I once read a beautiful story that illustrates how a skill can be built by gradually and effortlessly, by incremental steps.
A cow gave birth to a calf in a farm. The farmer’s son was a teenage boy. He developed a fondness for the newborn calf, and would play with it everyday in the evening after school, carrying the calf around in his arms. As the days passed, the calf grew in size and weight. The farmer’s son continued his habit of carrying around the calf. As the years passed, the calf grew into a full-grown bull and the teenager grew into a strapping young man. Thanks to his daily habit of lifting the calf, the young man was able to lift a full-grown bull without even realizing the increase in his strength.
Now, don’t get fixated on the details – whether it is really possible for a man to lift a full-grown bull, etc..the point is that a skill can be built effortlessly through incremental steps.
• Learn one new word everyday and in ten years your vocabulary will have grown by over 3650 words. The average person’s total lifetime vocabulary is only about 5000-6000 words.
• If you are jogger/runner/walker, try adding just 0.1 km more every week. In one year, you will be able to cover 5 km more than what you can now.
Building a skill through small, incremental steps is a great way to develop yourself effortlessly. You will be amazed at yourself.
In this context, I am reminded of a quote I firmly believe in – Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a year.