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There's a concept we use in coaching we call B- effort. When I heard about this for the first time, I thought it was stupid. After all, something worth doing is worth doing right, right?


But often the pressure to get something "right" is too much, and so we procrastinate or we don't do it at all. We get paralyzed. It starts to feel heavy. Hard. Not fun.

That, my friends, is no way to live.

Here are some examples where phoning it in can lead to awesome results.

Exercise. I was a fitness instructor for years. The people who showed up to my class and started really light and easy, didn't take it too seriously, sometimes left halfway through, and laughed when they messed up, were the people who were still taking my class months and years later. These people got far more fit over time that the ones who showed up, loaded up their bars with tons of weight, and looked like they were about to cry halfway through. These people rarely came back.

Homework. If you have a child who is consistently getting 0s from not turning in homework, it's possible they are struggling with perfection. Encourage them to set a timer, do the best they can in the allotted time, and then turn in the homework the next day whatever state it is in at the end. 60s are so much better than 0s.

Reading with your kids. A couple of pages is fine. Really. They will remember that you read together.

Scripture study. When my kids were little we read five verses a day. Five. It built a habit, and the kids grew up knowing scriptures were important to us.

Date night. Van and I do exactly the same thing every Friday night. It requires no planning, no thought. It only lasts an hour. Some might call this lazy. I call it realistic. It gives us time to reconnect every week with no drama, no time wasted wondering what we should do. It's awesome.

Sex. It doesn't have to be great. You don't have to be in the mood. Put it on the calendar for 10 minutes once or twice a week if you must, but do it. The less you work to make it perfect, the more relaxed you'll be, and the better it will be. As with anything else, the more you do it, the more skilled you become.

Business. I had a client who after a year had generated precisely $0 in their new business. After meeting with me for three months this client had generated $456,000 in revenue. The difference? In the first year they never actually released a product. They just tinkered with it trying to make it perfect. I helped them realize B- is a great place to start. Generate a product, put it out there. Start somewhere and you can make it better. If you expect perfection you'll never start at all.

You know that saying that people overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a year? It's 100 percent true. Let go of all or nothing. Let go of perfect.

Would you rather have a million dollars or a penny that doubles every day for a month? A penny of course! After a month of compound interest, you would have made $5,368,709.12 from that penny. Stop searching for the million dollar product. Build your life with pennies. Embrace little bits of effort and collect the compound interest of that effort over your lifetime.

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