Sunday, July 11, 2021

Life Lately: Consistency >>> Intensity

It's a big day for sports today! There was the Copa America final, which I didn't watch as the time didn't work (it's hard to wake up at 1am for football). Then there's the Wimbledon men's final (Djokovic vs Berrettini) which I am very fortunate to be seeing in person. And it ends with the EURO 2020 final, where I'll be rooting for England to bring it home!

The atmosphere at the Stade de France was electric after France won the 2018 World Cup

One of my favorite experiences in 2018 was seeing the World Cup Final alongside thousands of French fans in the French national stadium. The game was beamed live from Russia on large screens and the Stade de France went berserk when Beyonce came out singing "We are the champions" after Hugo Lloris lifted the trophy. Remembering it still gives me goose bumps.

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A colleague asked me last week how I got so good at financial modeling. I immediately thought back to my first few models and how embarrassingly bad they were. I learnt to build good models by sticking with it, asking for feedback and trying again, over and over. (I'm glad to no longer be building detailed financial models but those skills still come in handy). So I figured I'd share this post I wrote about consistency in October 2019 but did not post to this blog.

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Last Saturday, I ran for 33 minutes non-stop and covered 6 kilometers. Why is this remarkable? Because only five months ago, I felt like I might die after run-walking for 5 minutes. It was so bad that I needed 20 minutes to recover enough energy to walk back home.

But what did I do two days after that first run? I went running again.

It did not get easier immediately. I dragged myself to the end of many runs reciting lines from Invictus: “I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul”, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”.

And you know what happened? At some point, it just clicked. It became easier to run for a few more minutes every week. I no longer needed to count the steps left until the end. I could go faster and faster.

When it eventually worked, it just worked.

But it took many weeks of showing up every other day. It took many Saturdays of dragging myself off the bed. It took runs through pain, in the sun and in the rain. It took consistency.

Binge-reading one book because it is required reading for a corporate training. Starving yourself for one week to lose a few kilograms. Pulling an all-nighter after coasting for weeks. That is intensity; it might see you through some sprints. Incorporating learning into your weekly routine. Eating healthy on most days. Bringing your best self to work every day. That is consistency; it’s how you eventually run a marathon.

Like many things in life, our careers are more like marathons than sprints. Doing the right things over the long run compounds in powerful ways.

What do you need to do consistently going forward?

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What I'm currently reading: An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System by Matt Richtel explores our immune system and describes what happens when it works as it should and when it turns on itself. There's a lot of advanced immunology in there, but Matt describes it simply and illustrates the key points through four human stories. It's a bit tedious, but I really enjoy learning about this stuff so I'll stick with it till the end.

What I'm currently listening to: My top-pick is a Today in Focus podcast episode for the second week in a row. Why do powerful men have affairs explores why so many powerful men throughout history have had affairs - often at great personal cost. I really liked this one (I listened to it twice) because it ends with a few practical ideas. Give that one a listen!

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It's coming home!!!

Have a fab week.

Koye.

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