158: Incremental Improvements – Friday Fundamentals

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Wealth and Freedom achievers, welcome back to another Friday Fundamentals. You are well on your way to a wealthy and free life. I know this because you are setting big goals, following up with massive action and engineering the lifestyle you want. This abundance mentality is the premise of the podcast.  Your dreams, actions, and success are only limited by your own imagination. Anything you want, you can have.

When you approach life this way, you are thinking big, expanding your options, and looking forward to success both now and in the future. This mindset alone can be difficult to grasp, much less the execution. Having the courage to set big goals, follow up with massive action, and striving for success beyond your wildest dreams is not common. This is because fear of what comes next – the execution, the hard work, and the constant grind.

After you’ve set big goals and mapped out some actions to achieve those goals you realize the daunting challenges ahead. It can be discouraging, to say the least. It’s like standing at the base of the mountain, looking upwards towards the summit, but you can’t see it beyond the clouds. It’s easy to feel defeated before you ever get started. You might feel like you’ll never reach the top.

All you have to do is get started, and improve each and every day. If you can do this one simple little step, then you are unstoppable. Incremental improvements will take you far.

Incremental improvements – by this I mean being just a little bit better than you were yesterday. Make just a little bit more progress than where you were yesterday. Learn something new. Meet someone new. Do something new and challenging.

Incremental improvements over a long period of time will produce surprising results. Think if this like compound interest. Every day you deposit just a little bit of action, knowledge, and networking into your account. Over time that all grows into a large sum.

Many people follow this same strategy. For instance Warren Buffet, founder of Berkshire Hathaway, built his wealth over a lifetime of investing, and only in his later years did his wealth grow exponentially to result in one of the richest people in the world, and considered one of the most successful investors of all time. How did he do this? It wasn’t overnight. Rather, it was incremental improvements over a long period of time.

Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater, the largest hedge fund in the world, attributes much of his success to constantly learning and applying the Principles he’s learned to his business. Over a long period of time, he grew his one man business from his bedroom apartment to one of the most successful and largest hedge funds today.

Rome was not built in a day. You shouldn’t expect to achieve your goals and engineer the lifestyle you want in a day either.

Here are 5 things you can do to make incremental improvements in your life:

  1. Set long term goals, then break those down into actions you have to take in a year, month, week, etc. Breaking down big tasks into small achievable steps makes achieving your goals manageable.
  2. Track your actions. If you don’t know what you did yesterday, or where you were at in achieving your goals, you won’t know where you need to be today and tomorrow. Journals and planners are a great way to track your progress.
  3. Make corrections along the way. Sometimes it takes doing something differently to achieve the results you want. If your actions aren’t producing the results you want, then take a look at those actions and see if you need to make some corrections. Think of this like navigating a sail boat from Point A to Point B Point B, your destination, hasn’t changed. But your path there may need to adjust to winds, currents, etc. Don’t be afraid to make these corrections in your own journey.
  4. Reflect on your progress from time to time. It can be rewarding to see how far you’ve come, and also valuable to make sure you’re on the right path.
  5. Keep going. This is the hardest, yet simplest part. Just keep going. Make those incremental improvements every day. You can’t fail if you never give up.

“I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

Some people want to have everything planned out precisely before ever starting their journey. I know, because I’m one of them. Sometime this just isn’t practical. You have to get started and have faith in your ability to achieve your goals. You won’t always be able to predict the obstacles and challenges ahead. Rather, you have to know they are there and prepare yourself for dealing with them.

Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from getting started. Take that first step. Get a little better tomorrow, the next day, and the next. Constantly work to improve yourself. Make incremental improvements every single day. Soon enough, you’ll look down and realized you reached the summit of that mountain.

 

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