How often do we look at where we are in relation to our goals and think…
“I’m still miles away”. Or “I just feel like I’m no further forward”. Or “It’s to hard”.
With ANY goal what we should understand is that it’s about doing, achieving, having or reaching something we DON’T already have. And with any goal that’s worth while, it’s probably something that isn’t easily attainable.
If it were easy to achieve we’d have no motivation for it, right?
I’m a huge believer that we can achieve MOST things in life if we set our minds to it. I don’t believe we can have anything we want because there will always be limiting factors such as ability, skill, knowledge, genetics etc that come into play.
HOWEVER for 85-90% of our goals we can achieve them as long as we are willing to put the consistent hard work in and level up as a person. (YES you will need to develop yourself to reach a new goal or level, I’ve wrote many blogs on this)
How to Discover Your True Potential.
The issue that many people have (me included from time to time) is that we want our goals NOW, TODAY and we want everything yesterday. We want to reach our potential NOW.
Let’s take for example opening a new business. We get an idea. We design our product/service. We put our systems in place. We get our branding done and we market it…Then nothing really happens. We might get a few new customers but our business just doesn’t seem to taking off. Then in a few years we’re wondering why we aren’t as big as Apple or Starbucks, or even other business locally to us.
This is that instant gratification BS causing us to feel this way.
We have guru’s telling us we can be whatever we want to be, we can have want ever we want. We look at social media and see all these people building a personal or business brand and it looks so easy. We see these athletes reaching new levels of fitness, strength and speed and it looks simple. We see fitness models showing off their bodies and believe we can achieve the same with just a few simple exercises per day.
We live in a world of NOW, instant results, instant gratification and instant success.
But anyone with half a brain knows that success is anything but instant.
If we desire REAL long term success and reach that LEVEL we desire whether that be in business, career, sport, wealth or areas of life such as fitness and health, they are achieved via ‘marginal gains’ done through consistent effort.
Marginal gains is where the magic happens. Marginal gains is where you discover and harness your POTENTIAL.
Let’s take for example an Athlete, lets says Football since it’s the World Cup.
A footballer needs skill, strength, speed, stamina, mental toughness, nutrition, speedy recovery, a strong team attitude…Just to name a few attributes.
Take each of these areas and let’s say for a player to reach their ‘true potential’ they’ll need to be or as close to 100% in each area. The likely hood of this happening is very slim but humour me for a minute.
Let’s say right now your scores are:
- Skill 70%
- Strength 65%
- Speed 90%
- Stamina 75%
- Mental 90%
- Nutrition 50%
- Recovery 40%
- Team attitude 95%
Most people do 1 of 3 options:
- They look at their weaker areas and try to increase these as soon as possible. So they will take nutrition and recovery and focus solidly on these to increase their scores. However they end up neglecting other areas. So nutrition might go to 80% but their speed drops to 70% and there stamina to 50%. So they end up losing out in other areas and actually potentially worsen their performance.
- Some just focus on their strengths and leave their weaknesses. They think if they just work harder on their strengths then everything will be ok. However the more they focus on their strength areas and ignore their weaknesses…The weaker those areas become. Speed goes up to 95% but recovery drops to 35%. They are actually no further forward.
The secret is option number 3, the marginal gains approach.
3. A smart individual looks at making a steady, consistent and focused 1% increase in each area everyday or every week. So they focus on nutrition and improve by 1%, same with strength, skill etc. They continue every week to progress these by 1% marginal gains.
Overtime they raise their entire game, results, ability and success via an ‘all round’ approach.
This approach takes longer and requires patience, however the results achieved through this approach are much more long term and sustainable.
It’s about making a 1% improvement in EACH and every area and continually doing this month on month, year on year. It’s through these small, consistent incremental steps that done over time get us to our goal.
If we only look for instance success and gratification then we could be heading for disappointment. If we are tying to take bigger leaps than we are capable of then we could end up burning out, screwing up, neglecting other areas and not really understanding what we need to do consistently that can make us a success. We don’t lay the foundations.
Marginal, consistent gains is where the magic happens, its where you harness what you’re potentially capable of as a human.
Remember any successful athlete, entrepreneur or individual when you follow them online or watch their videos you are often just seeing the end result, their highlight reel, their moment in the sun. Unfortunately that leads to this instant gratification need and belief that success is a given right.
However what you didn’t see are the years and years and years it took of marginal gains, sacrifice, effort, constant commitment and mental fortitude it took to get to that level.