Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection
Have you ever had a problem keeping up the momentum of change in your life? Well, if you have, don’t worry. This is a weakness I have heard about a lot from others, and which I have found on more than just a few occasions with myself. It’s the troublesome habit of sliding back down the ladder of achievement. This usually happens a few weeks or months after you have started upon some kind of project or improvement in your life.
Why does it Happen?
The initial enjoyment, satisfaction, motivation and momentum disappears and you start to slowly slide back down. You begin to lose your momentum, then… whoosh! You are at the bottom. You are looking up at a huge mountain yet again and you simply don’t want to climb back up. It hurts real bad.
This is a natural reaction. After all, if you are climbing up a slope and you slide down to the bottom again then climbing back over the same ground yet again is less appealing. If you make it up to the same point and then slide down again, the idea of trying to ascend once more becomes almost positively disheartening.
I realized, having seen this problem in myself so many times, I needed to engineer some habit in myself to get around it. I wanted a technique that would stop me slipping and if I did catch me again quickly. Most importantly, it needed to work consistently as well. So, I simply asked myself the question “ how can i easily and consistently keep up my improvement”… and then waited for the answer.
The answer came to me a few days later and I created the idea of 1% challenges in my life in order to stop myself sliding down that slope or catch me pretty quick when I do. This is like a safety rope for your ascent. In addition to this, it also acts as a powerful machete to cut through the jungle and clear your path to the top.
Using this philosophy, all you need to do is change your basic thought pattern from when you wake up in the morning to that of immediately deciding how you could improve your life by 1% today. Imagine it. When you ask this question your mind will start looking for solutions.
It so simple and effective because it is just one thing you have to remember and it encompasses everything. How do I do it and how do I remind myself?
So, firstly, you simply just need to ask yourself:
How could I improve my life or something around me by just 1% today?
Secondly, to make sure you don’t forget you can put these protocols in place or others of your choosing:
- I have a sign on the door as I leave the house that says 1%
- I also have a slip of paper in my wallet that says 1%
- I make it the first question I ask myself in the morning.
- I congratulate myself in the evening on the 1% difference I have made.
Where do you get the ideas from?
In my case, when I am looking for inspiration, I just start cycling through the ideas I have written about in this blog or I look at situations I am not happy with in myself and around me. For example: if you want to beat procrastination, learn to live with fear or want to remind yourself how to think like an entrepreneur then just take a look here. These can be big “little differences”. Sometimes I just ask how could I make my next door neighbor smile or make a difference to a stranger?
How does this all work? Well it reminds you of what you are working on. So you quickly pick up if you are starting to slide and you look for a little way to stop it. It means you are looking out for little things and those little things add up.
The Japanese lead the world in manufacturing due to the philosophy of looking for small changes and continuous improvement.
It’s called Kaizen. You will benefit after you add this to your life and start to move up the slope of success consistently.
It works by making life interesting. It works by meaning you are always looking up and looking for opportunity. You are constantly on the look out for improvements or for change. It adds spice, it adds a positive outlook on life. You can’t go around looking for improvement and not be positive. Just take a minute to think how you life will be after you have improved by 1% a day for a year. Now look 5 years into the future and make a big smile.
For the next 3 weeks try to improve something in your life everyday by just 1% and see how far you can go. It can be at work, for yourself, in your relationships, money, anything!! Make the change for the better today.