How Reading Impacted Warren Buffett, Mark Cuban, and Malcolm X

I’ve written before about how reading is the key to success. But it can be hard to see the causation because it doesn’t just happen overnight. So below are three firsthand accounts from influential people who have “made it” highlighting how reading has impacted their lives.

1. Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger

I group these two together because of the extent to which they share the same ideologies. The duo is legendary for their longstanding business and investing prowess through investments at Berkshire Hathaway, which has consistently outperformed the market since its inception.

The result has spawned an army of devoted followers and has earned Buffett and Munger titles of two of the richest men on the planet. As a testament to their influence, thousands of people fly in from across the world to spend just a day listening to Buffett and Munger speak at their annual shareholder’s meeting.

So when Buffett or Munger give advice, we should listen. The two largely share the same philosophies on best business practices and investment styles, and they also happen to agree on the same method for success. In a 2007 commencement speech given at the USC School of Law, Charlie Munger said:

I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines.

They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.

He goes on to reference Buffett as an example of such a learning machine:

If you watched Warren Buffett with a time clock, I would say half of all the time he spends is just sitting on his ass and reading. And a big chunk of the rest of the time is spent talking on the phone or personally with people he trusts.

Buffett echoes his partner’s sentiments. When asked how to get smarter at a conference, he held up a stack of papers and said:

Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will.

Continue reading

Tyrese Gibson: Success Is In Your Mind

I didn’t know who Tyrese Gibson was before today, but I have a great deal of respect for him now. I came across a video he shared a few days ago in a wisdom-fueled rant. The video seems to be directed towards the black community, but the message applies to everyone. It’s a nice wake up call if you ever find yourself complaining or victimizing your situation.

The interesting thing about this is every successful person in my studies and observation think along the same lines as Gibson. Consciously or unconsciously, the people at the top of any field have all trained their minds such that their thought processes are at a higher level than you or I. They’re operating at a different level and it reflects in their actions.

Check out the video below. Note the language is NSFW.

If you really got a problem with your life you’ll change it. You’re not tired of being broke, you’re not tired of being stuck…You’re not tired, because if you were tired, you would actually do some shit about it. Anybody who is determined to do something, who wants something to be different, will eventually be different.

It’s very simple. Change your mind and everything about your bank account, your environment, the safety of you and your kids will change.

I’m tired of everyone complaining as if they’re on the receiving end of whatever this world wants to dump on them, and they don’t have a choice.

Excuses sound best to the person making them up. You have created every excuse in the world in your mind. And you figured out how to justify it in your mind, and it makes sense to you. That’s why you’re still in it. That’s why you’re out of shape, that’s why you’re still doing the same shit you’re doing. Once you justify it, you stay in it.

Find Your One Thing

I have a problem. I have an inability to focus on just ONE thing. I’m constantly trying new things out and sticking my hand in every cookie jar. You would think this is good, but I’ve found that too much choice and variability often simply leads to inaction.

For instance, I’ve been trying to start a side business or endeavor of some sort. The problem is, there are so many different avenues and routes that I’m constantly pulled in different directions. Here are some of the things I’ve looked into:

-Real estate, acquiring rental properties
-Kindle Publishing, writing/outsourcing eBooks
-Starting an online business, creating and selling products
-Freelancing
-Making money using eBay/Amazon as a platform
-Playing poker in underground games
-Creating apps, hiring developers
-Starting a podcast
-Starting a YouTube channel

The culmination of all this, however, is a sense of overwhelm.

Continue reading

The 6 Rules to Making Money

I enjoy watching commencement speeches. It’s an event where those most accomplished share their most profound insights to those about to embark on their own journeys into the world. It’s 20-minutes of pure, unfettered advice. And while I have warned in the past about not taking advice, I caveat it by saying not all advice is equal. Advice from those at the pinnacle of their fields warrant serious consideration.

David Rubenstein is one of those people whose advice you should probably listen to. He is best known as the co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, one of the most established private equity firms in the world. His net worth is over $3 billion. He recently gave the commencement speech at the 2014 Wharton MBA Commencement. He laid out the six rules to achieving financial success, or, in his words, “all you need to know in 5 minutes to make a great deal of money.”

[more…]

1)      Perseverance is infinitely more important than brilliance or even a reasonably high degree of intelligence. Not taking “no” for an answer will yield far more financial rewards than will acquiescence to conventional wisdom. Do not give up your own beliefs or passions easily or quickly.

2)      Hard work will yield greater financial rewards than a 9-5 workstyle. If you really want to get ahead financially, long hours are unfortunately a prerequisite. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, John Huntsman, Jack Welch, Oprah Winfrey, Sheryl Sandberg, and Joseph Wharton, and countless other business giants, put in the time needed to make a mark on the world. So recognize that anything really worth achieving in business or life takes a serious time commitment.

3)      Focusing on one area or subject where you can truly make yourself an expert. Your organization’s indispensable resource will lead to further responsibilities and benefits. Avoid spreading yourself thin by trying to do too much before you do one thing extremely well. Once you’re established as an expert in one area, other opportunities will inevitably come to you and your responsibilities and rewards will inevitably increase.

4)      Learning how to persuade others to do what you want is the essence of a successful business career, and the essence of life in many respects. To do that well, you need to learn how to communicate effectively by writing and speaking well. But more importantly, you need to learn how to communicate well by the most effective means of persuading: by the example you set in your own actions or conduct. Hone these means of persuasion in every opportunity.

5)      Place your energies into providing the best service or the best product possible. Do not focus on how much money you will make. The obsession with the making of money rarely leads to the making of money. The obsession with achieving excellence and with doing the best job possible, doing something no one else can do as well, is usually what leads to the making of fortunes. Money needs to be the happy byproduct, not the principle goal.

6)      Whatever financial success you might have at the outset, that success can be multiplied many times as people observe how you handle your intiail success. Humility, rather than arrogance, will lead to far greater financial success. There are exceptions to this rule, unfortunately, but you should not honestly want to be one of these exceptions. You should want to be someone who recognizes that luck likely played a real role in your success, and bad luck can come along at any point; so stay humble.

Follow these six rules and you will almost certainly with a modest amount of good luck, make a fair amount of money in life if that is your goal.

However, Rubenstein goes on to say that money will not bring happiness. Personal happiness, as elusive as that is to obtain, is a far better life goal than the making of money. “The happiest people I know,” he says, “are the biggest philanthropists. The happiest people I know are the ones who realize their money can do much more than buy bigger homes and yachts and status.”

This seems to be a common realization among those who have achieved massive financial success. More than a hundred billionaires have signed The Giving Pledge, a campaign where they promise to donate 50% or more of their wealth to charity. This also aligns with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, where the top of the pyramid is characterized by the pursuit of self-actualization, once all the other needs have been met. However, one need not be a billionaire before giving. Indeed, Rubenstein says that one of his regrets is not learning the lesson of helping others, the community, and the country earlier.

Do not make the same mistake I did. Do not wait till the last third of your life to give back. Do not wait till the opportunities to make a real difference in the world have passed you by. Do more than make money. Give back to your community, your society, your country. And do so even when you may not have large sums of money. By doing so, you will surely achieve happiness much earlier in your life. By doing so, you will lead a much more fulfilling and rewarding life. Trust me, what I say is true, and i have learned this to be the case many times over.

Giving your time, your energy, and your ideas, can be just as beneficial as anything else you do. Find an area in which to give back where you’re really interested in. Try to focus always on what you’re doing is making a difference, rather than adding to a resume. Focus on how your presence on the face of the Earth, as fleeting as it is, is justified by what you’ve done trying to make society and the world a slightly better place than you inherited it. Do not get to the end of your life and regret what you did not do in the earlier part of your life. Try to make the world a better place.

Everyone Starts Somewhere

In 1984, a 17-year old tried his hand at stand-up comedy for the first time at an open mic night in Boston. He jumped on stage and was given five minutes of time. With three minutes left, however, he realized he had run out of material. He walked off stage, discouraged. He didn’t perform again for another two years.

Since then, that 17-year old has gone on to become one of the most recognizable comedians alive. His name is Louis C.K.

How does a comedic genius fail at his first attempt at stand-up? Often, the greats we admire weren’t born into greatness. We think they can do no wrong, but we simply never see where they started. Behind every accomplished person there are countless hours of work and modest beginnings.

[more…]

As we strive towards our own goals or venture into new waters, we need to keep this in mind. Whether it’s business, fitness, or art, remember that the expert at anything was once a beginner. And it probably wasn’t pretty.

Ira Glass eloquently articulates this in the quote below. It takes time before your work truly shines. I remind myself of this whenever I feel a disconnect between what I envision my writing to look like and reality.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.

A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.”

We’re all amateurs when we start out. It’s the work we do after that slowly turns us into masters. Quitting too early possibly closes a door forever. In Louis C.K.’s case, it would mean he might never had a career in comedy had he quit after his first attempt.

How do you prevent yourself from quitting too early? Try thinking in terms of years. Consider the following timeline from James Altucher:

  • Year One: you’re flailing and reading everything and just starting to DO.
  • Year Two: you know who you need to talk to and network with. You’re Doing every day. You finally know what the monopoly board looks like in your new endeavors.
  • Year Three: you’re good enough to start making money. It might not be a living yet.
  • Year Four: you’re making a good living
  • Year Five: you’re making wealth

Of course, it may take longer; Louis C.K. only released his first half-hour special after a decade. Regardless, keeping a long-term perspective will allow you to wither the bumps along the journey and stave off the desire to quit too soon.

Speaking of the journey, at times we’re all tempted to compare ourselves to others who are on the same road. We’ll wonder why they have X and why we don’t. Avoid this temptation. At any point, we’re ahead of some and behind others. Comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle serves no purpose except to detract from the work in front of you. Sometimes, it just takes time to catch up.

We all have goals to accomplish and dreams to achieve. Some of these aspirations may still be sitting on the metaphorical shelf gathering dust. Perhaps now is the time to sweep the dust off and give them a go. Starting somewhere is infinitely better than never starting at all.

Today, you’re just you. Down the road, you’re you the __________ (speaker/writer/entrepreneur/athlete/insert title). Maybe one day, people will even marvel at your success and ask you how you did it.

At which point, you can tell them even you started somewhere.

Start Before You’re Ready

If there’s one thing successful people and businesses seem to have in common, it’s that they start before they’re ready. This means taking immediate action and just going for it.

Richard Branson is a prime example of this. He recounts the story of how he started Virgin Airlines:

In ‘79, when Joan, my fiancee and I were on a holiday in the British Virgin Islands, we were trying to catch a flight to Puerto Rico; but the local Puerto Rican scheduled flight was cancelled. The airport terminal was full of stranded passengers. I made a few calls to charter companies and agreed to charter a plane for $2000 to Puerto Rico.

Cheekily leaving out Joan’s and my name, I divided the price by the remaining number of passengers, borrowed a blackboard and wrote: VIRGIN AIRWAYS: $39 for a single flight to Puerto Rico. I walked around the airport terminal and soon filled every seat on the charter plane.

As we landed at Puerto Rico, a passenger turned to me and said: “Virgin Airways isn’t too bad — smarten up the services a little and you could be in business.”

[more…]

That was it. Everyone on the cancelled flight faced the same dilemma, but only one person saw it as an opportunity and took action. By all standard definitions, Branson wasn’t ready at all. He had no knowledge about the aviation industry and wasn’t prepared or qualified in the slightest to start that business. Yet he did it anyway, by just going for it.

What’s interesting is that Branson has since gone on to say that if he had known about the low-profit margins airline companies face, he never would have started Virgin Airlines. “If you want to be a millionaire,” he says, “start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline.” He’s made it work, but if Branson hadn’t taken immediate action and instead deliberated and extensively researched the industry, been more ready, he never would have created one of the premier airlines today.

Many of us hesitate to do that which we desire the most by claiming we’re not ready. To start the business. To ask the girl out. To create music. To write. Some of us spend our entire lives waiting for the opportune moment.

Sadly, it seems the longer we wait to do something, the more likely we are to never do it. We’re our own worst enemies. So we must constantly struggle to quiet our lizard brains.

In the world of pick-up, there’s something called the 3-second rule. The idea is that if you see someone you’d like to meet, you must introduce yourself within three seconds. No hesitation, no scripts. It’s simple, but very effective because you just go for it. You have no time to overthink, get anxious about what to say, or psych yourself out.

We could all benefit by implementing a version of the 3-second rule into our own endeavors. To take action before we’re fully ready, and to just go for it.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of doing more research or adding another page to the business plan. These things are useful, but they don’t produce results. Likewise, brainstorming and planning is good, but doing so for too long often leads to a never-ending spiral of analysis paralysis.

This is understandable, of course; we all want to be fully ready before we take the leap. Unfortunately, it’s akin to striving for perfection. In the words of David Foster Wallace, “If your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything.” The stars never align perfectly and conditions are never optimal. You’ll never have everything figured out. And that’s OK. It’s much easier to start small and figure things out along the way than it is to hit perfection the first time around.

Talk to anyone at the top of their game and you’ll hear something like this: “When I got started, I was a mess. I had no idea what I was doing, I just kept putting stuff out there. After a while, everything came together.”

We ought to trust that everything will come together. It’s impossible to connect the dots looking forward, but very possible looking backwards.

So start now and take the leap. You’ll grow your wings along the way.

“The fool did not know it was impossible. So he went ahead and did it.”

Charlie Munger’s 2007 USC Speech

Every year, tens of thousands of people fly in from all parts of the world to attend Berkshire Hathaway’s annual conference to listen to two of the greatest minds today: Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet. So when Munger speaks, you should listen.

In 2007, Munger gave a commencement speech at the University of Southern California School of Law. He shared some words of wisdom and imparted advice on what it takes to succeed.

A key theme was the importance of continual learning and self-education.

Wisdom acquisition is a moral duty. It’s not just something you do to advance in life. It means you’re hooked to life-time learning.

I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.

[more…]

He goes on to reference Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway as a testament to the importance of being a “learning machine.”

If you watched Warren Buffett with a time clock, I would say half of all the time he spends is just sitting on his ass and reading. And a big chunk of the rest of the time is spent talking on the phone or personally with people he trusts.

The skill that got Berkshire through one decade would not have sufficed to get it through the next. Without Warren Buffet being a learning machine, a continuous learning machine, the record would be absolutely impossible. The same is true in lower walks of life.

How, exactly, do you begin on the path of self-education? Munger suggests to learn all the big ideas in all the big disciplines to create a mental latticework in your head. It’s not enough to memorize them so you can prattle them off on a test, but to learn them in such a way that you automatically use them for the rest of your life.

When I talk about this multi-disciplinary approach, I’m really following a very key idea from Marcus Tullius Cicero. Cicero is famous for saying, “A man who doesn’t know what happened before he’s born goes through life like a child.” If you generalize Cicero, as I think one should, there’s all these other things you should know, in addition to history. And these things are all those big ideas in all the other disciplines.

I went through life constantly practicing (because if you don’t practice it, you lose it) the multi-disciplinary approach and I can’t tell you what that’s done for me. It’s made life more fun, it’s made me more constructive, its made me more helpful to others, its made me enormously rich.

If you do this, I solemnly promise you that one day as you walk down the street and look to your right and left, you’ll think, “My heavenly days, I’m now one of the most competent people in my whole age cohort.”

Success doesn’t come easily though. You must have an intense interest in the subject to truly excel at it, a familiar phrase to Steve Jobs’ “find what you love to do.”

Another thing that I found is that an intense interest in the subject is indispensable if you’re really going to excel in it. I could force myself to be fairly good in a lot of things but I couldn’t be really good at anything where I didn’t have an intense interest. So to some extent, you’re going to have to follow me. If at all feasible, drift into something where you have an intense interest.

The most important ingredient of all, however, may be assiduity.

Another thing you have to do, of course, is to have a lot of assiduity. I like that word because it means: sit down on your ass until you do it. Two partners that I chose for one little phase in my life had the following rule when they created a design, build, construction team. They sat down and said, two-man partnership, divide everything equally, here’s the rule: if ever we’re behind in commitments to other people, we will both work 14 hours a day until we’re caught up. Needless to say, that firm didn’t fail. The people died very rich. It’s such a simple idea.

Along the road to success, Munger stresses the importance of keeping an open mind, to avoid espousing extreme ideologies, especially when young.

When you shout the orthodox ideology out, what you’re doing is pounding it in, pounding it in, and you’re gradually ruining your mind. So you want to be very, very careful of this ideology. It’s a big danger.

I have what I call an iron prescription that helps me keep sane when I naturally drift toward preferring one ideology over another and that is: I say that I’m not entitled to have an opinion on this subject unless I can state the arguments against my position better than the people who support it.

He goes on to say that self-pity and the self-serving bias must be removed from your way of thought. Doing so will provide you an advantage over those who wallow in self defeat.

Self-pity gets fairly close to paranoia, and paranoia is one of the very hardest things to reverse. You do not want to drift into self-pity. It’s a ridiculous way to behave and when you avoid it, you get a great advantage over everybody else or almost everybody else because self-pity is a standard condition, and yet you can train yourself out of it.

Of course the self-serving bias is something you want to get out of yourself. Thinking that what’s good for you is good for the wider civilization and rationalizing all these ridiculous conclusions based on this subconscious tendency to serve one’s self is a terribly inaccurate way to think.

And while life can ultimately be unfair, it’s how you react that will determine your standing. In fact, anticipating trouble can actually be of great benefit.

Life will have terrible blows in it, horrible blows, unfair blows. And some people recover and others don’t. And there I think the attitude of Epectitus is the best. He said that every missed chance in life was an opportunity to behave well, every missed chance in life was an opportunity to learn something, and that your duty was not to be submerged in self-pity, but to utilize the terrible blow in constructive fashion.

You can say, who wants to go through life anticipating trouble? Well I did. All my life I’ve gone through life anticipating trouble. And here I am, going along in my 84th year and like Epectitus, I’ve had a favored life. It didn’t make me unhappy to anticipate trouble all the time and be ready to perform adequately if trouble came. It didn’t hurt me at all. In fact it helped me.

He finishes by saying that our society is not at the highest form a civilization can reach. The highest form is rather a seamless web of deserved trust, where totally reliable people correctly trust one another. This is what a perfect society should look like, and what we should strive for in our own lives as well.

[Still curious? Charlie Munger’s USC speech can be viewed here.] 

 

Quotes, April 2014

Quotes or passages from books that I found inspiring or interesting this month.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
-Leo Tolstoy

Nobody ever died of discomfort, yet living in the name of comfort has killed more ideas, more opportunities, more actions, and more growth than everything else combined.
-T. Harv Eker

Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.
-Randy Pausch

[more…]

Just as breathing exercises help integrate body and mind, writing is a kind of psycho-neural muscular activity which helps bridge and integrate the conscious and subconscious minds. Writing distills, crystallizes and clarifies thought and helps berak the whole into parts.
-Stephen R. Covey

Vulnerability is the path of true human connection and becoming a truly attractive person. As psychologist Robert Glover says, “Humans are attracted to each other’s rough edges.” Show your rough edges. Stop trying to be perfect. Expose yourself and share yourself without inhibition. Take the rejections and lumps and move on because you’re a bigger and stronger man.
-Mark Manson

Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.
-Paul Coelho, The Alchemist

I have no use whatsoever for projections or forecasts. They create an illusion of apparent precision. The more meticulous they are, the more concerned you should be. We never look at projections, but we care very much about, and look very deeply at, track records. I do not understand why any buyer of a business looks at a bunch of projections put together by a seller or his agent. You can almost say that it’s naive to think that those projections have any utility whatsoever.
-Warren Buffett

The unconscious mind is a terrific solver of complex problems when the conscious mind is busy elsewhere or, perhaps better yet, not overtaxed at all.
-Dutch psychologists

The best part of college is that you could become whatever you wanted to become, but most people just do what they think they must.
-Seth Godin

It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it.
-Sophocles

The Power of Consistency

I’ve been in a rut and haven’t written anything recently. I blamed school and my lack of ideas, but when it came down to it, I just didn’t feel like writing.

I’ve fallen into the trap that ensnares so many others. How many times have you heard someone say, “I want to write, but I’m waiting for inspiration,” or “I want to get healthier, but I’m waiting for motivation to go to the gym.”

We all have goals we want to achieve, yet we only work towards them when it’s convenient. The problem with this mentality is that we find every possible excuse to not start.

It’s also the kind of thinking that separates the top performers from the rest.

[more…]

Professionals show up every day and do the work, whether they feel like it or not, regardless of inspiration or motivation. They do not allow life to get in the way. Amateurs sit and idle, hoping for that spark of creativity to jumpstart them.

Look at the schedules of elite athletes. American figure skater Dorothy Hamill’s day used to consist of waking up at dawn to skate, going to school, skating after school, eating dinner, and then skating for another two hours before bed. Her training days consisted of four hours of practicing compulsory figures, two hours of free skating, and then running through the short program and long program twice.

Despite the grueling daily grind and her lack of motivation some days, she somehow never missed a practice. She went on to win an Olympic Gold Medal at the age of 20.

Ask any successful writer what their daily routine looks like, and the one similarity you will find is that they write every day. The best writers wake up, don’t feel like writing, and write anyway.

In fact, not doing so is debilitating. In his memoir On Writing, Stephen King recalls what it was like to write again after an accident that prevented him for writing for several weeks.

The first five hundred words were uniquely terrifying — it was as if I’d never written anything before them in my life. All my old tricks seemed to have deserted me. I stepped from one word to the next like a very old man finding his way across a stream on a zigzag line of wet stones.

If one of the best writers lost his flair after being inactive for a few weeks, how can the rest of us expect to achieve our goals when we only work towards them sporadically?

The key to entering the echelon of top performers seems to be consistency.

Consistency is doing the work when no one else is watching. It’s continuing to take action day in and day out, even when you don’t see immediate results. It’s getting things done even when life gets in the way.

Which it inevitably will. There will be days when you feel like quitting and giving up. We all know this — it’s why New Year’s Resolutions so often fail. But it’s the people that grind it out during the low points that make it to the top. Regardless of industry or endeavor, the formula to succeed is the same.

As the old mantra goes, “no pain, no gain.”

The pain, however, is only temporary, while the benefits are long-lasting. No one ever regrets going for a run or reading twenty pages. You’re simply doing your future self a favor by remaining consistent and taking action.

Interestingly, despite my current inconsistency in writing, I fully appreciate the power of consistency in another aspect of my life: weightlifting. It’s become a habit so ingrained in my routine that something naturally pushes me off my chair and gets me to the gym, even after years of doing it. If I don’t exercise at least four times a week, I’ll not only feel physically ill, but also a profound sense of underachievement.

The way I developed my exercise habit was to systematize the process. It became a part of my day just like brushing my teeth —no willpower needed.

Here’s what I did:

1. Set a Strict Schedule
I followed a strict schedule of going to the gym Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays following a predetermined routine. I knew exactly what to do on each day and never missed a workout, even if I hadn’t slept or ate well. My philosophy was that a mediocre workout was better than no workout, and if I skipped the first day, it’d be easier to skip the next, and the next after that.

2. Stick to the Schedule for One Week
I followed the schedule exactly for one week, no ifs or buts. The key here is to do what you want without life getting in the way. After the week is over, repeat the schedule the next week. Eventually, you will become someone who works out, reads, or writes, or paints. When you identify with the action, your efforts will naturally become consistent.

The takeaway is that consistency leads to habits, which leads to action, which leads to improvement. It may seem insignificant, but over time these small efforts will accumulate into large wins.

As Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”


(As a result of writing this post, I’ve also decided to commit myself to a writing schedule. I will publish a new post every Monday for now and see how that goes.)

To receive my articles as soon as they’re published, enter your email here.