#1570 Areté +1° #197: Limitless Steps

Exponential Gains for the Win

Hi, this is Brian.

Welcome back to another Areté +1°. We've got another micro-chapter from our new book, Areté: Activate Your Heroic Potential.

451 of my all-time favorite ideas.

Here's one of them.


Remember our chat about Team Sky and the power of “marginal gains”?

As you may recall, when we aggregate and compound a ton of tiny little gains over an extended period of time we get HUGE gains.


What do you think would happen if we could tap into the power of not just “marginal” gains but SUPER-HIGH LEVERAGE gains?

Answer: We’d experience the power of exponential growth!

Let’s invite Jim Kwik to the party to help unpack this idea. Jim wrote a great book called Limitless.

He’s one of the world’s leading experts on memory improvement, brain optimization, and accelerated learning.

The best part of Jim’s story?

After suffering a brain injury in kindergarten, he was described by a teacher as the kid “with a broken brain.” He struggled with learning for most of his life. Then he went antifragile on it and studied (and applied!) the science of how we learn.

Fast-forward a couple decades and he’s now the “brain coach to a who’s who of Hollywood’s elite, professional athletes, political leaders, and business magnates.” (Heroic Antifragility for the win!)

Jim tells us: “Moving forward incrementally is a significant sign of progress. Every step you can take in the process of becoming limitless is a step in the right direction. But what if you could move your genius forward exponentially? After all, if we take 30 normal steps forward, we’ll wind up somewhere down the street. But if we took 30 exponential steps, we’d circle the Earth more than two dozen times.”

Well, isn’t that FASCINATING?

Let’s think about that for a moment longer.

If we take thirty normal steps, we’ll get about ninety feet down the street.

That’s great. We’re making progress. Go us!


If we can figure out how to take thirty EXPONENTIAL steps, we’ll be able to zip around the Earth two DOZEN TIMES!

That is crazy great. Now we’re making exponential (!) progress. GO US!!

Note: Google calculator tells us that there are 5,280 feet in a mile. The Earth is about 24,901 miles around the equator.

If my math is correct, that’s about 131,477,280 feet or, assuming three feet per step, 43,825,760 steps for one trip around our beautiful planet.

Two dozen trips around the Earth comes out to roughly 1,051,818,240 steps—which is just slightly more than the ninety feet from thirty “normal” steps, eh?

All that begs yet another practical question…

How do we take thirty metaphorically exponential steps?


We want to figure out what we think might be THE highest-leverage optimizations we can make and then CONSISTENTLY execute those behavioral changes while aggregating and compounding the gains over an extended period of time.

Enter: Earth revolving MAGIC.

And, you know what? I don’t think those highest-leverage optimizations are necessarily the big fancy things reserved for the blessed few. I think they’re the crazy mundane, simple actions we can ALL take.

Stuff like turning off our electronics at night via a digital sunset so we can get a GREAT night of sleep. (Seriously. That ONE change can literally change your life OVERNIGHT.)

Then, what if you reduced/eliminated sugar and ultraprocessed food from your diet? (That ONE change can literally change your life.)

Then, what if you resisted the urge to get online right when you woke up and started meditating for one minute and built that up to eleven minutes and you did it every day? (That ONE change can literally change your life.)

Then, if you were REALLY feeling inspired, what if you took that amazing Energy you cultivated and focused it like a laser beam on the most important task for your day during an AM1 Deep Work time block? And you did that every day? (That ONE change can literally change your life.)

Then, what if you decided to keep your phone out of sight and out of touch when you were with your family so you could bless them with the power of your presence? (That ONE change can literally change your life.)

Then… What if you had fun adding a series of twenty-five additional exponentially powerful optimizing steps?!

Answer: You’d RADICALLY change your life. And you might just zip around the Earth a couple dozen times.

So, my dear Heroic friend…

What’s THE #1 next-most-exponentially powerful step YOU can take?

As we consider that, let’s keep Krishnamurti’s wisdom in mind. He told us: “To go far you must begin near, and the nearest step is the most important one.”

Let’s take that next step.


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