?
YOU ROCKIN’ THE ZEIGARNIK EFFECT?
“When you go to the effort to make a prioritized list of what you need to do the next day, you’re essentially opening a loop in your mind. As you sleep, your brain will automatically start preparing for the successful closing of those loops. It’s known as the ‘Zeigarnik Effect.’ In the 1920s, Russian psychology researcher Bluma Zeigarnik quantified the phenomenon after her professor, Kurt Lewin, noticed that waiters who hadn’t been paid for an order had much more recall of the details of those orders than they did for orders that had been paid. Working from Zeigarnik’s research, Lewin came up with the concept of ‘task-specific-tension,’ which persists in both the conscious and subconscious mind until the task is completed.
In other words, the mind doesn’t like unfinished business! High-level mathematicians and successful writers have been using this technique for years as a tool for pushing their work forward. Before going to bed, they take a few minutes to read over the mathematical or literary work they did during the day—especially if they’ve reached a plateau or feel stuck. The mind then works all night to close the loop, and they wake up in the morning with ‘inspiration.’ It seems magical, but it isn’t so much magical as it is the result of the effective priming of the mental pump.”
The Zeigarnik Effect. Love it. Couple things to note here.
First, we can model mathematicians and writers to use this little keep-your-mind-working-on-a-problem hack for our benefit by getting clarity on what we want to do tomorrow and having our brains help the cause while we sleep. (Awesome.)
Second, we need to be aware of how this can work *against* us if we go through the day with a ton of things unfinished. Just like that waiter who remembers the orders that haven’t been paid, YOU remember all the little things you didn’t quite complete.
In that context, that’s not a good thing. It’s one of the consequences of shallow work and skipping from almost-complete thing to almost-complete thing. The attention residue we pick up diminishes our performance on the next task.
Which is why we want to FINISH things—start strong, stay strong, finish strong. Repeat.
ARE YOU NAILING IT?
“What does ‘nailing it’ mean?
If you’ve truly mastered one positive change, we call it ‘nailing it.’ It’s become a popular shorthand catchphrase with many of our students. For you to have fully integrated the improvement and the changes it requires, it means that for three consecutive months, you’ve been able to complete the change on a daily basis 90 per cent of the time or better.
Whatever improvement you choose—whether it’s Organizing Tomorrow Today or committing to doing the Mental Workout—you need to be able to do it nine out of ten days for three months straight—with no excuses. If you can’t do it, it means you need to increase your discipline or commit to a smaller level of intensity. Get started by proving to yourself that you can nail it, even if it’s a smaller commitment. You can always increase later on. An essential element of performance is for people to learn to trust themselves. When you prove 90 per cent of the time that you can nail it, you can’t help but grow your confidence and self-trust.”
Nailing it. That’s what it’s all about.
An important note here: Jason and Tom come back to the idea of “channel capacity” nearly every other page. The basic idea is that we can only handle so much information at once. And it’s not a lot. If you try to take on too much, you get overwhelmed and paralyzed.
They stress the fact that you need to continually simplify things—from the amount of stuff you’ll commit to doing in a day to the habit(s) you try to build.
Our equivalent? My (deliberate) repetition of the question: What’s the ONE thing you know you could be doing that would have the most beneficial impact on your life?
We need to slow down and identify our KEYSTONE habit and then NAIL IT.
Ninety per cent of the time we crush it. That’s the target.
Of course, you can’t hit that if you’re trying to implement 1,000 things. Then you’ll just give up and say this stuff doesn’t work.
So, what’s your #1 keystone habit?
In my interview with Troy Bassham about his book Attainment, he shared a great difference between elite performers and decent ones. The decent performers practice until they get something right. The ELITE performers? They practice until they can’t get it wrong.
(<—I LOVE that distinction.) How do you show up?
Here’s to NAILING IT.
(I love the idea that 90% of the time we hit our 3 Most Important and 1 Must. Imagine life with that level of focused productivity. Then, if it’s a top priority for you, let’s NAIL IT.)
FIGHT-THRUS (= THE KEY TO HABIT INSTALLATION)
“This is the point where ‘I can do this’ turns into ‘This is harder than I thought,’ or, ‘Is it really going to matter if I miss a day’ To make it through to the third phase, when the habit becomes second nature, you need to be able to win two or three of these essential fight-thru battles with your yourself.”
“Fight-thrus.” So good.
Jason and Tom describe their take on habit formation. Three phases: The Honeymoon + The Fight-Thru + Second Nature. Basically: It starts fun. It gets hard. Then it’s easy.
Too many people go thru the Honeymoon phase of habit creation when it’s all sunshine and rainbows and, the moment it gets hard, they don’t FIGHT-THRU—and, of course, their habit installation fails.
We need to recognize the natural process of installing a habit and discipline ourselves to WIN the fight-thrus. Jason and Tom give us four tips on how to make that happen.
Ritualize. Make it easy to repeat your behaviour. As scientists say, “reduce the variability of your behaviour” if you want to use your willpower wisely to install a habit. Dilbert-creator Scott Adams says he doesn’t waste a brain cell in the morning thinking about what he’s going to do. It’s RITUALIZED. #autopilot
Recognize. Simply knowing (!) that you will inevitably encounter that little whiney voice trying to negotiate with you that *today* is the day to skip our commitment is a HUGE part of the process of winning fight-thrus. Quit being surprised. Recognize a fight-thru when it’s happening and crush it. “Ah, this is a fight-thru. I’ve got this!”
Ask Two Questions. We need to coach ourselves. Two questions = 1) “How will I feel if I win this fight-thru?” and 2) “How will I feel if I LOSE this fight-thru.” <— Powerful.
Life Projection. Take 30 seconds (right now!!!!) to imagine your life in 5 years if you consistently win your fight-thrus and install whatever new behaviours you’re fired up about. SEE IT. FEEL IT. Get fired up about who you are becoming and what your life will look like.
Remember this: “The amazing things that world-class athletes are able to accomplish are usually chalked up to freak ability—and that certainly can be a factor. But a much bigger factor in those athletes reaching that level is their relentless ability to win the fight-thrus consistently.”
Let’s win the fight-thrus.
HERE’S YOUR NEW MENTAL TOUGHNESS WORKOUT
“Your mind is a muscle just like your bicep. If you want your bicep to become stronger, you must complete bicep curls on a regular basis. The same is true for your mind. If you want to become mentally tough, you must complete mental workouts consistently.
Muscle deterioration begins within seventy-two hours of your last workout. Just as this is the case with your bicep, it also holds true for your brain. The goal should be to never let two days go by without some type of physical activity, nor should you go two days without completing a mental workout.”
Fascinating how your body starts to deteriorate within 72 hours of your last workout. (Plus, we’re losing that natural hit of Ritalin + Prozac that John Ratey talks about in Spark.) As such, let’s never go longer than two days without some type of physical activity.
And… Our brains are much more like our bicep than we may think!
In short: If we want to strengthen our minds, we’ve gotta hit the mind gym.
Jason is well-known for his mental training workout and we chat about it in our other Notes. He’s optimized it even more in this book. Check out the book for the full goodness.
Here’s a quick look at his 5 step, 100-second process:
Take a nice, deep Centering Breath. In for 6. Hold for 2. Out for 7. Ahhhh… A strong mind is a calm mind and there’s no (!) better way to calm down than thru a centering breath like this.
Silently say your Identify Statement. Come up with a simple mantra that captures who you aspire to be. A pro athlete’s example they share: “I am more mentally and physically prepared than the competition. I am a dominant Major League pitcher.”
Walk thru your Personal Highlight Reel. Quickly replay three things that were awesome over the last 24 hours and see 3 things that WILL be awesome over the next 24. (in ~30 seconds total)
Repeat your Identity Statement.
Take another nice Centering Breath.
Voilà! You’re mentally tougher.
(You do that every.single.day #compoundeffect styles? You’re WAY tougher.)
HOW TO BE STRONG + RESILIENT
“Strong, resilient people have what we call a ‘Relentless Solution Focus,’ or RSF. If a person with a great RSF was in the same situation and lost that big client, he or she wouldn’t be some kind of emotionless robot—the loss would sting. But the immediate, laser-sharp focus would be on finding the solution path and doing it in less than sixty seconds.
We say ‘solution path’ because many, many problems aren’t solved with one lightning strike of an idea. A solution is a process, and there are steps to that process. In RSF, your goal, when presented with a problem is to identify one step within sixty seconds that you can take that will make the situation better—even if only by a small increment of improvement. RSF is not about finding the ‘perfect’ solution but, rather, about just identifying some kind of growth. It’s called the ‘+1 solution,’ because any improvement whatsoever to the current situation is part of a solution. The +1 concept has been credited numerous times with making the previously deemed impossible actually possible.”
If we want to be strong and resilient, we need to be RELENTLESSLY (!) solution-focused.
When something doesn’t go our way, of course, it sucks. But, with our relentless solution focus, we only allow ourselves 60 seconds to be bummed out about it. 🙂
Then, before our whole neurochemistry shifts into that negative stew (which, btw, makes it harder to actually see a solution), we steer the ship toward our “solution path” by thinking about just ONE little thing we can do to make the situation just a little bit better. The “+1 solution.”
Anything upsetting you right now? Are you relentlessly focused on the solution path? Or kinda sorta marinating on the un-awesome of the situation?
Let’s +1 it: What’s one little thing you can do to improve the situation? (Now a good time?)
REPETITION, REPETITION, REPETITION, REPETITION
“Repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition. . . . Mastery only comes from effort and repetition. You wouldn’t expect your five-year-old to be able to tie her shoes the first time. In the words of the Zen master Suzuki, if you lose the spirit of repetition, your practice will become difficult. This was one of the absolute cornerstones of Coach Wooden’s teaching.”
That’s from the second to last paragraph of the epilogue to the book. I smiled as I read it thinking about how I end most Master Classes with some variation on practice, practice, practice.
That’s really the essence of all our work together. Have a growth mindset. Know you can improve. Focus on experimenting, testing, practising and putting in reps as you get 4% better day in day out. Repeat. Again and again. Compound. #done. Then repeat again. And again. And again. Knowing it’s never done and that’s what makes the whole process of mastery so fun.