When an entrepreneur, a businessman, an investor or any other person who succeed in their respective field, society often say that it was an overnight success or he/she got lucky or any other excuses but they totally ignore the dedication, passion, discipline and hard work of that person.
Where does these dedication, focus, discipline, etc comes from? How does a person is able to maintain such qualities for a long time? The answer to this is ‘Habit’.
Too often we convince ourselves that massive success needs massive actions. Whether it is starting a company and making a fortune, winning a championship or a tournament, losing weight or gaining muscles, or any other goal.
Habits are the thing which makes people successful and also unsuccessful. It totally depends on which habit are you adopting and how constantly are you following. Like Warren Buffett said, “compounding is the 8th wonder of the world.” So why not we use compounding in our self-development by creating good habits and putting an end to the bad ones. The effect of your habit multiplies as you use them.
The reason most people are not able to compound their good habits is that small incremental changes do not show effect in the short term. For example, you join a gym to lose weight but exercising for a few days won’t show much effect so you might think that you are not progressing so the motivation comes down and you stop going to the gym eventually. The same goes when you try to save and invest but saving for a few days or months won’t make you rich.
1% BETTER EVERY DAY
If you improve just 1% everyday, it seems very small incremental. But let’s apply compounding to this.
1% better everyday for a year= (1.01)^365= 37.78
1% worse everyday for a year= (0.99)^365= 0.03
When you improve 1% every day for a year, you are 38 times better but on the other hand, if you compound your bad habits, it can destroy you. Thus, building up good habits won’t show results in the short-run but when compounded over the years it shows massive results. A slight change in your daily habits can guide your life in a totally different direction. It’s just you have to decide whether you want to 1% better or 1% worse every day. Success is the product of your daily habits, not an overnight thing.
Just setting a goal and working hard isn’t enough for success. Winners and Losers both have goals. For example, in a tournament, every participant wants to win and puts all their efforts into the race but only one wins, every entrepreneur’s goal is to build a multinational company but very few gets success, every investor wants to become wealthy but very few are able to do that. Your focus shouldn’t be your goal but it should be your system.
Habits are actually the outcomes of who you are. It depends upon your beliefs. To change your habits, you need to change the person you are or your identity. For example, you believe that you are a night person and cannot wake up early morning. Even if you try to wake up early, you won’t be able to maintain that for long time. Biologically, no person is a night person or a morning person. It’s just your belief. You have a habit of staying up late and that is the proof that you are a night person. You believe something that shows you proof. By staying up late every night, you give yourself a proof that you are a night person. So to change this, first you need to break your belief.
To change who you are is to change what you do. Each time you workout, you are an athlete. Each time you sing, you are a singer. Each time you write, you are a writer. You start to believe you can achieve these things and the more you give evidence to yourself, the more you will change your identity. Of course, this can go against you. Every time you perform a bad habit, you give evidence to yourself which makes your belief stronger.
New habit formation requires building up a new identity. You can build it up by 2 steps: 1) Decide what kind of identity you want or what kind of person you want to be. 2) Prove it to yourself by small wins.
If you want to be healthy, every time you are about to eat junk food, ask yourself what will a healthy person do? If you want to wake up early in the morning, ask yourself at what time a morning person sleeps? If you want to save more and invest more, then ask yourself what a good investor will do before spending your money on unnecessary things. Your focus should be on becoming what kind of person you want to be not on a particular outcome.
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