[nh] #13 — 2 reasons why Incremental Growth matters ??





this edition of the [no hustle] huddle went out on Mon 11th September 2023

There’s a line from a song I often think about … it goes like this ??

“I wanna do right, but not right now.”

Gillian Welch sings it in Look at Miss Ohio. It’s a great song, but that lyric in particular has always stood out to me. I often think about how I would like life to be and what I like to do in the future ?

Out there, way in front, I can be anyone I want and do anything I can imagine.

That future version of me will have done all the steps I need to take.

I want it and I want to want to do the steps. But just not right now ?

I can’t imagine I’m alone in that. It’s easy to dream. To have a vision. Picture the future and smile, it a better version of reality than you’re current one.

But making it happen is another story altogether. It takes work and there are many steps for you to take. That alone is tough, but what makes it worse is the initial steps—and the only ones you’ll take for the foreseeable future—are hard. Any progress you do make will be minimal. At times, it may feel like you’re going backward. That isn’t easy to wrap your head around. Because you want it and you want it right now. But you can’t. And so, more often than not, you put it off until tomorrow so that future version of you can figure it out.

This has been my cycle for most of my life. A dream who struggles to be a doer.

I still struggle with this, although not as much today as in the past. Why? Because I’ve changed my perspective on what PROGRESS actually means ?

A few years ago, I realized how I saw “progress” was all wrong.

It led me to put too much pressure on myself, set myself up for failure, and generally get overwhelmed as what I wanted to happen didn’t ?

So what is this magical new perspective? It centers around the word…


It’s one of the most important words in the English language, and soon I’ll let you know why. But first, let’s add a little meat to these bones with a little content sure to fire you up and get you ready to take action ?

from the [no hustle] community

Incremental Growth: Your Key to Sustainable Personal Developmentas I embarked on the [no hustle], I had to keep the concept of Incremental Growth at the top of my mind … this article dives into why.

The Power of Small Steps for Personal Growthit isn’t sexy and it is far from exciting, but the real power in (any) growth comes on the back of small steps. This video dives into why, although I go deeper at the end of this email ?

3 actions to take this week

? bookmark this → James Clear first introduced me to the concept of “small steps” and tiny habits … I didn’t know it when I first read this, but it would quickly lay the foundations of much of my life (work, relationships, mental health, all of it).

? listen to this → This conversation between Mitch Joel and Dan Martel is fascinating … the first 20 minutes focuses more on the macro economy, so may or may not be your digs; but from twenty minutes onward it dives into the importance of systems and how they set you up for meaningful success (now and later).

? DO THISAs Dan Suggests Above ☝️☝️Make a Note of HOW You Spend Your Time — I call this a time audit, and it involves dissecting your day and distinguishing between the tasks that use your energy or top it up (and if it uses it, whether it’s a task you need to do or could delegate to another).

this week’s featured book

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg — Some books stick with you, and although this isn’t the most invigorating read, it does break down how habits work and opens your eyes to just how defined you are by your own.

Learn to “own” your habits and living becomes much easier ?

?️ pass the mic

Someone I’m both proud and fortunate to know is Mary Dee, a genuine and kind soul who shows up (in multiple ways) consistently; always being and embracing who she is.

She has a great, inspiring story, and does great, inspiring work ?

If you don’t know her, lean into her world (her podcast is a good place to start).

? drop the mic

Okay… so earlier, I made the bold statement that the word INCREMENTAL is one of the most important in the English language. 

Bold maybe, but true all the same ?

The reason comes down to how we are as human beings…

We have a weird relationship with TIME. It passes us by both fast and slow. Fast, in the sense that before we know it, another year has whooshed past us ? 

Yet also slow in the way it’s so easy to waste away your day.

And then another, and another, and another…

We wanna do right, but not right now — and a huge reason for this is because of the daunting steps we must take to achieve our goals. Getting started is hard. Often, we are inspired by someone who shows us what life could be like. So we decide there and then, “I want that too; that is what I’m going to do.”

Yet to reach their level… well, that could take years; maybe much longer ⏰

We don’t want to wait. We don’t want to feel like we’re behind. We don’t want to take all the risk and commit ourselves to the process and then recommit each day with so little tangible evidence of progress or validation.

It’s what leads us to start something and quickly lose interest.

To overcome this, we need to change how we look at PROGRESS. That is why the word Incremental is so important, especially when you term it with Growth.

By committing to Incremental Growth, you release so much of the pressure that holds you back. Not necessarily in the beginning, but in a few weeks when it starts to get hard. 

You remove the notion of huge strides and what other people can do. You place the very idea of “success” into a box because you’re so far away from tasting even a slither of it. Instead, you just focus on taking it one step at a time.

Each day with the focus on getting a tiny (tiny!) bit better ?

Yet the power of Incremental Growth goes deeper than that because the slower you go (in general) the better it gets. Take a slowly cooked sauce, as an example… with high heat and an impatient return, you’re left with a bitter taste.

Whereas if you allow it to slowly cook over time, the tastier the taste ?

The word INCREMENTAL is your guide, not only setting you up for prolonged success but also a more stable and strong end result.

This is something I need to remind myself often; today is no different.

I hope it acts as a reminder for you, too, wherever you are on your journey. It’s tough, and the path you take is full of unknowns. You’ll get pulled and pushed in all directions, and it’s easy to lose focus and wander off track.

When you do, stop and find your place once more. Return to your path ?

Just keep taking steps; small and imperfect actions each minute of each day. It builds up and it makes a difference. Even when you cannot see it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of the huddle. If it has, reply and share what you’ve taken from this — and forward it to a friend who needs to read it.

Thanks for reading, and thank you for being you.


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