The Great Paradox
Life is a paradox. Often the secret to achieving one’s life goals and becoming the person we want to be can best be achieved by doing the opposite of what conventional wisdom tells you. In finance, The billionaire “Oracle of Omaha”, Warren Buffet says “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” This same wisdom applies to many areas of life. Conventional wisdom says if you want to achieve greatness, you have to think big. While this has a seed of truth in it, it also comes with commensurate risks. You can achieve greatness by doing the opposite while reducing the risk almost completely and increasing your likelihood of succeeding exponentially.
The smallest action repeated, will turn into a habit. It will become a routine and over time, become a seed that turns into a transformative factor. These seeds change our lives. They will change them for better or for worse. These seeds will be planted whether we do it consciously or unconsciously. Whether we choose what seeds are planted, or let those around us choose for us. They can change you physically, emotionally or intellectually.
The size of the effort should be small. So small that you are not inclined to quit. What matters is repetition and building on the habit. Repeat and repeat and repeat, without end. Build habit upon habit. This is what will transform your life. This is what will make you the person you want to be tomorrow. Or let habits build without your intervention and tomorrow you will most likely have a life of discontent.
Your life. Your choice.
You may want a level of physical fitness beyond average. You can sign up at a gym, you can buy an expensive piece of fitness gear, but this won’t change you. Instead, stand on one foot for five seconds. Do this 3 times a day, every day for a month until it is just a part of your routine, like brushing your teeth. Then add another habit. A very small habit. Then another. And another. Over time, expand the habit. Stand for 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 2 minutes. Don’t rush. The most important thing is repetition. Repeat, repeat and repeat. If you rush, if you try to do too much, it may lead you to quit before the habit is formed. Just form that one small habit. Over time, these new habits will become who you are. Someone who exercises daily, eats well, and has a fat investment portfolio.
Do not rush. The second secret to succeeding is to stick with the habit for the long term.
Time is what will make a person rich. Want to retire young? Live within (or well below your means) and time, along with habits, will easily let you do so. Here is a fun calculator to play with.
Time is what will take you to the level of fitness you desire.
Time is what will make you a master of your chosen field of expertise.
It may seem trite to even have to mention it, but this is a simple lesson that so many people still have to learn. It has to do with their perception of failure. There are typically two views. One is that failure is a bad thing to be ashamed of. The other is that failure is simply a tool for learning. It is critical to understand and hold the second view. It is imperative to growth. Whatever isn’t growing is dying. “Never Ring The Bell“.