“Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.” —Jim Rohn
As of 2010, there had never been a British cyclist who had won a Tour De France. Then, Dave Brailsford stepped in as the newly-appointed General Manager and Performance Director for Great Britain’s national cycling team.
Brailsford took a simple approach and applied a single strategy. He believed that using the concept he referred to as, the “aggregation of marginal gains,” would help propel Great Britain into the spotlight, and change their cycling history forever.
This concept he would apply was simple, if you improve every aspect of a cyclist’s performance by 1%, then these improvements would add up to some big changes.
So Brailsford and his team started to work on changing all the different aspects of cyclist training including, the rider’s nutrition, seat ergonomics, and the weight of the tires.
But he didn’t stop there. He looked further into areas that no one else had considered such as, the type of pillow the cyclist slept on, the massage gels being using, and teaching the riders how to properly wash their hands to best avoid infections.
His goal was to position his team to win a Tour De France in the next five years. But, he got this wrong. Instead, in just _three_ years, they won the Tour De France. That same year, he coached the nation’s Olympic team to victory at the Olympic games, taking 70% of the gold medals in the cycling category.
Then, in 2013, Great Britain won the Tour De France again. Dave Brailsford had accomplished what others had failed to do, and was acknowledged by many as having one of the most successful runs in modern cycling history.
So what can we learn from the ‘Brailsford approach’, and, more importantly, how can we use it in the context of our daly lives?
Have you ever heard people (or even yourself) say, “I wish I could do this, travel there, or learn such-and-such,” but I just don’t have the time. We all live in a busy society that constantly puts the rush on our time, and we tell ourselves that any kind of meaningful change must be associated with an immediate, largely visible outcome.
Wether it’s losing weight, starting an exercise program, learning a new skill, or improving a single aspect of your life, the pressure we put on ourselves to make a big-time transformation deters us from looking at the small steps necessary to accomplish the change.
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of small-scale, daily actions and their value.
Here’s a thought for you to consider. There are 24 hours in a day which equate to 1440 minutes. If you applied just one percent (1%) of your day to improving an aspect of your life, this would work out to roughly fifteen minutes per day. Everybody has one precent, that is, a fifteen-minute break they can spare for bettering themselves.
At the start it may not feel like you’re making any substantial improvements. However, repeated over time, you’ll find that it adds up to gradual success. Remember, just because it’s not immediately notable, doesn’t make it meaningless.
You might not win a Tour De France, make millions of dollars or win any championships,0 but if you apply the 1% Concept of on a daily basis, the results are still going to impact your life.
There is power in making changes slowly over time. The sum of all your decisions, coupled with making the right ones, compounded over time on a consistent basis, leads to big wins in your performance.
What could you do with fifteen minutes every day, and what could that lead to?
What would happen to your life if, every day, you improved by one percent (1%), in some important aspect of your physical or mental activity?