Getting better in increments- Part 2

Affirmative action, compounding, Human Brain, Uncategorized

When you read self help books, the ask you to think of all the dreams you have and to write them down , then set goals etc. Etc.

I have read so many of those books, each time thinking that by following the advice in the book I would be able to achieve all my dreams sooner rather than later.

Each time I used to write the massive goals and then have a look at them everyday, after a few weeks I would kind of get disillusioned or distracted and give up because somewhere I think my brain used to keep working on the fact that this was not a feasible thing and it would not believe it.

However when I kept Small short term targets, I generally used to end up meeting them. In these situations I generally believed that it was possible and I could achieve it. This is why one of most recommended books on this blog has been Tiny Habits by B. J. Fogg.

This fact that the brain believes in small incremental targets makes a lot of sense if any eventually large target can be broken down into smaller incremental opportunities to achieve and then let the law of compounding play its role.

In my last post I had mentioned how Tony Hsieh in his book Delivering Happiness talks about a 1% improvement everyday can make you 365% better at the end of the year. Even if this seems an undoable thing , if we were to improve even 10% every quarter in whatever field we want, by the end of the year you would be more than 46% better than the previous year.

While reading Steven Kotler’s book The Art of Impossible, he’s actually got this incremental number to 4%. He says that if the challenge or target is 4% more than your current ability, then there’s enough anxiousness to perform but the brain doesn’t feel that it’s an impossible task and therefore there’s a large chance of success .

If you are like me who get overwhelmed with very high value targets or goals, then try doing this 4% method every month or 10% every quarter or anything which you think your brain will believe. As I have stated many times earlier, its our brain which plays games on us, so we have to find ways to trick the brain and use the law of compounding to our benefit.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Getting better in increments

compounding, Financial Independence

Have you read the book Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh? Its a book about Zappos and how they went on to become such a great company.

The book has a lot of interesting stories about the journey and its a nice book to know the challenges they surmounted. Somewhere in the book, there’s a very small note which stuck to me for than 10 -12 years when I first read the book.

Tony says, if you were to improve yourself by just one percent everyday, one year later you would be better than the year before by 365%. This is pure compounding.

Its a simple equation, that’s why its stuck so well even after so many years. Its profound, like E=mc^2.

Is it easy. No way.

Inspite of knowing this equation have I been able to improve myself by 365% every year. Not at all.

Knowing is something, doing it is completely different.

Life passes in seconds everyday. The amount of time we waste in managing urgent things from the boss or customers eat up the seconds and before long, one more day ends.

This is the same story with our finances. Someday we think we will start our journey of financial independence…..then life passes and before we know it we are at a stage where we have spent our lives just paying off our loans.

Take your first steps get started today. Every journey has to start with the first step.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Law of compounding – for real life improvement

Affirmative action, compounding, Human Brain

I read – maybe 10 years back – Delivering Happiness by the CEO of Zappos – Tony Hsieh. I don’t quite remember everything in the book except that it was the journey of Zappos. However there is one statement from the book which Hsieh makes, which has remained with me since then, if you can improve even 1% everyday, imagine the improvement you will have at the end of the year – 367%. However inspite of having read it and also put it on a board where I could see it everyday, I have not improved 3670% in the last 10 years. The idea is simple I understand it but I still don’t go about achieving it.

The Japanese have a incremental improvement method called Kaizen which is about bringing about small incremental improvements continuously resulting in massive improvements over a period of time.

Both seem to be very simple concepts but we don’t end up following them. If you have been following my blog for sometime you would have noticed that as I am getting more experienced at writing things I am also questioning things about how I can be improving myself. Right now I am working on improving my reading capabilities. I have an agenda to read at least 3 books every week, consistently over the next few months, inspite of all the extended working hours we are having due to the lockdown. I want to check if I can improve my reading, which means I gather more knowledge, which then I try to put into action and therefore improve myself on a regular basis.

Yesterday however I was watching a YouTube video of Dan Sullivan of Strategic coach and he explained a very simple concept because of which I may not be achieving our goals for real life improvement. His logic is that there are no impossible goals, there are only impossible timelines. And because we give impossible timelines to ourselves, we end up messing up on achieving our goals. In case you are interested you can watch the video here.

As per him if we were to give ourselves long enough timelines, then our brain will not put barriers. The timelines he talks about doing a 10X is 25 years and breaks it down into quarters. So in 25 years there will be 100 quarters. If we were to use our compounding equation S=P*(1+r/100)^n. So if we put P=X and S=10X and “n” =100 then “r” turns out to be just 2.5% growth per quarter.

Is it feasible to improve 2.5% per quarter or less than 1% per month. Should be possible. If we were to break down our improvement points into clear bite sized goals then 1% per month should be very feasible and 10X in 10 years should also be feasible.

The reason this compounding works is because as a human being when you improve the first time, the next improvement is over the previous improvement and this cycle can continue forever. This is exactly how compounding works on your money and this how compounding works in real life as well. However our brain is conditioned to think in terms of linear activities. It is just not capable of comprehending non-linear equations like compounding and therefore whether it comes to money or self improvement our brain plays games with us.

Its one of those laws which are universal in nature and should apply to me as well. If I can improve by more than 1% every month in different areas of my life, based on the knowledge I acquire by reading the books and taking action, I should be able to grow. Let me see how this goes. Just to share the progress in the last 3weeks I have been able to complete 8 books. All non fiction books. These include Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk, Bold by Peter Diamandis, Attackers Advantage by Ram Charan, Triggers By Marshall Goldsmith etc. All these books are quite dense, as you will see in the picture, but I am trying to keep to my target.

Let me know if you also see Compounding in other areas of your life. I will be very interested in hearing your story.

Till next time.

Carpe Diem!!!