The Power of Small Wins and Consistent Progress

If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress
— Barack Obama

Have you ever achieved some massive feat -- or, something you never expected -- and in hindsight looked back and thought, “wow, that wasn’t really worth all the stress and anxiety I placed on it…”

Maybe it hasn’t happened to you, but it certainly has to me — many, many times.

This is why, I believe, it’s important to focus on small, meaningful, wins. Wins that celebrate progress — not the end. Everything ends. Everything fades away —but, what doesn’t, is the enjoyable process of progression.

Progress is the source of almost all our contentment (alongside gratitude of course) — but, how does one go about measuring progress? Small wins. Celebrate the fucking shit out of them. Appreciate them. Savour them. Have meaningful mind-sex with them and create a baby of progress with them.

When the standard of success becomes merely acting — when any result is regarded as progress and important, when inspiration is seen as a reward rather than a prerequisite — we propel ourselves ahead. We feel free to fail, and that failure moves us forward
— Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

I have two events happen to me on a regular basis, of which I am sure happen to many of you too. If not the one, hopefully the other -- and if not both entirely...then I don't know...I give up. Stop reading. Wait. Don't stop reading don't know what's coming...

Example Uno

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re driving, enjoying some great tjoons (music) and are in complete bliss…but, then you hear a roar in the distant background -- almost the sound of a homeless man with diarrhea on a tin toilet. Some guy named Tyresse (made this name up so please don't send me a nasty email if you are Tyresse) in his red GTI comes speeding past you — nearly ripping your tail light off. You immediately think, “what a knob,” and continue driving. Next thing, you rock up to the traffic light roughly 730 meters ahead and there he is, Tyresse, pumping the latest EDM song from Alesso while drinking a Monster Energy. Ironic, isn’t it...this man risked both the lives of others and himself to get ahead and yet he ended up parallel me at the traffic light.

Example Dos

You are running along the Sea Point promenade in Cape Town and Geoffrey Balboa Baggins with his Nike Air Max’s and no shirt comes flying past you. He enters the abyss of people walking in-front enjoying the sunshine and you are soon blinded by his sweaty back and disgusting tribal tattoos. Approximately 300 meters ahead, he is now out of breathe and about to have a heart attack because the apple juice he had was spiked with Trenbolone and a touch of Clenbuterol.

Both of these individuals were ahead of me — and for a moment, I was envious and rather jealous with rage. “Wow, I wish I had that confidence or persona about me” popped into my head. But, as you can see, I still caught these guys — I may be slow, but I am consistent. 

The really ironic part is, Tyresse will almost always have to stop for petrol more times than me and in the long run, he will burn out. Geoffrey...well, I never actually saw him again. He was just trying to impress people around him with looks but eventually his true character revealed itself.

The point I'm trying to make is, consistent progress -- no matter how deceivingly small -- will triumph debauchery and unneccessary hasting. 

Macro patience, Micro speed

— Gary Vaynerchuk

When you notice and celebrate small wins, your entire word changes. You shift from a sailer looking through a telescope with a narrow, incomplete view of the world -- to having the bug-eyed peripheral vision of Mesut Ozil.

You will notice things like, you actually don’t have to be complete dickhead to the people lower than you. I honestly don’t care if you are the CTO of Microsoft and you are next in line for a pay-raise, if you treat the waiter or hotel cleaning lady with disrespect and attitude, I’m going to disassociate myself with you. You are obviously so trapped in the end product or result — being successful or have X amount of dollars in your kitty — that you forget to live in the present and be grateful. You have forgotten to celebrate where you are and the progress you have made because you believe if I only had X or Y I will be happy. Then, you receive X or Y and you realise it wasn’t that big of a deal anyway. 

I’m currently 37 000 feet in the air as I write this and highly over-caffeinated — so, I truly hope this post makes some sort of sense. 

Bottom line — appreciate where you are, who you are with and how fucking absolutely far you’ve come. As Gary Vee — often times, annoyingly — says, "you have won the lotto of life my friends." You are here. You have the ability to choose and conquer anything you set your mind to. A ton of luck and opportunity will have to present itself, but eventually everyone will get what they are due. The universe is a consistent motherfucker.

It’s easy to look at successful people on Instagram and consume their shit and wish you were them -- but, for the most part, we forget that these people worked their asses off and it probably took a few decades to get to where they are.

Hope you enjoyed the post. Thanks for the support and love. Appreciate it.

Josh, Airlines, 37 000 feet (not actually sure how high I’m up I just made that number up to sound cool).