1% Improvements

Nov 12, 2019

Hey everybody!

Today's little nugget of inspiration comes from James Clear. He's an author who wrote the book "Atomic Habits" (it's the book I'm reading right now).

He's got a little section in there that talks about "1% improvements" and about how we think that we need to be making these big leaps and bounds in the process and the progress that we make. And how, everybody, no matter what you're doing, gets frustrated when we don't see improvements every day we're working on something.

He has a couple of stories about this. One is the British cycling team that was notoriously horrible for decades. So much so that a bicycle manufacturer didn't want to sell them bicycles because they didn't want to be associated with the British team. They were that bad! They didn't want the British team to be seen riding their bikes.

They got a new coach and this coach was all about these 1% improvements. These little micro improvements that everybody else ignored. He believed that if you keep adding up these 1% improvements, you eventually get to significant improvements! And have advantages that other people wouldn't have.

He also uses the metaphor of ice freezing or rather ice melting. Ice melts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, zero degrees Celsius, and if you're making these little one degree improvements, you might not see anything happening. So, if ice melts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and you're starting at 20 degrees - you move from 20 to 21, nothing  happens.

21, 22, nothing happens. 23, 24, 25, til you're all the way there and you're thinking nothing is happening!  Until... you get to that 32 degrees, and the ice melts! You're like, oh!! It seems like magic! But really, it's all of those degrees that you had to go through to get to 32 degrees before anything happened.

What we need to remember is that as long as we're making progress, as long as we're moving forward, these progresses are adding up. It's all accumulative.

All right, so remember that and keep moving forward!




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