I recall my early fascination with math, especially Algebra. While intriguing, the school’s approach to it was basic: we used letters to represent unknowns —aka variables— and learned techniques to tackle problems. When I ventured deeper on my own, uncovering topics like matrix theory, vector spaces, and groups, I was humbled by the vastness of the things I wasn’t taught and didn’t know. I even felt overwhelmed by the vastness of this specific math branch. Back then, I was unaware of the millennia of effort and iterations humanity had invested in this discipline and in math as a whole.

As the years rolled on and I grasped more concepts —some even more advanced— I reached a significant epiphany: nothing worth learning or using springs forth suddenly but is built incrementally, brick by brick. Just as mathematics has grown not through giant leaps but through a series of small, consistent steps, our everyday experiences with science and technology have resulted from numerous incremental innovations layered upon one another.

This incremental approach isn’t limited to the greatest achievements of history or the development of disciplines over the ages. This ethos of incremental development isn’t merely philosophical; contemporary science provides empirical support. Engaging repeatedly every day in a particular activity, our brain undergoes positive changes, much like muscles that develop incrementally with regular training. Incremental development in software is the norm, and for good reason. Each day’s effort, seemingly small in isolation, compounds over time, fostering growth and deepening understanding. This principle extends beyond just academic subjects; it’s a foundational approach to any skill or challenge we undertake.

The superpower of doing a little every day The superpower of doing a little every day.

In today’s fast-paced world, where immediacy is the norm, it’s easy to overlook the enduring value of patience and persistence. Behind monumental successes and lasting achievements lies a universal truth: they took time, built upon layers of consistent hard work, repeated day after day. That’s why we shouldn’t be afraid of starting small, of taking baby steps, as long as we have consistency and dedication towards a goal.

Life, with its myriad challenges and unexpected turns, will always be unpredictable. But amidst this uncertainty, there’s a lesson we can hold onto. It’s not always the grand gestures or the spotlight moments that define us. More often than not, it’s the small, daily efforts, those incremental steps, that carve our path to success. So, embrace this approach. Commit to doing a little every day. With patience and consistency, this simple strategy can open doors to remarkable achievements.