A short time ago a book came to me that offered me an opposite perspective of what I usually do, the book seemed absurd, boring and I ate it up with criticism before the third chapter, but then I put it away and understood that the problem was that it was confronting my way of thinking, I dared to start it over again and I took it all in, first reading it and then listening to it on audiobook so that it would drill my big head. The truth enriched me so much that, look, I’m even writing about that book.
What I want to share with you in this kilometer 22 is one of the main concepts of that reading, because it will also help more than one of you to achieve what I call a paradox: making disruptive changes in your professional career, in your business or in your life, without having to do explosive, surprising or spectacular things.
In other words: achieving something spectacular and surprising, doing simple, gradual and even conservative things, doesn’t that seem like an incredible paradox? It does to me, so what do I do?
Of course, at the end of this column I will share the source, the famous book, because I am sure that more than one of you will want to read it, but first let me express to you that concept that I have been humming to you. I would love for you to try to apply it to your current challenges, to those with which you are starting the year, I am writing this at the beginning of 2022.
Think of the most radical change you want to make, whether as a professional, in your health or in sports. Imagine the brutal changes you want to make and write down the creative, disruptive strategies you could implement to achieve it. The path will probably go that way and that’s it, the topic is over, but hold on a little please, come with me to see the other side of the coin.
What would happen if instead of thinking about surprising or radical actions, they focused on improving the 1%, constantly, every month, for example?
Let’s put it in professional terms. If every month, despite the great operation that we have above us, we improved three factors by 1%, let’s think, just to name a few, in the understanding of our clients, our knowledge of the product and our relationship with colleagues, what would happen in a year , in five or in 10? Figure it out, how much does it give you to improve 1% of three factors per month for 24 months?
Now I am going to put it in terms of health, what would happen if every month we improved our way of eating, our ability to concentrate and our physical conditioning by 1%? What would be the gain in 5 years?
If you look, what we are today in terms of health or professionalism, is not the result of spectacular changes or having had a meal full of excesses on December 31 or a spectacular presentation on January 2, we are the product of 5, 10 or 20 years of constant small improvements or small degradations in our habits.
It’s the same as when you run a marathon, the real marathon is not the day of the race, it’s months and years of small decisions that reward us or take their toll on the day of truth. Of course, there are things that require radical decisions at a given moment, but the most radical decision would be to remain in an inertia of evolution that, although it seems like an ant effort, turns into something spectacular in the long term.
Going back to the example, running a good marathon is not trying hard to death on race day, but improving my technique, my body composition, my strategy, my 200, 400 and 800 meters by 1% per month, for months or years.
You can call this strategy of consistently improving three, four or five factors and then seeing dramatic changes the “Marginal Gains Aggregation Strategy”, and it was one of the key factors with which Dave Brailsford helped British cycling make a radical change. , overcoming decades of poor results and achieving memorable achievements in the Tour de France and in Olympic competitions.