Focus on improving one percent at a time!
If you look around in today’s media, we tend to see the highlight reels. The focus is on the meteoric rises, the people who came from “out of nowhere”, and the overnight success stories. It’s as if these individuals went to sleep and poof, the next morning they were world-class performers…That is never the real story, but it the story that makes us feel comfortable with our mediocre efforts. By giving these extremely hard working people a label like “talented” or “gifted”, we give ourselves permission (a nice work for excuse) to be content. It’s also the story that is glamorous, it’s the Hollywood training montage of 5 minutes of motivation for a lifetime of glory. Unfortunately, when we apply this approach and give our workouts 110% for a week or a month and we don’t see our name up in lights, we might stop and think that our name isn’t meant to be up in lights. But the truth is, it is what we do in the dark that puts our name in those lights.
It’s the little things. It’s the un-glamorous, boring details that make all the difference. If you don’t believe me, try this quote and article about the British Cycling team:
“It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis. Too often, we convince ourselves that massive success requires massive action. Whether it is losing weight, building a business, writing a book, winning a championship, or achieving any other goal, we put pressure on ourselves to make some earth-shattering improvement that everyone will talk about.
Meanwhile, improving by 1 percent isn’t particularly notable—sometimes it isn’t even noticeable—but it can be far more meaningful, especially in the long run.”
The thing is, deep down we know that it is the little things that count.
It’s the difference between flying the plane manually and putting it on autopilot…which begs the question: does it only matter if you reach the destination or do you want to experience the entire journey? Are you trying to get from A to B, or are you trying to become a better pilot, a pilot that is able to navigate the turbulence and tough times when autopilot is no longer an option?
As you go throughout your training this week, ask yourself, “how can I improve this by 1%?” If you can do that, chances are you’ll become a better athlete after several months and years of doing it day in and day out, you might even become one of those “overnight successes” people talk about!
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