Stepping into vulnerability is akin to physically exerting yourself to the point of nausea. Nausea may be the reaction to the situation, yet that’s clearly not the desired result. A daily routine, the cooperative of behaviors and choices that make habits, lead to the desired outcomes and reveal the benefits over time. Once in the flow, it’s near impossible to pinpoint what specifically is the shining star. You can’t look in the mirror this morning and say, “it was that one particular set of push-ups Monday of last week that did the trick,” – “that one run stride during a 5k that took fifteen seconds of my time this month” – “that one healthy meal that made the weight come off” – “that one day I woke up early that increased my productivity this year.” Consistent effort drives transformation; never a single instance. Life is a Rube Goldberg machine. It can be simple or overly complicated. It can be as ugly, messy, quirky and clunky as it can be beautifully rhythmic and exciting. Nested within the contraption itself is the knowledge that in order for the machine to work properly, everything has to execute as it’s intended. It’s more important to know that the odds are in failure’s favor. You’ll naturally spend more time resetting and reworking than you will celebrating. And even when you’re celebrating, the afterglow is spent in harmony with the aftermath of effort. Taking the painstaking time every day to reset and examine what worked and didn’t work, gives you the insight of how to fix problems that cause flaws in execution because you understand why they happened. It’s not glamorous. There’s no glory in setting up the machine. OK Go’s video for “This Too Shall Pass” is a massive Rube Goldberg machine. It’s a triumphant video and a perfect analogy for life. The final product is the closest they come to “perfection,” but you also get to see the mess of their previous attempts. Practice makes progress, not perfection. The room was only pristine once. To move the machine to a new room for every take would be unrealistic. Our lives are pristine only once – the day we’re born. Sometimes, even those days aren’t pristine.