Change is never an overnight process. It usually takes a lot of sleepless nights to make yourself comfortable with it. Getting stuck in a situation for so long is frustrating. But change is one thing that every person has to endure at one point or another.
The Elephants existed long before the name did. It wasn’t until I came across that Donne quote about ‘harmless, great things’ that I realised it perfectly described what we were trying to become: great without causing harm.
Existential angst is part of life. It is particularly noticeable around major life events or just after major career milestones. It seems to particularly affect smart, ambitious people.
Mastery is never an accident. You can win the lottery and become rich overnight, but no one has ever mastered their craft by chance. If you want to fulfill your potential then you must practice a specific skill for a long time with remarkable consistency.
These big goals naturally happen as a side effect when we have the means to make them happen. When our purchasing power goes up, our purchases tend to go up too. That's lifestyle creep.
It doesn't matter what you are trying to become better at, if you only do the work when you’re motivated, then you’ll never be consistent enough to become a professional.
If you're working to become better, live healthier, or hoping to make a change, then phrases like “go big or go home” or “stretch yourself” often get tossed around by well–meaning friends, family, and co–workers.
Now, I’m not a fan of doing the same thing over and over again when it doesn’t work. (If it’s a bad recipe, why cook it twice?) But there is a big difference between a bad recipe and an unfinished recipe.
We all have goals that are important to us. But is it our drive to achieve a certain outcome that makes us better? Or something else entirely?
Since 1908, British riders had won just a single gold medal at the Olympic Games, and they had fared even worse in cycling’s biggest race, the Tour de France. In 110 years, no British cyclist had ever won the event.
When a scientist runs an experiment, there are all sorts of results that could happen. Some results are positive and some are negative, but all of them are data points. Each result is a piece of data that can ultimately lead to an answer.
Most people avoid the fundamentals because they don't have the guts to become great at them. When you eliminate everything that is unnecessary, there are no details to hide behind.
When I looked at my own reading habits, I realized that my reading habits were mostly reactive, not proactive. If an interesting link flashed across my screen on Facebook or Twitter, then I would read it as a reaction.
Someone walks into the gym, warms up, does a little bit of this exercise, does a little bit of that exercise, bounces around to a few machines, maybe hops on the treadmill, finishes their workout, and leaves the gym.
We often measure progress by looking forward. We set goals. We plan milestones for our progress. Basically, we try to predict the future to some degree.
In many cases, improvement is not about doing more things right, but about doing less things wrong. To understand what I mean, we need to take a trip to Japan.
We all have goals that we want to achieve in our lives. These goals may include learning a new language, eating healthier and losing weight, becoming a better parent, saving more money, and so on.
Hogan was one of the greatest golfers of the 20th century, an accomplishment he achieved through tireless repetition. He simply loved to practice.
Whenever you learn a new mental model or idea, it's like the “software” in your brain gets updated. Suddenly, you can run all of your old data points through a new program. You can learn new lessons from old moments. As Patrick O'Shaughnessy says, “Reading changes the past.”
Prevailing wisdom claims that the best way to achieve what we want in life—getting into better shape, building a successful business, relaxing more and worrying less, spending more time with friends and family—is to set specific, actionable goals.
If you're serious about getting better at something, then one of the first steps is to know—in black-and-white terms—where you stand. You need self-awareness before you can achieve self-improvement.