“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” Emile Coue
In Early 20th century Emile Coue a psychologist developed a method of growth that included repeating the mantra “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better”.
100 years later, the philosophy still exists. While playing football at the Illustrious Miami (oh) University, a super family came to address us fresh off of their 2012 super bowl appearance.
John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens), and his brother Jim Harbaugh (currently, Michigan Wolverines) had just become the first brothers to compete in America’s greatest game, The Super Bowl! John came out on top, however on that day it was Jim’s words that stuck with me.
“Men the days are long but the years are short” Jim said “you have to get 1% better each day”. 1%, that’s all? A number this small is feasible each and every day. It’s also necessary, because while the days seem to last forever, by the time we reflect it will be 2017.
And don’t let that 1% a day fool you, missing one day of growth, means that the following day requires not 2% but 3% of growth to remain on track! 1% to out of the negative, 1% to catch up, and 1% to get back on track. The power of compound.
The daily decisions we make good or bad compound overtime and create our life. Our days are pretty expensive, we don’t get to have them back, and really how many do we have left.
It took some time, but today I see the importance in daily growth. Each day, choose to grow. Perhaps we get 1% better at a specific skill like writing, or divide the percentage up and spend .5% on the little things, like brushing my teeth, and making the bed, that way no matter how bad my day goes I get to come back to something that was done right. The other .5% can be reading 10 pages of a book.
Don’t get me wrong this isn’t always an easy task, as easy as it is to grow better each day, it’s easier not too. Think about it, is it easier to read 10 pages of a book that can change my life, or easier not too? It’s easy to go to the gym for 30 minutes of exercise, butttt, it’s easier to stay home and watch Orange Is the New Black. And we all know it’s easier not to make the bed.
Fortunately, the greatest gift we have in life is choice. Unless you have inherited a tremendous fortune you are like the rest of us “self – made”, it sounds funny but it’s true. We only hear of self-made millionaires because who would admit that they are a self-made failure?
The small decisions we make each day, actually aren’t so small. Here are 3 quick steps to 1% better each day – (take the action now, don’t wait)
1) Be intentional – take 10 minutes out of your day with no distractions (no cell phone, iPad, television, music, friends) and think about where you would like to be. A goal big or small, long term or short. Perhaps an area of development, “I want to improve my communications skills with my partner” – great, write that down. Your improvement won’t necessarily come naturally, intentionality in your growth will get the ball rolling.
2) Be specific – It is not enough to say, I want more money, or I want more happiness. The more specific the goal, or improvement can be the more likely you are to stay motivated to achieve it. “By the 31st day of December more than 50% of my income will be from revenue generated by my speaking business.” – Decide EXACTLY what it is that you want
3) Put your plan in action – A crucial step in the process, we cannot achieve results if we don’t take action! Step 1 and 2 are already complete, now we must create a plan to achieve this improvement. Only super man can leap a building in a single bound, we have to take steps 1 at a time to improve each day. You’ve identified your growth now let us be consistent!