The biggest factor in your success of an endeavor is how consistent you are. Not how hard did you work. Not how connected you are. Not the endless lists of hacks you can use to shortcut your way to success. The biggest factor in reaching your goals is regularly taking the next action. Step after step.
Consistency beats intensity every time.
That’s not flashy advice but it’s true.
I don’t have some “super secret proprietary method that I’ve developed over the past decade” that will guarantee you becoming rich and ripped and all you need to do is pay me a cool 1k for the wealth of knowledge that I’ll graciously share with you. And anyone that does, just wants your money.
Stop trying to shortcut your way to success. You get there by putting in the time and work. It takes having a clear direction and consistently taking steps in that direction.
The problem with this advice, that consistency is key, is that we are sold snake oil so often and so hard that people genuinely believe that there is a secret shortcut to getting 6 pack abs (or insert whatever you want). I’m sorry but there’s not a shortcut. The process is simple, but not easy. Thousands have gotten a 6-pack without a single supplement. No fat burners or pre-workout. Just consistent strength training, eating real food, and eating at a slight caloric deficit. Do these 3 things for a year and a majority of the population will have visible 6-pack abs.
A building is built brick by brick.
Jack LeLanne was THE OG fitness influencer from way before Instagram. He loved exercise and had the goal of getting as many people as possible to exercise.
(One of the ways he did this was by crazy feats of strength. If you have some time to look up some things he did, I’d recommend it.)
One of Jack’s main messages was that the only way you can hurt your body is if you don’t use it.
He’s telling us to move, to get out and use our bodies. Study after study has shown that regular activity (whether “exercise” or not) helps with blood pressure, body weight, cholesterol, blood glucose, energy levels, and mental fortitude.
Want to be healthier? Move or exercise in some form each day. Did you miss a day? That’s okay everything’s not ruined, it’s just one day. Missing a day doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t keep taking steps towards your goal.
Saving, compound interest and automation
Want to become a millionaire? Like the 6-pack it’s actually pretty simple. Save and invest consistently over time. The more you save each month and the better your returns the faster you’ll get there, but even a little each month, saved each month goes a long way.
Here’s an example. If you save $400 each month and invest that money in the stock market (with an assumed 8% average annual return), in about 36 years you’ll be a millionaire. $400 each month. That’s it, not even $5,000 each year!
You will have only contributed $172,800 of your cool million dollars. The rest ($827,200) is from growth and the magic of compound interest.
How do you stick to something like that for 36 years? How can you consistently save for over 400 months? You automate it and it happens automatically each month. You make the decision once and don’t have to worry about making that decision each month. Just set it and let it ride.
Derek Sivers has said that “If information was all we needed, we’d all be billionaires with six-pack abs.” Funny and true.
If you want to have more money and a six pack, there’s a list of less than 10 actions that I’ve outlined that you need to make to achieve that. Granted those decisions can break down further into other sub decisions but once you make the decision to make and eat mostly whole foods you won’t be tempted by highly processed food because you’re the type of person who eats real food.
Taking steps toward the goals you have set will get you to your goals. It’s that simple. As you consistently act, you will be Built Not Born.
Mistakes aren't failures
Say it to yourself. Mistakes aren’t failures.
No one is perfect. And everyone will mess up. It’s crucial that when that happens you give yourself the space to forgive yourself and continue moving forward.
When you take a backwards step from your goals (read make a mistake), it’s crucial to not judge yourself, accept that you’re not perfect, remember your goal, and keep moving forward.
When you make a mistake, you are presented with a unique opportunity. You can step back and examine why you made the mistake and adjust your approach to prevent the same thing from happening again in the future. Then like a child learning to walk wipe the dust off your knees and continue on the path.
Through trial and error and with the right mindset, each mistake can make you better and bring you closer to your goal. Each action you make is a brick laid. And as you lay those bricks, day by day, brick by brick, you’ll reach your goals.