Start Imperfectly, Progress Imperfectly

I started a personal project I called the 4AM Club, where I would wake up super early to get some work done before my kids are up and running. It is the only viable way I can see me doing productive work while still being able to become present as a father.

Now, I’m here to report to you that after a week, I managed to get up early about 2 times (that’s 28%). For many people, that’s a total failure. But for me, that’s 28% successful.

Here’s the thing: Whenever I tried something for the first time, I almost always never got 100% of my target. That’s true for my Youtube videos (watch my first vlog ever and see what I mean), for my public talks, for my books, and basically for anything in my life.

I even failed the first time I tried walking.

For so many people, if they don’t get it 100% the first time, they quit. I understand that feeling. After the first week of starting the 4AM Club, I wanted to quit. What’s the point of having that thing if I can’t do it perfectly? Well, that’s one way I can choose to look at it.

Another way I choose to look at it is by looking at what I’ve gained so far, rather than looking at the perfect goal I didn’t achieve. That’s why I choose to see it as 28% successful, rather than to see it as 100% failure. That’s within my control, because this is my journey.

I define my path, and I choose to define it with gratitude than to define it with frustration. Sure, I am not 100% satisfied with myself because I want to be better. But I am 100% grateful with myself because I tried. That feeling will keep me going even though I didn’t get 100% of what I aimed for.

Fine, I got 28%, which is not impressive by any objective measure. I’m aware of it. But, 28% is still much better than 0%. This is a journey, not a race. As long as I’m moving closer and closer to my goal, even by an inch, I consider that as a small win worthy of gratitude. 

So next time, I’m aiming for 29%.