Feeding the Piggy Bank
“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Show of hands from those that have heard, or read, this quote before.
Dear God, you raised your hand didn’t you? It was a rhetorical question. For the love of Barrack Obama’s underwear I hope you’re not in public, . You are? Shit.
Clichéd quotes have some efficacy—or they never would have been used enough to become clichés. It’s true, the Roman Empire existed, grew and expanded for hundreds of years, but we often see it as its finished product.
We are our own Rome. Our clients are their own respective Rome. We all need constant investment to build and transform.
Time, attention and consistent effort are the daily investments that transform us—despite the goal. Name one—dropping 3 body fat percentages, a 600 pound deadlift, more speed. All worthy endeavors are pursued via momentum developed and maintained by simple consistency.
By investing every day.
Consistency is the magic potion that transforms lives. While we all experience events that dramatically shift our cognitive and emotional frames, it’s the consistent action that rises from paradigm shifts that ultimately changes our lives—and the lives of those we affect.
So we developed a simple allegory to illustrate consistent investment—the piggy bank.
Each day we make a small, positive action deposit into the piggy bank that compounds interest into transformation. They are small investments, pennies, and they’re always easy-to-do tasks.
As Jeff Olson says in The Slight Edge, it’s always the things that are easy to do. They’re just as easy not to do.
How do we do these profoundly easy things?
We start small. We stay small. We focus small.
Check. Got it. But how?
We create a frame that expands on the investment allegory—more specifically using the idea of compound interest.
Breaking it Down By Small Investments
Let’s consider each behavior an investment. At this point, specifics are irrelevant—it could be any behavior. Getting up as soon as the alarm goes off. Prepping food on Sundays. Etc. Etc. Etc. (50 points to those that get the Etc. reference.)
Big behaviors come with a big cost. Small behaviors aren’t as aggressive.
Think about that from a financial perspective. Making a lump $2,600 investment most likely makes you tap the breaks and causes you a little anxiety.
Over a year’s time, however, that’s only $50 per week. We spend fifty bucks per week on stupid shit that we don’t even think about. When we could invest it into something worthwhile.
Seeing $50 instead of $2,600 also grabs us differently—much less aggressively. At the end of the year, however, the result is the same–$2,600 dollars is used positively on your behalf.
Too often we think in terms of the $2,600 lump investment instead of the consistent $50 investment. We want to make the big investment because we want to make a quantum leap in our lives, our businesses, our fitness. Our clients think the same way—often worse because they don’t have the context of understanding that we do.
“This is the day I change everything. I’m going to the gym, I’m starting a new diet, I’m going to read for an hour per day. I’m going to invest the balance of my checking account.”
But quantum leaps, epiphanies, whatever word you choose to describe massive change, are, in reality, the outcome of consistent effort over time. This, friends, is how we must frame our thinking.
We invest small to make big changes. We feed the piggy bank every day, and at the end of every week we’ve put away $50. At the end of the month we have $200. At the end of the year we’ve accumulated $2,600.
Consistently feeding the piggy bank builds momentum. Huge investments are harder to make, and tougher to access in our thinking, they’re also not as transformational. Small victories won consistently snowball and eventually permeate every aspect of our lives. One small change in your daily routine builds the momentum that makes it easier to make another small change.
Sometimes we have to jump over a small hurdle and say, Ta da! And that sometimes is every day.
We start the momentum by setting ourselves up to win “battles” early in the day. Set a small hurdle, something that’s easy to do, and jump over that son of a bitch first thing in the morning. Take that win and move forward as a conqueror.
In each moment we find a choice: win a small, momentum building battle, or lose. Either way you’re going to move—you’re either going forward or backward. You’re not going to stay in the same place.
Win the first battle of the day. Set the tone. Kick ass.
One Thing At a Time
Make a $50 investment instead of a $2,600 investment. A $50 investment is a small, manageable change that you can do every day. A $2,600 investment is a grandiose, all encompassing change that’s likely not sustainable.
Pick one thing that you know can do every day and put it in the piggy bank.
It could be waking up as soon as the alarm goes off and not hitting snooze.
It could be doing your mobility routine as soon as you wake.
It could be journaling about gratitude every day.
Whatever it is, choose it, and only it and put that investment in the piggy bank. Once you’ve made that $50 investment, and can consistently make it, make another $50 investment.
Change Your Frame
We need allegories and metaphors to frame our actions and keep us focused. It’s likely that you know everything that we just discussed. But knowledge doesn’t equal change. Most people know they need to exercise and they need to eat better. But do they fucking do it? Nah, dawg, they don’t.
It’s because they don’t have a structure to attach to—a metaphor or allegory to set their frame. If they could sit down at the end of the day and say, “did I feed the piggy bank today?” They’d be better off—they’d likely have an easier time making changes. (They’d do even better if they had an accountability source—we’ll get to that later.)
The piggy bank is our metaphor. We feed it every day with a small, momentum-building investment. We frame everything we do using this metaphor. Using this metaphor as an over-arching guide, actions have more context—they make more sense. This makes those things that easy to do, and easy not to do, much more accomplishable.
The piggy bank is a Strength Faction core value, an archetype if you will, that we’ll refer to frequently throughout the program and as we coach you. Attach to it. Integrate it. And at the end of each day, ask yourself,
“did I, , feed the piggy bank today?”
To help you best keep stuffing your Piggy Bank with the proverbial coins, we put together this guide. Be as specific as you can, and take your time with it. When you’re writing out your best case, and worst case, scenarios, really envision yourself in each place–almost like you’re dreaming it. When you’re writing out your goals, be sure they coincide with your best case scenario…and make sure that your action steps are doable, repeatable, and trackable. Ok, get after it!
We’ll be helping you to hit the ground running this week by providing you with some awesome tools to facilitate your own feeding of the piggy bank. For today, make sure to head over to the assessment section, and start filling all of that stuff out.