“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius
One of the deadliest long-term mistakes you can make is always focusing on the “best” process – even when the subject isn’t your core competency.
People want the “best” diet plan, the “best” exercise, the “best” meditation style – everything is either the best or not done at all.
Let’s take an example: Many people want to cultivate a meditation habit. Let’s say they started with 15 minutes a day.
They practice it for a few days, and then, once the initial motivation subsides – there comes a day when they are too tired to meditate for 15 minutes.
So they think to themselves – “I’ll skip today, I’ll meditate tomorrow”.
When tomorrow arrives, most of them lack the discipline to start again, so they put it off by another day, and surely, they don’t meditate again for months. (Until one day, the beginner’s motivation returns, and the process starts again)
The point here is, they didn’t spend even 1 minute meditating that day – which they could have (no one is too tired to meditate for 1 minute).
Why you ask?
Because in their minds, just 1 minute is just not good enough. It either has to be 15 minutes or no minutes.
They let the great become the enemy of the good.
I see this happening everywhere.
People want to start a reading habit – so they start with reading 1 hour daily. (A great target)
Then, life happens, and they don’t have a whole hour to spare.
So they just skip reading anything for that day, and the next day, and the day after that – and in a few days, their newfound habit is completely lost.
(I’ve talked about how you can actually start a reading habit in my old newsletters)
What they instead could have done is to have read only 10 minutes that day – just to maintain the habit of reading. Hell, it could have been just one page and the system would have survived.
The system matters, and you have to keep the good habits you develop alive.
Anything that you neglect will slowly waste away.
Compound interest will bring greater gains than you can imagine, but for compound interest to work – you have to be consistent.
Sporadic action does not count nearly as much.
Also, don’t overthink things – especially when you are a beginner.
If you want to, say, learn to swim – you don’t need a high-end trainer and an Olympic sized swimming pool.
An average trainer and a medium pool will suffice until you get decent enough. At that point, you’ll have enough knowledge to know what to upgrade and when.
Only pros get to sweat the small things – that’s because they have a much smaller scope for error.
You can get quite a bit of results out of any activity even if everything wasn’t perfect.
Don’t stop just because the best wasn’t available to you, or you were too tired/demotivated/bored to give in your 100% – do what you can, even if it’s just a small time each week, even if it’s just 20% of your maximum potential, and even if you have to use shitty equipment for some time.
Compound interest will average it out over time, your consistency will pay off, and you will get what you worked for.
Don’t be the guy who didn’t learn a martial art because he only had 2 hours a week to practice and he thought he couldn’t become the best fighter with just two hours a week.
While you can’t become a great fighter with 2 hours a week, you can become a reasonably good fighter with 2 hours a week.
Do what you can with what you have.
You can keep waiting at home hoping for the perfect circumstances and resources to show themselves, or you could start NOW and see what results you can get.
End of the day, one option will take you further than the other.
Do what you can with what you have. If you don’t, then don’t feel bad about the results you didn’t get for the work you didn’t do.
And while you’re at it, remember, it’s much easier to dial it from 10 to 100 than from 0 to 10.
Momentum is EVERYTHING.
Objects in motion stay in motion.
People in motion stay in motion.
A bad workout is much better than no workout.
Not every day will be perfect, but not a single day should be a null day.
Never bring yourself to a complete halt.
If you can’t spend 15 minutes meditating, can you do 1 minute?
If you’re too sick to exercise, can you at least maintain a clean diet and maybe go for a walk?
If you don’t have a whole hour to read, can you do 10 minutes today?
Life isn’t a smooth journey. Life is not a movie where everything is just right.
Smooth seas don’t make quality sailors.
Anyone who’s trying to better themselves will face obstacles.
And most people will give up at the first sight of them.
The only people who make it to the other side are people who were willing to cut corners once in a while to stay consistent.
Because those who went for perfect all the time – well, they didn’t last in the long run.
Hope that helps.