Incremental Progress Quotes

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Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.
Winston S. Churchill
History and societies do not crawl. They make jumps. They go from fracture to fracture, with a few vibrations in between. Yet we (and historians) like to believe in the predictable, small incremental progression.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
The ultimate gift, in our digital age, is a CEO who has the storytelling talent to capture the imagination of the markets while surrounding themselves with people who can show incremental progress against that vision each day.
Scott Galloway (The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google)
We live in an aspiration-driven culture that is rooted in instant gratification. We find it difficult to enact or even accept incremental progress.
B.J. Fogg (Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything)
To make progress on climate, we need systemic change, not incremental change. Every business and every person has a role to play in that.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
Books are the way that the dead communicate with us. The way that we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, the way that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over.
Neil Gaiman (The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction)
Incremental progress is still progress, I said to myself. One step is all that is required to take the next one.
David Goggins (Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within)
the willingness to make small, incremental adjustments, to tolerate imperfection and bumpy progress, and not to throw in the towel in frustration the moment something starts to go wrong.
Oliver Burkeman (HELP!: How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done)
Many people in this room have an Etsy store where they create unique, unreplicable artifacts or useful items to be sold on a small scale, in a common marketplace where their friends meet and barter. I and many of my friends own more than one spinning wheel. We grow our food again. We make pickles and jams on private, individual scales, when many of our mothers forgot those skills if they ever knew them. We come to conventions, we create small communities of support and distributed skills--when one of us needs help, our village steps in. It’s only that our village is no longer physical, but connected by DSL instead of roads. But look at how we organize our tribes--bloggers preside over large estates, kings and queens whose spouses’ virtues are oft-lauded but whose faces are rarely seen. They have moderators to protect them, to be their knights, a nobility of active commenters and big name fans, a peasantry of regular readers, and vandals starting the occasional flame war just to watch the fields burn. Other villages are more commune-like, sharing out resources on forums or aggregate sites, providing wise women to be consulted, rabbis or priests to explain the world, makers and smiths to fashion magical objects. Groups of performers, acrobats and actors and singers of songs are traveling the roads once more, entertaining for a brief evening in a living room or a wheatfield, known by word of mouth and secret signal. Separate from official government, we create our own hierarchies, laws, and mores, as well as our own folklore and secret history. Even my own guilt about having failed as an academic is quite the crisis of filial piety--you see, my mother is a professor. I have not carried on the family trade. We dwell within a system so large and widespread, so disorganized and unconcerned for anyone but its most privileged and luxurious members, that our powerlessness, when we can summon up the courage to actually face it, is staggering. So we do not face it. We tell ourselves we are Achilles when we have much more in common with the cathedral-worker, laboring anonymously so that the next generation can see some incremental progress. We lack, of course, a Great Work to point to and say: my grandmother made that window; I worked upon the door. Though, I would submit that perhaps the Internet, as an object, as an aggregate entity, is the cathedral we build word by word and image by image, window by window and portal by portal, to stand taller for our children, if only by a little, than it does for us. For most of us are Lancelots, not Galahads. We may see the Grail of a good Classical life, but never touch it. That is for our sons, or their daughters, or further off. And if our villages are online, the real world becomes that dark wood on the edge of civilization, a place of danger and experience, of magic and blood, a place to make one’s name or find death by bear. And here, there be monsters.
Catherynne M. Valente
Personal growth is not like the development of a skill. It does not take place in observable increments that can be measured and charted. Indeed, as we have seen, when we're growing in sensitivity, generosity, and compassion, we're not aware of it, because we're not focusing on ourselves. The recovery of emotional freedom simply does not have the quality, for most of us, of a controllable sequence of transformations. It's more a career of discovering futher and further weaknesses and shedding them in turn.
C. Terry Warner (Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves)
Revelation need not all come at once. It may be incremental. 'Saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more' (2 Nephi 28:30). Patience and perseverance are part of our eternal progression.
Russell M. Nelson
that progress is not always perceptible on the surface, it doesn’t always appear where we want to see it, even though it may be happening constantly and incrementally.
Dimitri Nasrallah (Hotline)
Incremental progress leads to long-lasting results.
Frank Sonnenberg (Soul Food: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life)
This was the pivotal insight of the Scientific Revolution: that the advancement of knowledge depends on current theories collapsing in the face of new insights and discoveries. In this model of progress, errors do not lead us away from the truth. Instead, they edge us incrementally toward it.
Kathryn Schulz (Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error)
By failing to take note of the gifts of modernity, social critics poison voters against responsible custodians and incremental reformers who can consolidate the tremendous progress we have enjoyed and strengthen the conditions that will bring us more.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
The day you realise what small, incremental progress can achieve over a period of time, you would agree that SMALL is actually BIG, very BIG !! If you increase your daily productivity by just 1%, you end up doing 37.7 times more work by the end of the year - yes 37.7 times. 1 x 1 x 1.....365 times = 1 1.01 x 1.01 x 1.01 ...... 365 times = 37.7 Same way, Financial Freedom Planning is just the beginning. But only those who continue to go through the grind, track their financial freedom journey month on month - for years together, manifest the true power of SMALL !
Manoj Arora (Dream On)
The thing is, incremental daily progress (negative or positive) is what actually causes transformation. A figurative drip, drip, drip. Showing up, every single day, gaining in strength, organizing for the long haul, building connection, laying track — this subtle but difficult work is how culture changes.
Seth Godin
The life of a sociable insect has nothing to say about us. Our lives take different shapes. We do not work in a linear progression through fixed roles like the honeybee. We are not consistently useful to the world at large. We talk about the complexity of the hive, but human societies are infinitely more complex, full of choices and mistakes, periods of glory and seasons of utter despair. Some of us make highly visible, elaborate contributions to the whole. Some of us are part of the ticking mechanics of the world, the incremental wealth of small gestures. All of it matters. All of it weaves the wider fabric that binds us.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
In the wake of the 2016 American election, the New York Times writers David Bornstein and Tina Rosenberg reflected on the media’s role in its shocking outcome: Trump was the beneficiary of a belief—near universal in American journalism—that “serious news” can essentially be defined as “what’s going wrong.” . . . For decades, journalism’s steady focus on problems and seemingly incurable pathologies was preparing the soil that allowed Trump’s seeds of discontent and despair to take root. . . . One consequence is that many Americans today have difficulty imagining, valuing or even believing in the promise of incremental system change, which leads to a greater appetite for revolutionary, smash-the-machine change.30
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
help you brainstorm incremental goals that will keep your Monitor satisfied, but the super-short guidelines are: soon, certain, positive, concrete, specific, and personal.11 Soon: Your goal should be achievable without requiring patience. Certain: Your goal should be within your control. Positive: It should be something that feels good, not just something that avoids suffering. Concrete: Measurable. You can ask Andrew, “Are you filled with joy?” and he can say yes or no. Specific: Not general, like “fill people with joy,” but specific: Fill Andrew with joy. Personal: Tailor your goal. If you don’t care about Andrew’s state of mind, forget Andrew. Who is your Andrew? Maybe you’re your own Andrew. Redefining winning in terms of incremental goals is not the same as giving yourself rewards for making progress
Emily Nagoski (Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle)
Redefining winning in terms of incremental goals is not the same as giving yourself rewards for making progress—such rewards are counterintuitively ineffective and may even be detrimental.12 When you redefine winning, you set goals that are achievements in themselves—and success is its own reward.
Emily Nagoski (Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle)
The problem is when progress becomes its own ideology—that is, when advocacy for incrementalism is seen as the astute and preferred mode of political transformation. It is never easy to win, but progress is also never sufficient. Incremental change keeps the grinding forces of oppression—death—in place. Actively advocating for this position is a moral failure.
Mychal Denzel Smith (Stakes Is High: Life After the American Dream)
Progress is like wheels that never stop; they have to keep turning in order to remain relevant to a car and all of its mechanical parts. Stopping is not an option in real time but it is to those that envy progress and upward mobility. Progress never ends because it is infinite but it rebuilds and readjust (s) to take increment steps then massive steps if it is hindered. - Terrance Robinson
Terrance Robinson- Artist Educator Scholar Entrepreneur
For decades, journalism’s steady focus on problems and seemingly incurable pathologies was preparing the soil that allowed Trump’s seeds of discontent and despair to take root. . . . One consequence is that many Americans today have difficulty imagining, valuing or even believing in the promise of incremental system change, which leads to a greater appetite for revolutionary, smash-the-machine change.30
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
liberal democracy is a precious achievement. Until the messiah comes, it will always have problems, but it’s better to solve those problems than to start a conflagration and hope that something better arises from the ashes and bones. By failing to take note of the gifts of modernity, social critics poison voters against responsible custodians and incremental reformers who can consolidate the tremendous progress we have enjoyed and strengthen the conditions that will bring us more.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
anger is a double-edged sword: besides motivating us, it can exhaust us, so that we run out of energy before winning our battle. Furthermore, the anger we express often triggers anger in those on the other side of an issue. They harden their stance, making compromise less likely. We live in a world in which change, when it comes, is likely to be incremental, meaning that righteous anger can retard progress on the issue in question. And finally, we know that anger can cloud our judgment, causing us to do foolish things and blinding us to possible solutions.
William B. Irvine (The Stoic Challenge: A Philosopher's Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer, and More Resilient)
Yet of the countless articles, books and so-called lifehacks about productivity I’ve read (or written!), the only “trick” that has ever truly and consistently worked is both the simplest and the most difficult to master: just getting started. Enter micro-progress. Pardon the gimmicky phrase, but the idea goes like this: For any task you have to complete, break it down into the smallest possible units of progress and attack them one at a time. ... My favorite expansion of this concept is in this post by James Clear. In it, he uses Newton’s laws of motion as analogies for productivity. To wit, rule No. 1: “Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Find a way to get started in less than two minutes.” ... And it’s not just gimmicky phrases and so-called lifehacking: Studies have shown that you can trick your brain into increasing dopamine levels by setting and achieving, you guessed it, micro-goals. Going even further, success begets success. In a 2011 Harvard Business Review article, researchers reported finding that “ordinary, incremental progress can increase people’s engagement in the work and their happiness during the workday.
Tim Herrera
When Amabile analyzed the data, she came to a clear conclusion about one key factor: workers are happiest—and most motivated—when they feel that they accomplish something meaningful at work. These accomplishments do not need to be major breakthroughs: incremental but noticeable progress toward a goal was enough to make her subjects feel good. As one programmer described it, “I smashed that [computer] bug that’s been frustrating me for almost a calendar week. That may not be an event to you, but I live a very drab life, so I’m all hyped.”1 The lesson here is that managers can get the most out of their employees by helping them achieve meaningful progress every day.
Robert C. Pozen (Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours)
But relentless negativity can itself have unintended consequences, and recently a few journalists have begun to point them out. In the wake of the 2016 American election, the New York Times writers David Bornstein and Tina Rosenberg reflected on the media’s role in its shocking outcome: Trump was the beneficiary of a belief—near universal in American journalism—that “serious news” can essentially be defined as “what’s going wrong.” . . . For decades, journalism’s steady focus on problems and seemingly incurable pathologies was preparing the soil that allowed Trump’s seeds of discontent and despair to take root. . . . One consequence is that many Americans today have difficulty imagining, valuing or even believing in the promise of incremental system change, which leads to a greater appetite for revolutionary, smash-the-machine change.30
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
WHY PARADIGMS MATTER Ideas drive results. People's beliefs drive their actions. Actions that stem from a simple, complete and accurate paradigm result in personal fulfillment, harmonious relationships, and economic prosperity. Actions based on false, incomplete and inaccurate paradigms, however well intended or passionately defended, are the cause of widespread misery, suffering and deprivation. As detailed in Rethinking Survival: Getting to the Positive Paradigm of Change, a fatal information deficit explains the worldwide leadership deficit and related budget deficits. In a dangerous world where psychological and economic warfare compete with religious extremism and terrorism to undo thousands of years of incremental human progress, a healing balance is urgently needed. Restoring a simple, complete and accurate paradigm of leadership and relationships now could make the difference between human survival on the one hand, and the extinction of the human race (or the end of civilization as we know it), on the other. p. 7.
Patricia E. West (The Positive Paradigm Handbook: Make Yourself Whole Using the Wheel of Change)
When applying agile practices at the portfolio level, similar benefits accrue: • Demonstrable results—Every quarter or so products, or at least deployable pieces of products, are developed, implemented, tested, and accepted. Short projects deliver chunks of functionality incrementally. • Customer feedback—Each quarter product managers review results and provide feedback, and executives can view progress in terms of working products. • Better portfolio planning—Portfolio planning is more realistic because it is based on deployed whole or partial products. • Flexibility—Portfolios can be steered toward changing business goals and higher-value projects because changes are easy to incorporate at the end of each quarter. Because projects produce working products, partial value is captured rather than being lost completely as usually happens with serial projects that are terminated early. • Productivity—There is a hidden productivity improvement with agile methods from the work not done. Through constant negotiation, small projects are both eliminated and pared down.
Jim Highsmith (Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products (Agile Software Development Series))
Base your understanding of the world on data, rather than journalism. Journalism is a highly non random sample of the worst things that have happened in any given period. It is an availability machine, in the sense of Tversky and Kahneman's availability heuristic; namely - our sense of risk, danger and prevalence is driven by anecdotes, images and narratives that are available in memory. A lot of good things are either things that "don't happen" (like a country at peace, or a city that has not been attacked by terrorists, which almost by definition are not news), or things that build up incrementally, a few percentage points a year, and then compound (like the decline of extreme poverty). We can be unaware, out to lunch about what's happening in the world if we base our view on the news. If instead we base our view on data, then not only do we see that many (although not all) things have gone better (not linearly, not without setbacks and reversals, but in general a lot better... and that paradoxically, as I've cheekily put it, progressives hate progress), but also that the best possible case for progress - that is, for striving for more progress in the future, for being a true progressive - is not to have some kind of foolish hope, but to look at the fact that progress has taken place in the past; and that means: why should it stop now?
Steven Pinker
You don’t have to submerge. Just take a D.I.P. in Daily Incremental Progress.
Ryan Lilly
Another vital component of the UDL is the constant flow of data from student work. Daily tracking for each lesson, as well as mid- and end-of-module assessment tasks, are essential for determining students’ understandings at benchmark points. Such data flow keeps teaching practice firmly grounded in students learning and makes incremental progress possible. When feedback is provided, students understand that making mistakes is part of the learning process.
Peggy Grant (Personalized Learning: A Guide to Engaging Students with Technology)
Progress in living the Christian life may have been steady and incremental throughout a believer's life to this point, but with entry into a triad there is a gear shift to warp speed. Why is this? What are the climatic conditions in a discipleship group of three or four that create the hothouse effect? Three ingredients converge to release the Holy Spirit to bring about a rapid growth toward Christlikeness. These can be summarized in the following biblical principle: When we (1) open our hearts in transparent trust to each other (2) around the truth of God's Word (3) in the spirit of mutual accountability, we are in the Holy Spirit's hothouse of transformation.
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)
Be encouraged when your prayers reveal progress that can be measured even in the tiniest increments. God is at work in your life and in the lives of those around you, and before long, little by little will add up to major change.
Stormie Omartian (The Power of Praying® Through the Bible)
The nature of the moment is familiar but bears repeating: whether or not industrialized countries begin deeply cutting our emissions this decade will determine whether we can expect the same from rapidly developing nations like China and India next decade. That, in turn, will determine whether or not humanity can stay within a collective carbon budget that will give us a decent chance of keeping warming below levels that our own governments have agreed are unacceptably dangerous. In other words, we don’t have another couple of decades to talk about the changes we want while being satisfied with the occasional incremental victory. This set of hard facts calls for strategy, clear deadlines, dogged focus—all of which are sorely missing from most progressive movements at the moment. Even more importantly, the climate moment offers an overarching narrative in which everything from the fight for good jobs to justice for migrants to reparations for historical wrongs like slavery and colonialism can all become part of the grand project of building a nontoxic, shockproof economy before it’s too late.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
In other words, in Barack Obama’s world, incrementalism is good enough. Fortunately, nobody ever told that to FDR or Teddy Roosevelt, or Lyndon Johnson.
Bill Press (Buyer's Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down)
There’s nothing wrong with taking bold action. Life and happiness occasionally demand it. But remember that you hear about people making big changes because this is the exception, not the rule. Narrative drama comes from bold action, not from the incremental progress that leads to sustainable success.
B.J. Fogg (Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything)
He measured time in the increments between her visits. When he’d been reassembled, bathed, stitched, or simply had a bandage changed, she’d been there. Touching him. Crooning reassurances and praising his progress. Promising recovery. She sang to him sometimes, her voice high and sweet and … unencumbered by talent or pitch of any kind. Christ, she really was terrible. But every time she finished, he promised the devil his soul for one more song.
Kerrigan Byrne (The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels, #6))
One of the only things that is likely to change your behavior is to make incremental progress.
Jim Kwik (Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life)
One reason why people procrastinate so much is present bias, which is the tendency to overvalue near-term rewards in the present over making incremental progress on long-term goals (see short-termism in Chapter 2).
Gabriel Weinberg (Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models)
We live in an aspiration-driven culture that is rooted in instant gratification. We find it difficult to enact or even accept incremental progress. Which is exactly what you need to cultivate meaningful long-term change.
B.J. Fogg (Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything)
The GOP is just as culpable as Democrats for the dismal fiscal outlook because the party engages in excessive and simplistic bombast on the budget when it is out of power and then wastes its time on distractions when it has the opportunity to make progress with incremental reforms.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life? Mastery by George Leonard. I first read this book 20 years ago, after reading Leonard’s Esquire article, the seed from which the book grew. Leonard wrote the book to share lessons from becoming an Aikido master teacher, despite starting practice at the advanced age of 47. I raced through its 170-plus pages in a state of almost feverish excitement, so strongly did it affirm our swimming method. The book helped me see swimming as an ideal vehicle for teaching the mastery habits and behaviors closely interwoven with our instruction in the physical techniques of swimming. I love this book because it is as good a guide as I’ve ever seen to a life well lived. A brief summary: Life is not designed to hand us success or satisfaction, but rather to present us with challenges that make us grow. Mastery is the mysterious process by which those challenges become progressively easier and more satisfying through practice. The key to that satisfaction is to reach the nirvana in which love of practice for its own sake (intrinsic) replaces the original goal (extrinsic) as our grail. The antithesis of mastery is the pursuit of quick fixes. My five steps to mastery: Choose a worthy and meaningful challenge. Seek a sensei or master teacher (like George Leonard) to help you establish the right path and priorities. Practice diligently, always striving to hone key skills and to progress incrementally toward new levels of competence. Love the plateau. All worthwhile progress occurs through brief, thrilling leaps forward followed by long stretches during which you feel you’re going nowhere. Though it seems as if we’re making no progress, we are turning new behaviors into habits. Learning continues at the cellular level . . . if you follow good practice principles. Mastery is a journey, not a destination. True masters never believe they have attained mastery. There is always more to be learned and greater skill to be developed.
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe Of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
Today, the role of a change leader is restricted to the management of incremental changes. What should be the new role of change leaders in an environment which is constantly multiplying its pace of progress?
Sukant Ratnakar (Quantraz)
Protopia is a state of becoming, rather than a destination. It is a process. In the protopian mode, things are better today than they were yesterday, although only a little better. It is incremental improvement or mild progress.
Kevin Kelly (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)
Monday, November 29 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. —Psalm 119:105 (ESV) Here you go!” my twenty-two-year-old son, John, said cheerfully, handing me a stack of hundred-dollar bills. Since he began working he has also begun paying me rent. He prefers to pay in cash, I think because it is concrete evidence he is contributing to the family. We both enjoy the monthly ritual. This has been a long, long time coming. There were the years in which John’s anxiety triggered rages, then the years when he was depressed and didn’t leave the house except to walk the dog or go to therapy. There were long stretches of time when there seemed to be no path forward. Through those I learned that my inability to see how life could improve meant only one thing: that I couldn’t see the way through. Oddly, in retrospect, I can’t see the path we took, either. I think that’s because John’s progress was so incremental, each step forward so infinitely small as to be almost unnoticeable. It may also have something to do with the fact that the “lamp to my feet” that lit my path was much like the handheld oil lamps of biblical times, casting only enough light to illuminate my next stumbling step. Yet now my son is gainfully employed, a taxpaying citizen. He does not earn a lot, but he works hard and his boss likes him. Someday, I think, he will probably be able to afford his own apartment. I’m not worried about when that happens. There are those who might argue John “should” be doing X or Y or Z. For me, those “shoulds” don’t matter: I’ve learned we can’t move forward from where we wish we were. We can only move forward from where we are now. Lord, let Your word illuminate my next step. And then the one after. And the one after that. —Julia Attaway Digging Deeper: Psalm 44:18
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2021: A Spirit-Lifting Devotional)
The Structure SAFEs or Notes For a seed round, I recommend a SAFE (simple agreement for future equity) or Convertible Note. Why? They: - Are flexible instruments that let you raise the price incrementally. A fixed price round locks you into one price and one set of terms. - Let you close money progressively instead of all at once. This is a key point that’s hard to comprehend unless you’ve actually been through the process. Fixed priced rounds require a lead investor, which makes them much more painful. All of the investors who can’t lead will be forced to wait on a lead, thus dampening momentum. You won’t be able to get money in the bank until the lead is secured and everything closes. If you don’t get a lead quickly, there will be concerns about your company. And priced rounds add a ton of legal and governance overhead to your company. - Are easy to close (it’s a simple document!). Fixed price rounds can take weeks or months to close and get through all the paperwork. Make sure you know every term in your documents. Lean on, but don’t fully trust, your attorneys. Tell them you want the most founder-friendly terms possible. Even with this directive, I’ve been shocked at the number of times they'll include terms that are completely unnecessary and a disservice to the company. They’ll tell you it’s “standard.” That’s usually BS.
Ryan Breslow (Fundraising)
Living a meaningful life entails appreciation for the journey and incremental progress, versus a static end-state.
Jay D'Cee
Rather than seeking incremental progress from the current state, try thinking about the future state you want to reach and then work backward to the present. What needs to happen to get there? This exercise can be inspiring and motivating, as you become guided by your future vision. Don't try to steer the ship by looking at its wake!
Frank Slootman (Amp It Up: Leading for Hypergrowth by Raising Expectations, Increasing Urgency, and Elevating Intensity)
Not occasionally, but over the course of a life—making incremental progress along the way.
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
In Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, for example, Delgado and Stefancic write, Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.
James Lindsay (Race Marxism: The Truth About Critical Race Theory and Praxis)
You don’t need to have it all figured out right now. It’s okay. Have you peeked behind you recently? You can’t possibly deny your progress. You may see it as incremental or insignificant, but it adds zest and interest to the story. Soon enough, you’ll look back and say to someone, “Remember that time...?” Even if that memory recounts the difficulties of a dark place that you navigated through, you made it out alive, scars and all. What’s a good hero’s journey without conflict? Stop trying to define where you are going and just live it here and now.
Riah Gonzalez
Progress in golf is not always about significant breakthroughs; it's more about small incremental changes that build over time.
Jon Sherman (The Four Foundations of Golf: How to Build a Game That Lasts a Lifetime (The Foundations of Golf Book 1))
Focus beyond the finish line — celebrate incremental progress along the way for sustained motivation!
Felecia Etienne
Does moral progress occur incrementally? Or is it the result of sudden, punctuated social change? Given that cultural evolution, unlike biological evolution, can be guided by deliberate human innovation, both incrementalism and punctuation would seem to be live options. ... incrementalism does not mean embracing a stultifying conservatism that favors tradition over reform. Incremental, progressive moral evolution can be relatively fast and even quite groundbreaking. That is, positive moral revolutions do take place—such as the gay rights revolution ... Typically, large-scale moral progress begins with small-scale “experiments in living.” Instead of trying to re-design the culture of a society as a whole, small groups of people use moral reasoning to re-design the sub-culture of their local tribes. If the results of experiments are positive, then they can be adapted elsewhere and scaled up for larger and larger portions of society. That being said, it’s possible that incremental moral change will not be sufficient to deal with the most serious threats to human survival. For example, perhaps something quite different—a moral black swan—is needed to address the problem of anthropogenic climate change. For this reason, we cannot be too confident that strategies that have worked in the past will also work in the future.
Victor Kumar (A Better Ape: The Evolution of the Moral Mind and How it Made us Human)
This approach can relieve the pressure on you and your employees alike because it builds trust incrementally. Everyone commits in smaller steps and, as with any kind of meaningful relationship, the relationship deepens as each side proves themselves to each other. The tour of duty is a way of choreographing the progressive commitments that form the alliance.
Reid Hoffman (The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age)
Focus beyond the finish line — celebrate incremental progress along the way for sustained motivation.
Felecia Etienne (Overcoming Mediocrity: Limitless Women)
Narrative drama comes from bold action, not from the incremental progress that leads to sustainable success.
B.J. Fogg (Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything)
How do people do it, pry themselves from their pasts? “Pry” makes it sound dramatic, but it isn’t. I wish I could say my life in the natural world began with a transformative experience: like the fishing weekend with my father, only successful. An epiphanic trip to the mountains, a hike along a rushing river that taught me how I wanted to live. But that’s not how it happened. The course of true progress is boring. You don’t just suddenly become an outdoorsman, just as you don’t just suddenly become assertive and independent, ridding yourself forever of your shabby victim rags. It’s incremental. Think of that frog, the one in Karl’s picture. There wasn’t a single moment when he passed into maturity, a single instant when an observer could cry, “Look, he’s a frog now!” No, it happened slowly, beginning with four tiny bumps, four promises of the legs that would widen the world for him beyond anything he could conceive of in his watery tadpole dreams.
Ann Packer (Swim Back to Me (Vintage Contemporaries))
In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, the philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn observed that scientists spend long periods taking small steps. They pose and solve puzzles while collectively interpreting all data within a fixed worldview or theoretical framework, which Kuhn called a paradigm. Sooner or later, though, facts crop up that clash with the reigning paradigm. Crisis ensues. The scientists wring their hands, reexamine their assumptions, and eventually make a revolutionary shift to a new paradigm, a radically different and truer understanding of nature. Then incremental progress resumes.
Carl Zimmer (The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2023)
EACH INCREMENT OF THE ARTIST'S JOURNEY IS A HERO'S JOURNEY We experience our life as dull and ordinary. But beneath the surface, something powerful and transformative is brewing. Suddenly the light bulb goes off. We've got a new idea! An idea for a novel, a movie, a startup . . . Except immediately we perceive the downside. We become daunted. Our idea is too risky, we fear. We're afraid we can't pull it off. We hesitate, until . . . We're having coffee with a friend. We tell her our idea. "I love it," she says. "You've gotta do it." Fortified, we rally. We commit. We begin. This is the pattern for the genesis of any creative work. It's also, in Joseph Campbell terms, "the Ordinary World," "The Call," "Refusal of the Call," "Meeting with the Mentor," and "Crossing the Threshold." In other words, the first five stages of the hero's journey. Keep going. As you progress on your project, you'll hit every other Campbellian beat, right down to the finish and release/publication, i.e., "The Return," bearing a "Gift for the People." This pattern will hold true for the rest of your life, through every novel, movie, dance, drama, work of architecture, etc. you produce. Every work is its own hero's journey.
Steven Pressfield (The Artist's Journey: The Wake of the Hero's Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning)
REMAIN VIGILANT It wasn’t in a war. It wasn’t in a battle. It isn’t in a melee of fire and destruction that most of us succumb to weakness. We are taken apart, slowly. Convinced to take an easier path. Enticed by comfort. Most of us aren’t defeated in one decisive battle. We are defeated one tiny, seemingly insignificant surrender at a time that chips away at who we should really be. It isn’t that you wake up one day and decide that’s it: I am going to be weak. No. It is a slow incremental process. It chips away at our will—it chips away at our discipline. We sleep in a little later. We miss a workout, then another. We start to eat what we shouldn’t eat and drink what we shouldn’t drink. And, without realizing it—one day, you wake up and you have become something that you never would have allowed. Instead of strong—you are weak. Instead of disciplined—you are disorganized and lost. Instead of moving forward and progressing—you are moving backward and decaying. And those things happen without you seeing them. Without you recognizing them. So. You have to BE VIGILANT. You have to be ON GUARD. You have to HOLD THE LINE on the seemingly insignificant little things— things that shouldn’t matter—but that do.
Jocko Willink (Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual Mk1-MOD1)
We live in an aspiration-driven culture that is rooted in instant gratification. We find it difficult to enact or even accept incremental progress. Which is exactly what you need to cultivate meaningful long-term change. People get frustrated and demoralized when things don’t happen quickly. It’s natural. It’s normal. But it’s another way we’re set up to fail.
B.J. Fogg (Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything)
This work feels more crushing and sadder to me than it's ever felt--you see all the ways in which you've failed to do certain things, even though there's incremental progress. I am unfailingly optimistic, though. I think to not be optimistic is just about the most privileged thing you can be. If you can be pessimistic, you are basically deciding that there's no hope for a whole group of people who can't afford to think that way.
Ophelia Dahl
Correlation is enough,” 2 then-Wired editor in chief Chris Anderson famously declared in 2008. We can, he implied, solve innovation problems by the sheer brute force of the data deluge. Ever since Michael Lewis chronicled the Oakland A’s unlikely success in Moneyball (who knew on-base percentage was a better indicator of offensive success than batting averages?), organizations have been trying to find the Moneyball equivalent of customer data that will lead to innovation success. Yet few have. Innovation processes in many companies are structured and disciplined, and the talent applying them is highly skilled. There are careful stage-gates, rapid iterations, and checks and balances built into most organizations’ innovation processes. Risks are carefully calculated and mitigated. Principles like six-sigma have pervaded innovation process design so we now have precise measurements and strict requirements for new products to meet at each stage of their development. From the outside, it looks like companies have mastered an awfully precise, scientific process. But for most of them, innovation is still painfully hit or miss. And worst of all, all this activity gives the illusion of progress, without actually causing it. Companies are spending exponentially more to achieve only modest incremental innovations while completely missing the mark on the breakthrough innovations critical to long-term, sustainable growth. As Yogi Berra famously observed: “We’re lost, but we’re making good time!” What’s gone so wrong? Here is the fundamental problem: the masses and masses of data that companies accumulate are not organized in a way that enables them to reliably predict which ideas will succeed. Instead the data is along the lines of “this customer looks like that one,” “this product has similar performance attributes as that one,” and “these people behaved the same way in the past,” or “68 percent of customers say they prefer version A over version B.” None of that data, however, actually tells you why customers make the choices that they do.
Clayton M. Christensen (Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice)
As the departing president well understood, in this world there is only incremental progress. Only the willfully blind can ignore that the history of human existence is simultaneously the history of pain: of brutality, murder, mass extinction, every form of venality and cyclical horror. No land is free of it; no people are without their bloodstain; no tribe entirely innocent. But there is still this redeeming matter of incremental progress. It might look small to those with apocalyptic perspectives, but to she who not so long ago could not vote, or drink from the same water fountain as her fellow citizens, or marry the person she chose, or live in a certain neighborhood, such incremental change feels enormous.
Zadie Smith (Feel Free: Essays)
Duflo, who is petite and dynamic, doesn’t regard her work as lacking in ambition; rather, she regards these incremental improvements as pioneering. She told me: It is very easy to sit back and come up with grand theories about how to change the world. But often our intuitions are wrong. The world is too complex to figure everything out from your armchair. The only way to be sure is to go out and test your ideas and programs, and to realize that you will often be wrong. But that is not a bad thing. It leads to progress.
Matthew Syed (Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes--But Some Do)
The process of growth appears to be a closed system, in which every component depends on the previous one to exist, and progression or regression moves incrementally. To summarize: our ability to maintain self-control helps us to make better choices. Consequently, our self-esteem is increased, which automatically deflates the ego. A smaller ego, of course, means greater perspective. Greater perspective, in turn, makes it easier for us to maintain self-control, and so the process moves forward or backwards, depending on our willpower to rise above our nature and make good choices. Enhanced emotional health can be achieved by bypassing this measured process, and moving past this closed circuit. Beyond taking immediate action when we are inspired by flashes of perspective, being able to accept ourselves completely organically purges the ego, which automatically taps us into an undistorted reality. Once we do this, then our eyes
David J. Lieberman (If God Were Your Therapist)
The process of growth appears to be a closed system, in which every component depends on the previous one to exist, and progression or regression moves incrementally. To summarize: our ability to maintain self-control helps us to make better choices. Consequently, our self-esteem is increased, which automatically deflates
David J. Lieberman (If God Were Your Therapist)
Indeed, both life and time-receptivity—in their intimacy and congenitality—can be mutually defined as nothing but self-interments.1 Only by retreating inwards, into fluency with its own system-states, does the organism progressively separate itself from the causal absolutism of the surrounding milieu, obtaining ever more functional leeway and behavioural lability via increasing delamination from its immediate environs. (This is why the CNS has long been seen as the organ of individuation.) The ability to do things is arrived at in this way: this goes for the capacity to digest the outside world as much as the possibility of motile—rather than sessile—modes of life within it. Locomotive autonomy—across all relevant modalities, whether bioenergetic or biomechanical—is bequeathed by potentiating implosivity. First emerging as the outpouching of a complexifying gut, then as the innervating escape into the organism’s own CNS-simulation, and finally as the deposition of an empowering yet finitude-entrenching recognitive encasement, evolution’s ongoing investment into its own systemic insularity migrates outwards from gastronomic, to phaneroscopic, to juridical domains—all in step with incremental chronognostic range.
Thomas Moynihan (Spinal Catastrophism: A Secret History (Urbanomic / Mono Book 7))
This series of events indicate the most fundamental of all rules in progress, that taking small incremental steps surely determines Success
David Sikhosana (Time Value of Money: Timing Income)
I am a citizen as well as an individual soul and one of the things citizenship teaches us, over the long stretch, is that there is no perfectibility in human affairs… In this world there is only incremental progress… It might look small to those with apocalyptic perspectives, but to she who not so long ago could not vote, or drink from the same water fountain as her fellow citizens, or marry the person she chose, or live in a certain neighborhood, such incremental change feels enormous… We will never be perfect: that is our limitation. But we can have, and have had, moments in which we can take genuine pride… Progress is never permanent, will always be threatened, must be redoubled, restated and reimagined if it is to survive.
Zadie Smith
Pursuing too many outcomes at once. Most of us are overly optimistic about what we can achieve in a short period of time. No matter how hard we work, our companies will always ask more of us. Put these two together, and we often see product trios pursuing multiple outcomes at once. What happens when we do this is that we spread ourselves too thin. We make incremental progress (at best) on some of our outcomes but rarely have a big impact on any of our outcomes. Most teams will have more of an impact by focusing on one outcome at a time.
Teresa Torres (Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products that Create Customer Value and Business Value)
FreeTime Launching ReadingTime New Badge Notification 2.1 2.2 2.3 3.2 2.4 No Profiles 6.1 3.3 6.1 Password Note: FreeTime will also appear as Book. See page 115.2 2.5 2.6 2.7 8.1 Pre: X more minutes until you earn a reading badge Post: You read an extra X minutes! Tapping the progress toggles between goals, badges, time left in chapter, Location, etc. Increments happen in 5 minute intervals.Confidential & Proprietary Created on: Fri Mar 01
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