I consume a LOT of content on self improvement, and especially love the strategies to give myself a winning edge.
I love to learn those little tips and tricks that help to harness that unquantifiable something that sets one person apart from the herd.
I often find that I can read 350, 500, sometimes 700+ pages or listen to an audio book that takes 9 hours or more, only to realize at the culmination that I already knew what I had just consumed. I don't think this is unusual though and I know it isn't unique to the guy I see in the mirror.
We all have a head full of knowledge, facts, allegories and parables that are worth a million dollars, often though, we don't value that which we already have in our possession, so often we search for experts, gurus and mentors as we know they are being paid to create such information, so they must be good, right?
The other infuriatingly annoying aspect is that we often fail to act on the things we know we should do based on our vast stores of knowledge as we fail to value the things we already know, after all, if WE know them, EVERYBODY must know them, right?
This is so often, simply not the case, but for some obscure bloody reason, if we do not uncover the secret knowledge via hand to hand combat with a gorgon, an Indiana Jones style crusade or from spending $15000 on some hidden resource website we assume the really big missing puzzle pieces are still hidden somewhere out there.
SO WE KEEP SEARCHING FOR THAT ONE ELUSIVE KEY TO SUCCESS.
I have laid this all out for one reason, what I am about to share, you already know, you know it at your very core and yet it seems so damn simple, there is a tendency to ignore it, because of that very simplicity.
We all have areas in which we want to do so much better than we currently are, we are born with an instinct to strive for more, to search for meaning, to progress but often life kicks this out of us somewhere along the line. So many of us never come out the other side of our brush with life's slings and arrows and forget that we once dreamed and dreamed BIG!
So many of us start by choosing a crazy sized goal along the lines of:
I will run 5 miles a day for my health and fitness, (even though I have undertaken zero physical exercise since Friends was the biggest thing on TV).
I will write 10'000 words of a novel each day, (even though I have no writing skills to speak of, and I really don't understand the rules).
I will save 50% of my wage and spend half on Bitcoin and half on Tesla (even though I already struggle to make ends meet and have no clue how investing even works).
You get the point, big goals, well intentioned but set without planning, research and without any real idea on how to see it through.
I believe if you are gonna get out of your comfort zone, which is a fabulous idea, you want to do it in a controlled, 'pain-free' manner that will not leave you dazed and disillusioned. The simpler the strategy the better.
So we come to the 10% method.
I have been applying this to several areas of my life for some time now, the results have left me with a mental frame of reference for success, once we have achieved something, anything, no matter how big or small, our brain (and more importantly, our subconscious) has the experience of achievement and knows the feat can be replicated again and again. this is like a muscle that becomes stronger and more effective the more it is flexed.
I also feel better about myself. There is an undeniable boost to self esteem when you exhibit a little discipline and see through to a conclusion the things that you said you would.
These benefits are actually the biggest payoff, which is ironic as they were not the aim you set out to achieve. The improvements to health, wealth and happiness compound upon each-other and give you a taste of what you could really accomplish if you adopted the principle I am about to explain daily, in every area of life.
So what exactly is the 10% method.
To be honest you probably already have an inkling about what it is, just from the name. That's why I said earlier, what you really need to do in life if you are unhappy with where you find yourself is already known to you. You likely have all the tools you need and simply lack a defined plan and maybe need to embark on a little learning.
So let's look at a specific goal and apply the 10% method. Let's say you make a commitment to walk 20,000 steps each day for health, fitness, strength, stamina or weight loss. That's a great goal, done for the right reasons and it is an almost fail-proof way to get you where you want to go. Now think about the goal, really take it apart. What are the chances of you 'falling off' in the first week or the first month?
If experience and your life to date has taught you some valuable lessons about how you are likely to act and the outlook is not promising, chop the goal down and make a solid commitment to follow through!
Choose a far smaller number of steps but be absolutely resolute and promise yourself you will see them through and just do it!!!
Master it for one week and then, yup, you guessed it, increase the goal by 10% anybody can give an extra 10% it isn't even challenging in the early stages. let's say you chose 2500 steps because you have not exercised for many years, then simply add 10% more steps (10% of 2500 = 250 more steps). You know in your heart and mind that this will not be any massive challenge and yet you will be developing the discipline to become a person that sees through your commitment to walk 10,000 or 20,000 steps every day.
You are in deep debt and cannot see a way out. what are you gonna do?
When debt spirals out of control it can become very difficult to develop a rational plan to escape, it can even become almost impossible to strip away the emotions of worry, fear and despair and see the problem for what it is. It can be almost akin to seeing monsters lurking in the dark even though it is simply darkness and shadows.
Make a plan of finding an amount of money that you can afford to throw at your debts each week/month. It will likely not be the amount they ideally want BUT it must be amount you can manage without putting you and your family in jeopardy which is often what happens when people over commit.
Next put all of your thought and effort in to raising that amount by 10%, once you have set your first amount, this extra portion will be a pitiful sum that will not phase you in the least after giving it a little rational and logical, unemotional thought.
It will be tempting to question what a small incremental increase of 10% could really achieve, after a couple of months you will be shocked at how the extra stacks up and compounds, once you become comfortable with walking the new level of steps or paying the new level of debt, increase it by 10%, either way you will reach your desired destination faster than you would ordinarily.
Once you master each new level, you will begin to think and act like a person who can see ways of adding the next 10% increase. Each time you will believe in yourself more and more and more (maybe 10% more each time...)
You need to get a hold on your finances you have been spending every penny you earn for the last 20, maybe 30, or even 40 years, you know you need a better plan for your life, no problem, start small, you are getting the hang of this now, right?
Sit down alone or with a partner, if relevant, and plan a way to spare some money from your pay each week/month, if it simply doesn't exist, what can you cut down on? (cost wise), can you work a little overtime? Can you turn a skill you already have in to a way of making extra money from home? View the problem knowing that you are a person who will figure out a way.
You know how this works by now, commit to putting that money aside (no matter how small) immediately after getting paid, automate this if you can. Decide, for example that you will learn about a share investing app, YouTube, investment books and websites are full of resources, you can give yourself the best education available OR learn some basics to start you off, depending on your commitment level and seriousness regarding your own financial blueprint.
Once you are ready begin to invest that pot of money into the vehicle you are most comfortable with but first and foremost strike while the iron is hot and DO IT! As soon as you are able, try and increase this amount by 10%.
I am sure you are sensible enough to realize that 10% will not always be an appropriate amount to increase by, so go for 5% or even 1% improvement, but commit to the increase at whatever level you can.
Do you need to drop some weight? Could you safely cut your calorie or fat gram intake by 10% or eat 10% less, or serve 10% smaller portions or eat 10% more vegetables or 10% less snacks? This stuff doesn't need to be difficult.
I told you I wasn't going to impart any new, Earth-shattering revelations or ancient wisdom here today. I told you that these answers/suggestions already live in your head, BUT what I have shared works, it REALLY DOES!
If you have areas in which you seek improvement and results, please don't swear at the screen that this stuff is "bloody obvious" if you need to make strides and you want to, then act on this simple idea and you can experience the fabulously satisfying payoff from compounded results in your life. I challenge you to try it.
I genuinely hope that you and yours are well and about to embark on your greatest ever spell of the journey we call life. May health, wealth, happiness and all of the very best life has to offer be abundant for you and may 2021 prove to be a breakout year for you in all that you would wish for yourselves. Most of all I hope you are surrounded at all turns by love, joy, friendship and happiness.
Thank YOU for taking the time to read my post and if you're one of those amazing people who like to hit the comments section... Then I doubly thank YOU!
Either way I want you to know that you are appreciated!
Keep taking the time to connect with each-other both here and in the so-called real world and try and look after each-other, because as you already know...