“Atomic Habits” by James Clear @Sam’s Book Club

We often set goals and strive to change everything in our life in an instant. And when we’ve tried and failed, we tend to think that we lack motivation.

Leadership September 23, 2020

Many people search for habits to help them become more successful. These habits are the “compound interest” of self-growth and improvement. You may start with small changes but, over time, as positive habits become more constant, you will discover success is increasing.

The phenomenal international best-seller Atomic Habits, by James Clear, is the featured book of Sam’s Book Club today. Pastor Sam Neves, Associate Director of Communications at the global headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, together with Alyssa Truman, Marketing Manager at Adventist World Radio, will share self-improvement tips as related to digital evangelism leadership.

Using your Willpower

We often set goals and strive to change everything in our life in an instant. And when we’ve tried and failed, we tend to think that we lack motivation. A certain amount of willpower is available every morning as we wake up, and so the challenge is to use it for building good habits and not bad ones. If you have the wrong system, no amount of willpower and motivation will result in success. And this is something Pastor Sam wants us to consider; how to set up a system in order to truly see improvement.

Small yet Constant Improvement

Alyssa shares a story of a British cycling team who failed miserably but, by making significant changes within a short time, went on to win Olympic gold. The team determined to improve everything by applying minor changes to such things as the interior color of the truck used to transport the bikes, the athletes’ mattresses and pillows, and handwashing and food preparation facilities. They achieved a lot because they adopted a philosophy of continuous improvement.  

Understanding Compound Interest

People generally have a tendency to understand linear rather than compound interest. For example, reading a book on a subject each day can result in a 1% daily increase in knowledge on that subject. It is not always a linear progression; these improvements compound, one on top of another.

Look at yourself now and ask, “In what areas can I improve?” Choose where you want to start. Often when people don’t see immediate results they quit, thinking they cannot change. This is a reflection of  human nature, as we don’t understand the concept of compound interest.

It is by adopting atomic habits that we are truly able to start the cycle. Alyssa shares the benefits of taking small, incremental steps. When you look at people who have achieved more than you, don’t be disheartened. It’s just a matter of setting a system in place in order to improve.

Sam’s Book Club: Focusing on the Progression

When you do things consistently, you’ll end up being more efficient. If you’re an online marketer, or whatever field you are in, if you frequently read books that emanate a level of 3% improvement per se, that’s it; you become more efficient. And after a year? You find you are four and a half times better than when you started. These complex compounded curves are noteworthy. No matter how long, be it six months, one year or two, what matters is that you are continually improving.

Changes are evident in the things that you do. Pastor Sam imparts his arrival at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, where he was responsible for social media digital evangelism. At that time, the one crucial thing for him was to grow the 460 thousand existing followers. So he studied intently and, as a result, his research led to the formation of this book club. This knowledge can now be transpired into the wider world. Strategies get better; the followers and subscribers increase. What happened here is because of compound interest.

Self-growth with Habits to Success

Design an easy-to-do system so you don’t need to use a lot of willpower and time. Make your good habits more attractive; give the bad ones little or no engagement. Habit stacking is doing what you already do. Decide where to attach it so you will keep on performing well. 

A final note is to be extra careful with anything you consume because your behavior stems from your identity. For instance, you cannot simply acquire the habit of loving; you have to experience it every day. Believe that God will lead you through this process, and you will grow to become that person you aspire to be.

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