Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential ― Winston S. Churchill.
Last week I learned about lagging and leading indicators and why it's important to focus on the latter.
Without going into too much theory the difference can be summed up as:
Lagging indicators are all about OUTPUTS, they are easy to measure but hard to improve or influence.
Leading indicators then, you guessed it, are about INPUTS, they are easier to influence but hard(er) to measure.
Lagging indicators are history / reactive, leading indicators are future oriented / proactive.
You want to focus on the latter.
A great example to further clarify this I found here:
For many of us a personal goal is weight loss. A clear lagging indicator that is easy to measure. You step on a scale and you have your answer. But how do you actually reach your goal? For weight loss there are 2 leading indicators: 1. Calories taken in and 2. Calories burned. These 2 indicators are easy to influence but very hard to measure.
This resonated with me because I lost quite some weight last few years thanks to small daily things I could control and I was consistent about:
So let's translate this to Python:
Goal: land a developer job or upgrade an existing one.
This can be a monstrous goal. Depending where you are in your journey, it will also take quite some time.
However if you translate this into smaller steps you'll be amazed how much more likely this becomes:
Read 30 min about SW development a day -> this can result in 10-15 books after a year.
Write a post about SW / Python every week -> 52 articles on your blog after a year.
Connect with 3-5 people on IN every week -> 200-250 people added to your network after a year who see your stuff and might reach out.
Solve a coding exercise every day -> become a black belt on our platform in 6-12 months.
Write 30 min of code towards your project every day -> have some high quality projects on your portfolio after 6-12 months.
Again, YOU CONTROL the lead indicators, and THESE WILL GET YOU TO the lag indicators.
However accept that it takes time. I am the first one to be impatient at times, but when that happens I always remind myself what Bill Gates (and Tony Robbins) said:
Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.
The fastest way to burnout is to stuff a month's work into a week. It leads to unfocused action, frustration and therefor messes with your confidence.
Instead take small CONSISTENT steps towards your goal, every single day.
To a large extent consistency beats smarts.
Comment below what your daily reps will be this week.