We often talk about momentum and incremental improvement as substantial steps towards progress.  However, we have to take action to benefit from those.  Thus, we have another facet of failing to take a step.  Not only do we not make any progress, but we also find ourselves in the same situation weeks, months, or years later.  On the other hand, a little activity can put us in a far better position for the future.

Incremental Improvement Leads To Significant Progress

There are many examples of little steps covering substantial ground.  Progress and incremental improvement add up to a much better situation over time.  For example, if you want to get better at situps, you can start with one daily.  Even if you add one to that each week, you should be easily capable of 50+ situps after a year.  That may be a long time, but it is better than still being stuck at zero pushups a year from now.  While that can be a noticeable physical difference, it holds for many other pursuits.  Anything that requires time or repetition can be addressed this way.  Even writing a book can be achieved one page at a time.  Most of our achievements are not done in one bug effort but are the culmination of many smaller steps.

The Lesson Learned

I have lived enough years to recognize numerous potential goals that were not achieved (yet) because I failed to get started.  If only I had started, I could play guitar, juggle, or have commercial software among my skills and achievements.  While those opportunities are in the past, that does not mean they are lost.  That makes our action similar to planting a tree.  The best time was years ago, but the second best time is to do it today.

If you like this season, you will probably like Scott Adams’ book, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life.”

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a lifetime learner as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences and a few about becoming a better developer. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although they have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax or working on his ballroom dance skills.

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