“Lets say you want to win a gold medal in the Olympics. You want to learn a musical instrument. You want to learn a foreign language. You want to build Berkshire Hathaway. What’s the formula? Dogged incremental constant progress over a very long time frame. Look how simple this is. This is above genius. It’s absolutely above genius because you can understand it. This isn’t somebody drawing all these formulas and things up here about, you know, how numbers multiply and amplify over time. The problem that human beings have is we don’t like to be constant. Think of each one of those terms. Dogged incremental constant progress over a very long time frame. Nobody wants to be constant. We’re the functional equivalent of Sisyphus pushing his boulder up the mountain. You push it up half way, and you go, ‘Aw, I’ll come back and do this another time.’ It goes back down. ‘I’ve got this great idea, I’m going to really work hard on it.’ You push it up half way and,’ Aw, you know I’ll get back to this next month.’ This is the human condition. In geometric terms this is called variance drain. Whenever you interrupt the constant increase above a certain level of threshold you lose compounding, you’re no longer on the log curve. You fall back onto a linear curve or God forbid a step curve down. You have to be constant.”
The above quote is from an excellent speech by Peter Kauffman. You can read or listen to the entire speech here. This resonated with me because it speaks to a proven process that is true of most things; strengthening relationships, creating products, forming teams, crafting disciplines, learning skills and building companies.
Dogged incremental constant progress over a very long time.
That sounds intimidating, but it is also tremendously freeing. The formula is there. Consistent, intentional progress is not only attainable, it can be systematic. This is the underpinning of our strategy of Learn Better, Faster. But here is the secret – that progress can compound the more additive energy that is poured into it.
Drip, drip, drip.