In this post, learn why you should focus more on doing small, but consistent improvements and how it can change both your physical and spiritual life for the better!
Have you ever wondered why we have a leap year?
Let me explain it to you in the simplest way I can.
We measure the day on how long the earth rotates on its axis.
Now that’s 24 hours.
On the other hand, we measure the year on how long it takes for the earth to make a complete revolution around the sun.
It takes 365.24219 days.
To make it simpler, we say, it takes 365 days and ¼ of a day for the earth to revolve around the sun.
So, if you add ¼ + ¼ + ¼ + ¼, it gives us 1 full day.
That’s why we have a leap year every four years.
Now, here’s where things get interesting.
It is not true that we get a leap year every four years.
You know why?
Remember, it is not 365.25, but it is 365.24.
What do you do with the 0.01-day difference?
You can’t simply ignore that.
What happens then?
Approximately, every 100 years, we skip the leap year (there’s an exemption to this rule, though).
Here’s a quick video to help you better understand what I’m talking about.
You see, the small details in the popular calendar such as the 1/4 days and 0.01 days will eventually add up.
You don’t quite see it yet.
It seems unnoticeable…
But eventually, that 0.01 or 0.24 days will add up and when they do…
They will not only affect you, or me, your city or your country, but it will affect the whole world’s reckoning of time!
A powerful lesson from leap years
Friends, why am I telling you this?
There’s one great lesson we can derive from leap years and that is something I want to share with you.
Here’s the lesson I want to share:
Don’t underestimate the power of small improvements.
It is no secret that a lot of people love to see big changes in their lives.
They want to immediately create that big impact, to see that huge result, and experience that massive change.
However, it is the same reason that a lot of us fail.
We start with a lot of enthusiasm at first and when we realize it takes more work than we first thought, we get discouraged and eventually we quit.
The same thing could happen in our spiritual life.
We promise to do something big and haven’t really thought of the effort we need to accomplish it.
As a result, we fail at first attempt and will never attempt again.
Let me give you an example.
You promise that you will read the whole Bible in just one month – then in just the first week, you failed.
You promise to pray for 1 hour a day and then you realize you can’t even reach 20 minutes.
You promise to fast every week and then, you can’t even fast once a month.
That’s why brethren if you have been failing all this time, it’s time to rethink your strategy.
It’s time to consider the power of small improvements.
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The parable of the mustard seed
I want to illustrate to you the power of small improvement through one of the parables of Yahshua (also known as Jesus Christ).
It’s found in Matthew 13:31-32:
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
If you look at the mustard seed, my friend, it is so tiny like the grain of the sand (there are also other bigger variety of mustard seeds).
If you look at that seed, it looks lifeless.
It looks hopeless.
It seems it won’t do any good.
You won’t even be able to identify mustard seeds if they are scattered on the ground.
If you don’t know its mustard seed, you won’t expect that it will grow into a great tree.
When you cultivate the seed, you won’t see it grow instantly.
Instead, it takes a few days for you to see a sprouting seed.
Then, it takes a few weeks for it to grow into a plant.
And it would take a few months for it to grow into a tree and years for it to grow into a mighty tree where it becomes more useful to the birds, animals, and people around it.
Related blog you also need to read, “5 little-known lessons we learn from the Parable of the Growing Seed (Mark 4:26-29).”
The mustard seed knows the power of small improvements.
It knows that if it only improves itself day after day after day, even if the improvement is just small, it will eventually achieve its purpose.
In the same manner, friends, we too, should not underestimate the power of small improvements.
The power of 1%
While researching about the power of small improvements, one thing constantly comes up.
Some folks also call this principle as the power of 1%.
If every day you made 1% improvement, then think about what you can achieve in a year. How much more in 2 years? 5 years? Or even 10 years!
You’ll eventually look back and see how much you have improved.
Now, it doesn’t have to be just 1% because I know you can do better than that.
What happens if you add 1% to your 1%, then you add another 1%? That would be 3%.
If you consistently do this in one year, without fail, you’ll get 365% better than when you first started!
Now, that’s the power of small improvements.
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Applying the power of small improvements
You can virtually apply the power of 1% or small improvements in all aspects of your life.
If you want to improve your endurance, add more time in your workout.
I remember, when I started lifting 20-pound dumbbells.
Eventually, I added, 2.5 pounds, then another, and another.
Now, I can easily lift 50 pounds.
The same in running. I can only run 3 kilometers before.
Now, I added 500 meters after two weeks, then another 500 meters, and then another.
Now, my normal running distance is 5 kilometers.
You can also apply the power of small improvements in your work, in your school, and activities of daily living.
But I think the most important application would be in your spiritual life.
If you’re trying to establish a prayer habit, start with just 5 minutes.
Then, add 1 minute after a week, then another one.
Now, you don’t simply have to increase in quantity, but also in quality.
So, you start to become 1% more focused.
1% more attentive.
1% more conscious.
You can also apply that in your Bible study.
You can probably read 1 chapter per day for a start, then add half a chapter after two weeks, then another and another and another.
When you do this, you’ll find it easier to finish even one whole short book in one day!
Isn’t that amazing, my friend?
Now, there are just so many ways to apply this power of small improvements.
I can’t possibly tell you everything, but the principle is clear.
All you need to do is consistently improve.
While the change may not be obvious in the beginning, you’ll eventually reap the compound effect of those small improvements just like the leap year.
What is 0.01 of a day? Isn’t it so insignificant that it is even disregarded for what, for 100 years?
But when it is fully accumulated, the whole world will take notice and they have to re-adjust the calendar again if they don’t want to lose its synchronization to the heavens and seasons.
Now, that’s the power of 1%.
That’s the power of small improvement.
Commanded to grow and improve
Improving yourself isn’t just my mere suggestion.
The Word of God is filled with verses about improving yourself.
However, let me end this blog with II Peter 1:5-7:
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
You see, improving yourself isn’t simply a suggestion, but it is commanded and highly encouraged in the Bible.
Having faith is just to start.
It is not enough to have just faith.
You need to grow and add to it virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love.
Continually improve yourself, my friend.
When you do this, “an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (verse 11).
May the lesson we learn from the leap year be with you, now and to the future!