Forget the thud factor


You want to write that novel, win that dunk competition, learn kung fu to avenge your ancestors, whatever it is. So you hide yourself away in a log cabin, or your gym, or a mountaintop dojo, wherever it is, to craft the New You.

Six to eight months later, your naysayers (all of them) hear a thud on their doorstep: it’s your award-winning epic, it’s your six-pack abs, it’s a roundhouse kick to the face.

This fantasy is what Ray Edwards once called the “thud factor.” It’s the idea that you can deliver on a pure and perfect statement of your vision, all in one go, and on the very first try.

In waking life, growth is incremental, imperceptible, and unpredictable.

Instead of chasing a monumental thud, use incremental progress (Avoid zero days at all costs) to build momentum.

Instead of committing to a singular expression of your vision, Think plural by default. There is more than one way to smite your enemies.

When you obsess over one fat thud, you close yourself to other interesting iterations (Murder your first born ideas).

Instead of seeking perfection, Make it edible. Something shareable. Something soon.

Yes, occasionally someone changes history with a half-court swish heard around the world. But in the day to day of regulation play, the game is won by twos and threes and the occasional well-timed foul. (This is the extent of my knowledge on basketball.)

Forget the thud factor and aim for small victories instead.

Post script

Last week, I shared a survey and I’m blown away by the results so far. So many thoughtful insights from my readers—which I suppose I should have expected since I know so many of you. Results coming soon!