Avoiding the Valley of Disappointment

Welcome back!

It’s only my second newsletter and I’ve already changed the layout – hope you like it!

I’ll try and keep it short again, so let’s get started.

Story Time!

So a lot of you are already back at school and if not yet, then pretty soon.

What I want to talk about today is really important for hitting your academic and non-academic goals this year.

If you haven’t read Atomic Habits by James Clear, you need to do this already, but here’s a very important concept from the book that the majority of us (including me) miss out on.

The Plateau of Latent Potential

James talks tons about the Power of Tiny Gains in terms of ensuring that you improve by 1% every day. Over one year that would mean you improve by 37x! In just 70 days, you’d already be 2x and in 111 days, 3x.

The exponential nature of tiny gains.

However, at the start of the year, everyone goes in with the right intentions but fail to make it out of the Valley of Disappointment.

Take a look at the figure below.

If you want to see real results when it comes to going to the gym, seeing benefits with study techniques etc, you need to consistently put in the work even when you don’t immediately see results.

Everyone wants instant results – it’s our innate human bias.

But if you want to experience that exponential growth, it will only be worthwhile if you focus on something that has the capability to be exponential. For example, there’s no point sticking to taking linear notes and dot pointing stuff down because you’ll be doing the exact same thing as everyone else and how can you really expect to achieve differently (and higher) if you’re doing the same thing. It took me a really long time to figure this out and I’m still finding out, in other areas of life, where I’m sticking to the status quo at the detriment of my self-improvement.

Are you on an exponential path?

I’ll keep you guys updated with this newsletter with more of my shortcomings!