Eason Tang, A Little Progress Can Go a Long Way, C3
“I’m sitting here in a boring room
It’s just another rainy Sunday afternoon
I’m wasting my time I got nothing to do
I’m hanging around and I’m waiting for you But nothing ever happens – and I wonder"
Soon after I’ve sung the opening part of the lyrics from this famous song “lemon tree" which exactly described my feeling at the moment, I broke my personal best record on playing the smartphone game “follow the line" by 3mm, putting it to a new distance of 456mm. It may sound trivial, but please considering that I haven’t broken the record for quite a long time — actually only one week’s time, but in which I’ve been playing very hard, playing for infinite times, nearly anytime and everywhere, so I suddenly got refreshed from a sleepy mood and felt fascinated. How come the excessive dose of excitement I received is so a far cry from the 3mm — pick a ruler and you will know how small 3mm are. Off the top of my head is a direct answer to this question: I’ve made a progress, however little it is, it’s still a progress.
There was such an American guy before, when he was a teenager, played the piano very hard, so hard that he could practice it three to four hours continuously. However, his piano teacher scolded him, thinking it was not a wise way to show his concentration and determination on the piano. Instead, he should utilize the bits and pieces of time throughout a day, such as before going to bed, or the 5 minutes once after finishing lunch, to practice it, so that playing piano would be a part of his life, but not an item appearing on his time schedule. This small piece of advice followed him even further into his work as a lecturer in the Colombia University. This time he would like to be a part-time writer, but was struggling to find out time from his heavy burden of teaching and research work in college. Then he remembered the admonition by his piano teacher, putting it into practice again by writing several sentences whenever there was a five/ten minutes break. Out of expectation, within one week he stuck to this method, he has already accumulated enough words for his article. He later on attempted something more ambitious, a novel of 200,000 words, with all the words written during these infinite 5-minute writing sessions. So don’t look down on the miraculous power of 5-minutes’ time, because you can either use it to idle around, or use it to make a little progress.
Have you been impressed by this picture when you first glanced it on Facebook? I guess many of you did. It originally was a slogan written by a Japanese climbing teacher, but has been madly shared and making the rounds on Facebook. But really it arouses us of the stark comparison between a guy who make a little progress consistently and who doesn’t. According to this “1.01 Law”, when we pay 1% more effort every day, our abilities can grow almost 38 times over the course of a year. In contrast, if we slack off 1% every day, our abilities diminish greatly over the course of a year, to only 0.03 of our original ability. Is this principle literally true? Probably not. You are not going to be climbing 38 times harder from spending 1% more time training every day, and you’re not going to be a rookie a year later if you slack off 1% of the time. However, the general principle holds — pushing yourself just that 1% more beyond your previous limit every day, can have a huge exponential effect over time — and the reverse holds if you slack off!
“To start, you don’t have to be good; but to be good, you have to start”. You can’t reach the sky in a single bound, but you can take it a step and a day and a time. You can’t be a genius from the very beginning, but only after continuous efforts will you friends call you “god like”. Therefore, a little progress can go a long way, silently achieving an unimaginable myth and miracle.
Evaluation by Ivan Sit