Template design by cpa website and free forum hosting
search my site
Who's online
We have 18 guests online
Member login

Follow Me
Facebook Twitter Linkedin
You are here > Home

Volume 11, Issue 24: A Little Every Day

When studying for exams, did you or do you wait until exam week to cram all your studying? Or do you prefer to do a little bit of studying almost every other day around the beginning of the semester so that when exams are around the corner you only have a little preparation to make?

When it comes to keeping your house, are you more inclined to doing a little bit of cleaning and organizing almost every other day? Or do you prefer to not do much in the day-to-day and focus on spring cleaning and deep cleaning every once in awhile or when you get to it?

Both methods get the job done, somehow. Is one of the methods better than the other or is that a matter of personal opinion? I don't know the answer to that. What I know is that if you are like me, inclined to doing a little bit every day, then you find piling all the work to when it must be done rather overwhelming and intimidating.

You would rather spend five to fifteen minutes each day, and thirty to sixty minutes each week cleaning and organizing spaces in your home, than spend several hours over the weekend restoring order to your home. You would rather wipe down your clean chimney for a few seconds every day than let dirt and grease pile on it that can only come out by deep cleaning.

If you are anything like me, you would rather study for exams long before the exam timetable is released. I keep drumming into my children each morning as I drop them to school to make each day count. My philosophy, which I keep reminding them every school morning is that "you don't prepare for exams during exam week, you prepare for exams from day one of school."

So, if you even slightly agree that a little every day is better and more efficient than piling all the work to the very last minute, why don't you give it a try? Try it in your work, in your house keeping, in your relationships, in your studies, in your finances, in your health and fitness practices.

I know people who do zero exercise during the week but compensate with hours of binge workout on the weekend. I little bit every day or every other day is more manageable, I would say. But when all is said and done, you can only go by what works for you. So don't think you have to switch to doing a little every day if you are doing just fine with piling your work to the end of the week or month or quarter or year. Each of us is different.


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi



Volume 11, Issue 23: One More Lap

This is the last of a series of three articles on a few lessons learnt from my early days in Mark Batterson's "Win The Day" book. If you are just joining us, I recommend that you put a pause on this read and first read the last two posts before this. Start with "Excellence is mundane" then "Consistently consistent" then come back to this one.

Related article: Consistently Consistent

This third lesson is on persistence. Mark used the example of another swimmer to demonstrate the lesson. "Compared with his compatriots, Rowdy Gaines got a late start at competitive swimming. He took up the sport at seventeen, but he made up for lost time with a grueling work ethic. Gaines won three gold medals at the 1984 Olympics, the year before Michael Phelps was born. He set eleven world records during his storied career."

Here is where it gets good, Mark continues. "Rowdy Gaines once calculated how many cumulative miles he had swum. Because America boycotted the Moscow games in 1980, Rowdy spent eight years training for races that lasted less than one minute. That's worth repeating - eight years for one minute! Add up all the laps, and Gaines swam twenty thousand miles in fifty-meter increments! Or as he put it, "I swam around the world for a race that lasted forty nine seconds!""

Now that's the mundanity of excellence. As Mark puts it, "the mundanity of excellence is one more lap. It's choosing the pain of present discipline over the pain of future regret. That's the difference between good and great. And it's not true just in the Olympic pool; it's true in the kiddie pool."

Research has found that better performance in any field usually has more to do with effort than ability. Mark gave the example of a study of first graders where students were given a difficult puzzle to solve. The researchers weren't interested in whether the children could solve the puzzle. They wanted to see how long they would try before giving up.

The researchers concluded that the difference in math scores has less to do with intelligence quotient and more to do with persistence quotient. Mark concluded this section by saying "that study does more than explain the difference in standardized math scores. It doesn't matter whether it's athletics or academics, music or math. There are no shortcuts. There are no cheat codes. The only magic is outworking everyone else!"


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi


User Rating: / 1

Volume 11, Issue 22: Consistently Consistent

Picking up from last week's post titled "Excellence is Mundane," the second lesson is "Consistently consistent." In case you are just joining us, I recommend that you first read last week's post then jump right back onto this one.

Related article: Excellence is Mundane

What does consistently consistent mean? Isn't that a repetition of the same word? Exactly. Don't you just love the double emphasis? Wouldn't it be nice if someone described you as "consistently consistent?" That would make you a person of excellence. You may come across as predictable and boring to some people, but certainly excellent if what you are doing consistently is valuable.

Continuing to stress the mundanity of excellence, Mark Batterson said that "Consistency beats intensity seven days a week. Do you know what Michael Phelps did after becoming the best in the world? He trained even harder, even longer - six hours a day, seven days a week, five years in a row! Do the math, and that's tough to beat. That's the point, and that's true of everything. If you want to be the best, you've got to log in the hours."

Mark continues, "The question, of course, is, how do you muster that kind of discipline? How do you keep on keeping on even when you've reached the top rung of the ladder? Extrinsic motivation fades like marine layer fog. If you are motivated by extrinsic factors like fame or fortune, motivation eventually evaporates along with the accolades. Why? You are working for the wrong reasons!"

So what the secret to remaining consistent? Mark hit the nail on the head with this. "Intrinsic motivation is the gift that keeps on giving. It's the thing that keeps us going after everybody else gets out of the pool. It's the thing that gets us up early and keeps us up late."

Mark defines intrinsic motivation as "living for the applause of nail-scarred hands. It's giving God A-plus effort. It's recognizing that potential is God's gift to us and that what we do with it is our gift to God. It's not trying to be better than everybody else. It's trying to be better than you were yesterday!" There's nothing I could add to that exploration.

So, let's go out and be consistently consistent. Stay tuned for the third lesson next week - one more lap.


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi



Volume 11, Issue 21: Excellence is Mundane

I am finally reading Mark Batterson's "Win The Day" book. It is what I expected it to be - a great read. I am so glad to have it. The other day I was so impressed by a couple of lessons in the third chapter that I made my kids read them out loud during our hangout time at the dinner table. This is one of the benefits my family is accruing from having dinner together every night. It's not just for catching up and laughs but also learning together and taking in God's word.

The lessons I pulled out aren't new to me, but how Mark put them across is the best way I would want to pass them along to the people I am mentoring like my children. I had them read these lessons out loud to drum some of the points I have been reinforcing to them recently. The first lesson is "Excellence is mundane." The second is "Consistently consistent." And the third is "One more lap." Let's start with the first lesson in this post and take it from there.

The first lesson is "Excellence is mundane." Here, Mark used the example of Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, winner of twenty-three gold medals. This was a perfect example as my kids are familiar with Phelps from their years of intense swimming training. Mark brought out the fact that although Phelps body is tailor-made for the pool, we tend to overemphasize genetics while underappreciating work ethics.

When Phelps was a teenager, he agreed to train on Sundays at the request of his coach. His coach said, "Great, we just got 52 more workouts in than your competitors, because most people take Sundays off."

Mark put it rightly so that the gold medal generally goes to the person who puts in the most time and effort. All other things being equal, fifty-two extra workouts is what wins the gold, wins the day. And that's true no matter what you do. The secret is surprisingly simply, says Mark: "Excellence is mundane." This is good because it means the playing field is more level than you might think.

Stressing the point, Mark continues by saying that it's easy to envy the success of others while ignoring the sacrifices that made it possible. "Quit envying their outcomes and start imitating their inputs."

I like what Mark says next. He says, "Excellence seems miraculous but it's actually quite mundane. Excellence is a habit that is repeated consistently and correctly over and over again."

That's it for the first lesson, very simply put but quite on point. I picked this lesson because one of my children is at a place of switching between statements like, "Mathematics is actually easy" and "I am just not good at math." The other one seems to be working hard at both his studies and sports but I can tell that he can do better at both.

This lesson isn't just for my kids. It is for me too and many adults. It's a reminder to me to do better. There are so many things that I can do better. So I want to bask here and let it sink in so that I can make a mental choice to go after excellence once again. We will tackle the second lesson in the next post, consistently consistent. Stay tuned.


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi



Volume 11, Issue 20: Inspiration Goes A Long Way

Watching home organization videos lately has sparked my natural interest in organizing spaces. I am naturally very organized and my home is typically well organized and aesthetically set up.

Although some of the videos I have watched felt a notch lower than I am in my organization level or showed me things that I already know, I found myself making quite a bit of improvements in my home organization the last few weeks as a result of that exposure.

What I have learnt from this experience is that first, there's something to be learnt from everyone. I watched these videos mostly to unwind but they inspired me to up-my-game. Most of their ideas weren't relevant for my context but they inspired me to make improvements that are suitable for my context.

Secondly, inspiration goes a long way. You don't need anyone to tell you what to do. All you need is their inspiring example to nudge you in the right direction. On the same note, you don't need to copy someone's ideas. Your ideas are the best for your context.

Thirdly, I also learnt that it's very easy to settle. You may know you are good at something and close yourself off from learning more about it and advancing your understanding and expertise. That is how I felt when I found that there are more levels that I can take my home organization.

I am having so much fun implementing these improvements in my home organization and spaces in general. I reckon you may have no interest in home organization. But this is a nudge for you to open yourself up to learn more and up-your-game in an area that you feel you already have a good handle on, or that you are already a pro at.


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi