I was reading a book called “The Science of Money” by Brian Tracy and he mentioned an interesting study done by Dr. Ericsson at the University of Florida. The study found that 80% of the population (the average person) is no more productive ten years after they start their first job than they were after one year. It was only the top 20% that continued to grow.
I thought this was a very interesting statistic. What he found was that most people get excited about a job, work hard, then the honeymoon phase wears off and they just get comfortable. It becomes a job and they get busy with other things and never push themselves further.
Opportunities to Grow
I want to challenge each of you reading this to think about where you are. Are you comfortable? Is going to work easy or boring? If you want to be in the top 20% then you need to push yourself forward. It doesn’t mean you have to leave your job or do anything radical.
Just look for opportunities to grow:
- Instead of watching the latest sitcom or TV show, read an educational book or article.
- Get up 30 minutes earlier and go for a jog and listen to an audiobook.
- Instead of listening to sports radio or music on your way into work, listen to an audiobook or podcast.
- Ask your boss how you can help the company grow.
- How much time do you spend on Facebook or playing the latest addictive gaming app? Use 15 minutes of that time to read or listen to an audiobook.
Use the law of compounding to find a way to make yourself a little bit better every day and it will pay off. Even just aiming to be 1% better each day, compounded, is an almost 3,800% improvement each year. And consequently, declining by 1% each day (i.e., failure to stop bad habits, growing apathy, etc.), compounded, means you lose 97% of your value each year.
At Airship, our motto is “Pursue Excellence.” What we mean is that you should constantly be pursuing excellence in everything you do, every day. Great isn’t good enough, only Excellent is. This motto allows our crew to challenge each other in a positive way to get better. Small things like code reviews now become easy. Simple things like if something is misspelled are no longer “let go.” They are brought up and corrected because it isn’t Excellent.
In summary, if you don’t want to just be average then don’t level off. It’s never too late to start getting better.
The Science of Money: How to Increase Your Income and Become Wealth – If you want to read it for free, use the Hoopla app by signing in with your local library card.
Don’t Try to Be the Best. Just Be 1% Better Every Day – from Inc.com
How to Build a New Habit: This is Your Strategy Guide – from James Clear
Continuous Improvement: How It Works and How to Master It – from James Clear