THE INFINITE 1%
Think about a goal you have.
Maybe you want to run a 5k, or make $100,000, or quit drinking.
When will you be close to achieving it?
You may think you’ll be close when you’re, say, 90% of the way there. In the final stretch.
When you can run 4k, or hit $90,000, or are have gone without a drink for 6 months.
Most of us view our goals in this way.
We think we aren’t close until we can see the finish line.
We imagine our goals along a linear graph, and we track our progress along it.
We think the first few steps toward a goal barely count.
In fact, we think they are closer to zero than anything else.
They don’t really count. They aren’t enough. They don’t matter.
It’s simple math, right?
But the math is wrong.
Because it doesn’t take into account the space between doing nothing and doing something.
The space between doing nothing and doing something is infinite.
I call this The Infinite 1%.
Going from 0 to 1 is exponential growth.
It’s the part most people don’t do.
Once you’ve done that?
You can just repeat the process until you reach your goal.
1% of your goal may seem minuscule….but going from inaction to action is actually the biggest distance you can cover.
Making more than $1 million a year wasn’t hard for me.
The hard part was getting out of my own way to make the first $20k.
The last ⅔ of a run isn’t hard.
The hard part is getting yourself out of the door and moving.
Newton’s first law of motion is that a body in motion will tend to stay in motion and a body at rest will tend to stay at rest.
The hardest part of anything you’ll do is overcoming the inertia of doing nothing in order to do something.
And the hardest part of stopping something you’re used to doing is learning how to stop yourself from doing it the first few times.
When you want to take new action, you have to get over your inertia. You have to go from not being in motion to being in motion.
But after you’ve done that once?
You know how to overcome inertia.
You can just do it again and again until you’ve reached your goal.
Most of us think we have nothing in common with the people out there who’ve accomplished great things in their lives.
We see entrepreneurs making millions of dollars, we see artists changing their fields, we see lawyers elected to the Supreme Court, and we think the distance between where we’re at and where they are is insurmountable.
But if you’re taking action – any action – to make your dreams a reality, you have more in common with these people than you do with the people who aren’t doing anything.
This is why perfectionism is so crippling. It keeps us thinking that doing a little is pointless.
But doing a little is EVERYTHING.
Huge accomplishments are built from doing a little, over and over.
Think of it this way: If you spend five minutes a day doing thought work, every day, in a year you will have spent THIRTY HOURS working on your brain.
That’s almost a full work week of doing nothing but working on your thoughts.
If you don’t spend those five minutes because it’s “too little” and “doesn’t count”? A year later you will have the exact same thoughts and results you do now.
You’ll have gone nowhere.
A body at rest stays at rest.
You may think there is a world of difference between the person who does 5 minutes a day (or even 5 minutes a week!) on thought work and the person who spends an hour a day on it.
But on the spectrum of change, the person spending five minutes a day and the person spending an hour a day are so close together, you can barely see between them.
But the space between them and someone spending no time on thought work?
All the space in the world.
Now, I want you to think back to a goal you have.
It may seem insurmountably far from where you’re at.
I want you to choose one small, concrete action that will bring you closer to your goal.
Before you get down on yourself for how insignificant this action seems, consider:
What if you believed that getting out of bed every morning to walk for 10 minutes makes you closer to a professional athlete than to someone who doesn’t take that walk
Or that making an offer to three business leads meant you were closer to Bill Gates than you were to someone who dismissed the idea because it seemed too “inconsequential” and made no offers at all?
Because I believe both those things are true.
And that incremental step toward your goal?
It’s an infinite difference.