How the top 1% always stays ahead of the curve

14th July 2016

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Practise makes perfect.    

We’ve heard this mantra ad infinitum our whole lives but how much attention do we pay to it? The answer lies in what it means to continue to do something repeatedly until you’ve cracked it.


It is believed that if you do something for 10,000 hours, you become a master of that craft. Now, let’s think about our daily lives. If repetition is the key, then doing something everyday is fundamentally to where the solution lies. Think about how you could use this process with the skill or activity you’re trying to become more productive, or masterful, with.


The top 1% of earners in the world succeeds by being the best at what they do – and they do this by repetition. Mark Zuckerberg is a master of code and teaches himself more everyday. He is now learning to code a robot much like Jarvis from the Iron Man films to control basic functions in his home.


Doing something everyday generates automatic, default behaviour. You don’t have to do it well or even more than once. But, once a day should force your brain to see it as habitual. It’s by creating this habit that you’re on your way to becoming a master of that craft.


How does repeating something make you good at it? Well, sheer practise. The law of averages says that if you throw a ball at a hoop ten feet away from you everyday, you will eventually get it in. Keep repeating that and you’ll start to get it in the hoop more often than not.


Now, let’s apply this to your craft. If you’re a writer and you struggle to create new material, then just keep writing – and through sheer volume, you will eventually create prose to be proud of. Another example; if you’re not great at languages and you’ve always wanted to learn Spanish, the only way you can succeed is by starting from the basics and learning one or two words everyday. Keep doing this and eventually move to strings of sentences and you’ll be fluent in no time.


Think about how you can apply this to your job or an activity that you’ve always wanted to get better at.


Habitual pursuits almost always progress because of absolute frequency. You are using your own innate tendency for habit-forming to work against any potential natural tendency to procrastinate and be unproductive. Instead of setting vague objectives and hoping that you have the willpower to push yourself through to the end, you are actively installing new habits in your brain to ensure that the end goal is achieved.


With consistency over time, the new habit will make you a master of the craft. You won’t have a choice but to continue to perform the tasks everyday through habit. From there, success is on autopilot.


Don’t disrupt the cycle. It doesn’t matter what the activity or project is. Constant practise over time is mastery.


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