What is the best way to get to success? There are two ways, two roads to take when you are working towards a certain point. Two different ways to become the very best in whatever you are trying to accomplish.
Let’s take two examples in this post. The first one is running a marathon, I assume everybody sees that as a great goal, something which is pretty cool to do. The second one is becoming Batman. Batman is the only superhuman without a superpower. He isn’t bitten by a spider and isn’t Kryptonian. And according to a scientist, you can actually become him.
These two examples will guide us through this article and make these abstract ideas more understandable.
Daily routine, over and over again
One of the things Cal Newport is emphasizing a lot is the power of daily practise. Work everyday. Doing something everyday, step by step. Becoming so good the world can’t ignore you, one step at the time.
In our first example, this will mean running everyday. Just walk 5 miles everyday and after a couple of weeks, you will walk 10 miles a day. You continue until you walk an actual marathon. This daily routine, the system of working out every day (or every week) requires a lot of motivation, but will reward you as well. It will be slow, it will be hard, but the outcome? A guaranteed win.
In your quest on becoming Batman, you will need to work out every day. But besides the workout, you will read books as well (the guy is really smart) and you will work on your cave for all your equipment. You will never be rewarded, until you are actually Batman. Is that reward enough?
Performance driven routine
Another method I think can work out and which is probably even better to maintain is prestation driven action. Your routine everyday will be alternated with performances every once in a while.
For instance, when you are training for that marathon, besides running every day, you could try to run further every time. When you run an extra round every day, when you increase the number of miles everyday, you will see result from your previous workouts. Another mile! Nice! You are doing a great job.
In becoming Batman, you can try to attack a couple of (easy-to-attack) villains when you are on your way to become the Dark Knight. You will have result along the way, which can result in increased motivation!
There is only a danger in here. When you are increasing your miles every time, you will get injured. Your body can’t meet your demands. When you are running more every single day, your body won’t handle it. When you are fighting more dangerous villains every time as Batman, you will get tired as well. When you fight at night and workout/read/building a cave during the day, when will you get some sleep?
A human being needs rest. As we all are human beings, we need to accept that fact. We need our rest in order to do better next time. That is why I would suggest to find something in between, which I would like to call the ‘Feedback driven daily practise’
Feedback Driven Daily Practise
You cannot run an extra mile every time you go running. You cannot fight more dangerous criminals every night. You need to keep training yourself, keep improving yourself on a daily basis. Small steps, small chuncks, every day/week. This doesn’t mean you actually have to work every day, this only means you need to have some sort of consistency in when you are taking the small steps. This also doesn’t mean you can’t perform in the mean time.
The performance is what I mean with ‘feedback driven’. I want you to perform. Only not on a daily basis. You need to have some sort of consistency as well, but you need to perform every once in a while to get some feedback, some motivation to keep on going with your daily practise.
Again, the examples. When you run every day, don’t give everything you have. You will only do this one day in the week. On Sunday, you will increase the length of your run and you will see how far you can get. You will rest on Monday by running your normal round again.
Becoming Batman? Don’t fight villains every week. Try once a month, once in half a year. The rest of your daily practise will be the reward for your effort. And your performance (capturing the Joker) will be the reward for your daily practise.
What are your views on daily practise and performance driven practise? What do you think of the feedback driven daily practise? Please let me know in the comments!
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