The Aggregation of marginal Improvement: A strategy followed by Dave Brailsford while as a coach to British cycling team. This philosophy refers to the search of tiny improvements in everything we do. "The whole picture came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improve it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them al together."

Too often we confuse ourselves that massive success requires massive action.

Habits are the compound interest of self-improvements. The same way that money multiplies through compound interest, the effects of our habits multiply as you repeat them.

Success is the product of daily habits - not once in a lifetime transformations. (This was discussed in One Thing by Gary Keller as well.)

We should be far more concerned with the current trajectory than with our current result.

You get what you repeat Our outcomes are a lagging measure of our habits. Our net worth is a lagging measure of our financial habits. Our weight is a lagging measure of our eating habits. Our knowledge is a lagging measure of our learning habits. Our clutter is a lagging measure of out cleaning habits.

Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply if we feed it. Good habits can make time our ally. Bad habits can turn time into an enemy. That's what makes habits a doubled edged sword.

From Spurs locker room: "When nothing seems to help, I go and look at the stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it - but all that had gone before."

Systems vs Goals:

  1. Goals are about the results we want to achieve.
  2. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results


  1. Entrepreneur: Goal could be to build a million dollar business. System is how we test product ideas, hire new people and run marketing campaigns.

Problem #1: Winners and losers have the same goal We concentrate on people who end up winning - the survivors - and mistakenly assume that ambitious goals let to their success while overlooking all of the people who had the objective but didn't succeed.

Problem #2: Achieving a goal is only a momentary change

  1. Even if we achieve an outcome, we're left chasing it pretty much always because we never changed the system behind it. *We treated a symptom without addressing the cause. We need to fix inputs first. Outputs will follow.

Problem #3: Goals restrict your happiness*

  1. We're constantly putting happiness off until the next milestone. "Once I reach my goal, I'll be happy" - It's a trap.
  2. Goals create an either-or conflict. Either we achieve our goal and are successful or we fail and get disappointed.

Fall in love with the process rather than the product.

Problem #4: Goals are at odds with long term progress The purpose of setting a goal is to win the fame

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.

Changing habits can be challenging because:

  1. We try to change the wrong thing.
  2. We try to change our habits in the wrong way.

With Outcome based habits, we focus on what we want to achieve. But with identity based habits, we focus on who we wish to become.

Behaviour that is incongruent with the self will not last. Eg: We may want more money, but if our identity is someone who consumes rather than creates, then we'll continue to be pulled toward spending rather than earning.

The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of our identity. It's one thing to say I'm the type of person who WANTS this. It's something very different to say I'm the type of person who IS this.