Recently I started working pretty hard to memorize scripture from the Bible. I had the opportunity to recite Romans chapter 10 to my parents on a video call, and they were shocked that I could lock in an entire section. I have gotten the same reaction from so many people, but it's not as impressive as many think it is. The thing most people underestimate is the power of 15 minutes of consistency.

People will see memorization, athletic performance, reading a lot of books, and so many results as they amazing wonders. They rarely ever are, though. What successful people understand that most people don't is that discipline is more important than talent. If you want to improve your living area, you need to show up for it for at least 15 minutes a day.

By being consistent with your efforts, you will find that things will start to change in what will appear to be subtle ways because we are less likely to take notice of things when they no longer challenge us. - Jenny Stanley-Matthew

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What People Get Wrong About Change  

People consistently get wrong with change expecting it to come from extreme efforts over a short period. You accomplish very little in life by trying to rush through the process.

Success is not a direct result that comes quickly. Instead, it's a slow process with a lot of work done that most eyes will never see. Think of the Bamboo tree. They are some of the tallest trees in the world. When you plant them, though, you see nothing happen for almost five years, and then all of a sudden, they shoot up.

Most people would say that the trees only take a few days to grow, but that is not true. A lot of work is being done with the root system to support a tree that tall. But because the eye can't see the growth, people assume nothing is happening.

The same thing happens in life when people understand the power of 15 minutes. When you work at something daily, nothing significant happens that other people can see and measure. Work is happening below the surface; you're building experience and positive habits that may not become evident.

Success is not a direct result that comes quickly. Instead, it's a slow process with a lot of work done that most eyes will never see. Think of the Bamboo tree. They are some of the tallest trees in the world. When you plant them, though, you see nothing happen for almost five years, and then all of a sudden, they shoot up.

Pound The Rock for 15 Minutes 

When you keep hitting a rock with a hammer, eventually, the Rock will crack in half. Most people think that the final blow to the Rock is the one that causes it to crumble, but that is not the case. Each strike weakens the Rock a bit until it can't take another blow. The first hit matters just as much as the last hit.

The focus is on the final blow because its the one that produces the result people want. People love to focus on A and Z but never focus on what happens between B and Y.

Between B and Y is when you pound the Rock to make sure that you get to Z. There are not many motions or exciting things that happen between B and Y, and that's why its called pounding the Rock. It's dull, and each day can look the same for a while. Most people quit right here. They get frustrated because the Rock is not showing any signs of change.

The focus is on the final blow because its the one that produces the result people want. People love to focus on A and Z but never focus on what happens between B and Y.

15-Minutes Starts to Add Up 

Each day that you put in your 15-minutes is another hit of the rock. Remember that every rock has a predetermined number of hits it can take. You won't know what that number is, but if you keep hitting it, you know that it will break.

It's just a matter of how many times you can hit the rock. How many times can you try before you throw in the towel? Can you decide that you won't stop until you make it? 

There is a reason that I encourage people to give themselves ten years of their life to succeed. It's not to say that it takes a decade to see any progress. It's more than success requires way more time than you think, and if what you're working towards is not worth a decade of your life, don't bother with it at all. 

15- minutes seems so insignificant, and it can feel like anyone can do it, and that is the point. Anyone can shoot a basketball for 15 minutes or play an instrument for that time. Not many can do it consistently for ten years—the people who can are often rewarded with success.

There is a reason that I encourage people to give themselves ten years of their life to succeed. It's not to say that it takes a decade to see any progress. It's more than success requires way more time than you think, and if what you're working towards is not worth a decade of your life, don't bother with it at all. 

Start With 1-Minute

Fifteen minutes is doable for everyone, but to make sure you don't give up too quickly, start with 1-minute. Don't start changing your body with a 15-minute workout. Instead, start with the 1-minute of working out. Then stop, even if you can do more.

This is to get used to putting more value in consistency then you do in quality. We always think more is better, but it's not. It would be better to lock in the habit of working out for a minute for a year than doing 30-minute workouts now and then.

The reason for this is because you can always add volume once you get the consistency down. Get to a place where you don't even have to think about doing your 1-minute workout. It's just a part of your daily life. Then at that point, you can begin to increase and add more volume.

Before you know it, you will be writing for an hour a day, and going on crazy hour-long workouts to ensure that you reach your goals.

Decision Making - James Clear Atomic Habits

Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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