The Yearly Delta

This is a short and joyful video I watched tonight. It is one of those videos that you will watch without blinking. It’s a video of a cute little kid called Indigo. His Dad has captured a second of Indigo’s life everyday for the entire year.

Here is the video

It is a pure joy to watch the video.

You can see Indigo growing steadily every single day and by the end of the year, he is walking slowly to place a candle on a small cake.

Now, the point of this blog post apart from sharing the joyful video…


While you will most probably not be remembering your own first year of life, you would have seen several babies growing up around you. The yearly delta in the first year is simply stunning. If you are a parent (and if you are not, talk to any parents) you will see that yearly delta when a child is growing up is huge. There is physical growth and there is intellectual growth – there is growth everywhere.

Compare that yearly delta to the last few years of your life?

Are you happy about the rate of growth?

Since you are not going to share your answer with anyone, there is no reason to manufacture artificial delta.

If you think about it, your intellectual growth needs to be accretive – meaning the yearly delta should be significantly higher than your past year and yearly delta for your past year needs to be far higher to it’s previous year and so on.

Sadly, in most cases, the yearly delta is close to zero.

All you see is sideways movement at best.

Three Reasons for Sideways Movement

1. Accretive Capacity Building Does Not Happen by Chance

Once you are on your own, you have plenty of choices on what to do on a daily basis. For a long time, you can get away with mediocre performance or by just doing slightly more than what you are expected to do. The reality hits post 40 and it’s too late to do anything except finding good external excuses to blame for your situation.

A better approach would have built your capacity to perform and contribute in an accretive fashion allowing you to deliver more output with less input. If you are one of those who have got this equation working, congratulations. If you are not, it’s never too late to start thinking, designing and working on building accretive capacity. It rarely happens by chance. YOU have to be wanting to make this happen.

2. Good Help Becomes Optional

When you are growing up, good help was always available. There were a number of loved ones starting with your parents and siblings who would have proactively come to your help when you needed it most. If you were going off the road, they would again come to your rescue to bring you back on line. However, they had no intention to act as your crutch so slowly they allowed you to make your own choices and at some point you started making MOST of your choices yourself.

Good help was available but it was optional and on your call. You could get by without good help too. Sometimes you had to pay and get that good help that would have meant you had to redirect money from short-term entertainment items to long-term investment areas. That for some would have been a hard choice to make.

3. Good Karma Seems Like a Luxury

Good Karma in simple terms is to move the needle for someone else in a meaningful way.

Good Karma is not luxury – in fact, it should be the way of life. Relentless good karma is your surefire method to accumulate excess capacity that you may be able to draw on demand.

Unfortunately, you can’t fake good karma.

Either you are engaged in good karma or you are not. The former will give you multiple returns if done right and the latter is meaningless to start with.

The yearly delta is a meaningful measure of progress in your life and YOU can influence what it could be.

In this year, there are still five more months to make a significant difference to your yearly delta. All the best!

Here is a 17-point program to help you create the best year of your life.