In our last couple +1s, we talked about the power of tiny little daily 1% Optimizations compounded over an extended period of time. (Let’s all take a moment and wave to our quadrillion angels. 😇)
Today I want to go back to James Clear’s Atomic Habits for some more wisdom. In fact, we’re going to spend at least a few more days on it. It’s a REALLY good book.
btw: For the record: I rarely say a book is a “must-read” but this one’s as close as it gets. We’ve covered a lot of books on how to create great habits—from The Power of Habit and The Creative Habit to Superhuman by Habit and Mini Habits. Those are all awesome but I particularly love the way James distills the rigorous science into a super practical framework we can apply to our lives. So, there’s my sales pitch for the book.
Moving on to Today’s +1.
I’d like to talk about another way James brings the point home about how small things lead to big things.
Imagine you’re flying out of LAX. You want to go to New York City. Unfortunately, the nose of your plane is pointing just a little bit more south than it should be—say around 3.5 degrees more south than you want it.
What happens if the pilots don’t correct it?
Well, that 3.5 degrees is only about 90 inches off course (depending on the size of your plane), but even with just that slight shift in trajectory, you’ll wind up HUNDREDS of miles off course. In fact, rather than land in NYC, you’ll land in DC.
90 inches off = hundreds of miles off when you give it enough time (and distance).
Little things matter. A lot.
Of course, that works in both directions for our lives.
As James says: “Making a choice that is 1 percent better or 1 percent worse seems insignificant in the moment, but over the span of moments that make up a lifetime these choices determine the difference between who you are and who you could be. Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.”
Plus, going back to the trajectory of those planes and our lives: “You should be more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results. … If you want to predict where you’ll end up in life, all you have to do is follow the curve of tiny gains or tiny losses, and see how your daily choices will compound ten or twenty years down the line.”
Remember: Want to predict where you’ll end up in your life?
“Follow the curve of tiny gains or tiny losses, and see how your daily choices will compound ten or twenty years down the line.”
Here’s to the curve that leads to Actualization City.
See you there!
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