Little Advantages

“Some may think these trifling matters not worth minding or relating; but when they consider that though dust blown into the eyes of a single person, or into a single shop on a windy day, is but of small importance, yet the great number of the instances in a populous city and its frequent repetitions give it weight and consequence, perhaps they will not censure very severely those who bestow some attention to affairs of this seemingly low nature. Human felicity is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day.”

from “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life” by Walter Isaacson

Over time, things naturally accumulate. Grass grows tall and thick. Humans multiply. Dust piles. 401K’s compound.

From a quick glance, practicing your creative skills every day doesn’t seem like much, On a day to day basis, it doesn’t look like you’re making much progress. Sometime it might even feel like you are regressing.

Even a hard day of deliberate work can often only come across as incremental improvement. However, what we are seeing is from the perspective of one day — one click of the camera shutter. Now let’s speed things up a bit. click click click. ten days in a row of practicing. click click click. Fifty days. click. a hundred days. Our tiny number of days of practice is suddenly adding up. We’re no longer looking at a single photo, but a time-lapse of a hundred photos.

With each daily repetition, we are gaining progress and building momentum.

  • Small ten-minute meditation each day has added to hours and hours of practice.
  • Thirty minutes of practicing guitar every day will turn inexperience into prowess.
  • A page of words has grown into a book.

Of course, we want to make sure our efforts are aimed towards something. Otherwise, our daily work isn’t collecting into anything meaningful.

By giving a little bit of our time each day towards practicing (what’s important to us), we can take advantage of how time compounds.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #894

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