GS Article 9
INCH BY INCH,
IT'S A CINCH!
by Rajen Devadason
Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day
in and day out.
All of us have personal Everests
that seem impossible to scale.
Whether it be excess flab that
really ought to go but that
stubbornly stays put, or a financial
goal that remains tantalisingly out of
reach, or a book that you yearn to
write... but can't!
Do you know what I
mean? If so, then you might like to
keep reading because what I've
discovered in my own life and in the
lives of many of my financial
planning clients is that the formulas
for significant accomplishment in every area of
life all share one common
I realise your challenges and
aspirations are different from mine or
anyone else's. Yet there is one powerful
principle of human life that remains applicable
regardless of your realm of personal aspiration.
You would have a clear idea of
what I'm referring to simply from the title of
this FreeCoolArticle! One version of the root
adage goes: "Inch by inch, life is a cinch; and
yard by yard, life is hard."
This is an article explaining why a
series of small steps can define the journey of our lives
to an awesome destination! I hope you enjoy
reading it. But if it isn't what
you're looking for, you're welcome
to search for something that better meets
your needs. Thank you for allowing
me to serve you.
accomplishment in your life has been achieved
one step at a time. It therefore makes sense to
spend time learning practical ways to implement
Principle of Small
Steps. We'll do so by taking a
closer look at the 3 major challenges I
lose weight? How to save up a fortune? How to
write a book?
It is possible
that one, two or even all three of those
aspirations mean something to you. But even if they don't,
the lessons we're going to learn soon will help
you deal with those towering obstacles in your life that
are blocking the path to your IDEAL life.
HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT?
One pound (or
perhaps one kilogram, although that's 2.2 times more
difficult) at a time! As I write this, I've lost
8 pounds in 7 months. And I've done so while
making no changes to my diet at all.
The first thing I
did was realise that my primary goal wasn't
really to lose weight. It was to regain the
ability to exert myself. Thirty years ago, in
school, I ran at a reasonable pace, weighing
about 130 pounds. Later, in my 20s, I took to
road running and enjoyed it thoroughly with my
weight hovering between 140 and 150 pounds. Then
I gradually let the busy-ness of life get to me.
I stopped running, grew gradually flabbier,
fatter and, predictably, heavier, creeping
toward the 200 pound mark but never - to the
best of my knowledge - reaching it. I probably
topped out at about 197 or 198 pounds.
About 20 months
ago, I decided that this could not continue.
However, there was no way I could run. In fact,
I could barely walk at a fast pace without
huffing and puffing. So, I started walking a few
times a week... very slowly. The goal wasn't to
lose weight but to condition my decrepit body to
once again be able to handle a little more
Then about 8
months ago, after a year of base rebuilding, I
revved up the frequency of my walks and also
gradually increased their length and intensity.
A recurrent muscle tear in my left calf has
meant that the running portions during those
sessions have been brief. But despite setbacks
there has been a general sense of improved
wellbeing. About seven months ago my weight was
191 pounds. Less than two weeks ago, during a
monthly weighing session, the scales showed 183
pounds. While there is a long way to go still,
what I'm pleased about are the gradual,
incremental gains in fitness, slow melting away
of flab (there is still a lot left, though), and
tiny reductions in weight revealed during my
usual month-end weighing sessions with the
scales in my bedroom.
First, decide on what is the primary goal you
wish to shoot for. Second, don't get excessively
hung up on secondary results. Third, take stock
of your progress at monthly intervals.
HOW TO SAVE UP A FORTUNE?
One dollar (or
euro or yen or ringgit or pound) at a time. Most
of us know that saving money is important.
However, we tend to make little progress in that
department throughout our lives because no one
ever tells us that not all savings are created
That's why we
often tend to save a bit of cash in the bank or
in a portfolio of funds and then before too much
time has passed we raid that nest egg and wipe
Here's a better
way to save up a fortune: Put in place
short-term savings, medium-term savings,
long-term savings and eternal savings. What we
must remember, though, is that our primary goal
should never be the accumulation of money for
money's sake. Those who fall into that trap pay
for their errors by giving up a portion of their
souls. Money in and of itself is meaningless.
What makes it useful is what it can accomplish.
So focus on your desired outcomes.
short-term savings might include a six-month
effort to set money aside to pay for a holiday
or to buy a new television. Medium-term savings
might be a 3-year savings effort to build up a
down payment for a house. Long-term savings
might include a 10-year effort to build up funds
to educate your young children in the best
university they can get into and a 30-year
accumulation of retirement funds for you and
your spouse. Eternal savings represent funds you
hope to never spend yourself but would like to
bequeath to your children or grandchildren after
your death or which is earmarked for a
foundation you hope to start one day to support
orphanages or medical research.
In each of those
categories, the simple principle of setting
aside a dollar at a time will result in funds
building up. To get to the point of actually
having a 'fortune', however you might define it,
means resisting the temptation to raid YOUR nest
egg whenever some other distracting 'need'
To have money to save
means you must get your personal cash flow
pattern under control. Focus on
components of a cash flow statement and then on
constructing one for yourself.
Particularly for your long-term and eternal
savings initiatives, start low and slow. Don't
put too much pressure on yourself but aim to
incrementally raise your savings rate, which is
a percentage of your net income. As your savings
grow, you will eventually want to invest for
potentially higher returns. Even in this regard,
start slow and read about financial planning,
investing, economics and business. (In case you
need guidance, help yourself to my free ebook
26 Books to Take YOU All
the Way to the TOP.)
HOW TO WRITE A BOOK?
In highly modular
fashion. I believe almost all of us have at
least one book inside us that's just bursting to
escape the confines of our skull and reveal
itself - and a large part of us - to the world.
Lots of people
talk about writing a book. Very, very, very few
people actually start writing it, and an even
smaller proportion of would-be authors ever
finish their manuscript. Thus far, I've written
or co-written 10 books or ebooks, so I know how
difficult it is to finish just one. Also, I know
that it can be done.
First, don't start
writing a book because you want to see your name
on the spine of a volume in a bookstore. And
certainly don't write one because you think it
would be cool to introduce yourself at cocktail
parties an 'AN AUTHOR'!
out what message you want to share with the
world and whom you hope to help with that
After you get your
motives straight, take one small step at a time.
Don't rush things! Give yourself perhaps a year
to think through your book outline, gather
information, glean ideas, and read deeply and
widely in the field you hope to enrich with your
own eventual masterpiece.
lots of colourful manila or plastic folders and
label them with your chapter titles or ideas. As
you come across information that is relevant to
your book, cut it out or photocopy it and throw
it into the relevant folder. Do the same thing
using titled folders on your computer to save
online information you might come across. Keep
gathering material for at least six months and
then grant yourself a clear long weekend to go
over your material and begin the writing
process. Aim to complete at least a little bit
of writing each day, if possible, even if it's
just 200 or 300 words.
Don't wait for the
muse to strike. Real writers can't afford to
wait for inspiration before they write. They
simply write. Sometimes inspiration comes
galloping in from left field in support of the
disciplined effort; and at other times it seems
as though inspiration is thundering away from
us. Through it all, just keep writing... a
little bit each day.
Set a magnificent
Check your motives
for achieving it.
Figure out what
needs to be accomplished to get there. Break up
that massive, seemingly megalithic goal into
tiny, unimposing ones. Work steadily toward
achieving each milestone.
accomplishment of each microscopic goal.
© Rajen Devadason