Are you facing some significant life changes at the moment? Despite the best of plans, life often throws a curveball....
In case you didn’t notice, Seinfeld didn’t talk about how good the jokes he wrote were or anything about the results of what writing these jokes meant for him professionally. That was already evident in his success. His only job and priority everyday was “not breaking the chain.”
Did you know John Grisham build his career as a bestselling author by harnessing the power of momentum by writing one page a day?
When he first started writing he was still working as a lawyer at his day job. Despite the long hours he created space for writing every day. Each morning he would wake at 5am and be at his desk at work, only 5 minutes from his home, with a yellow legal pad and a cup of coffee writing his page.
As of 2015, he’s published 33 books in only 25 years, averaging out to 1.3 books per year.
Pretty incredible. Yet he set himself a simple target:
Write one page each day.
Sometimes that one page was completed in mere minutes, while other times it took hours. Regardless of the time it took, he stuck with his commitment and wrote one page every day and the power of momentum and compounding interest has led him to become America’s favorite storyteller.
Persistence creates luck. Persistence creates experience.
The power of marginal gains and incremental improvements compound over time into large advancement. I’m a believer in Alan Weiss’ “One Percent Solution” — the concept that if you aim to improve your business (or yourself) by 1% each day, in only 70 days you’ll be twice as good as you are now. This begins with small steps. Pick one thing you want to get better at, and do it every day.
Seinfeld didn’t sit down and decide to write 500 jokes in a day. That would be overwhelming, not to mention unachievable over the long run. It’s comparable to someone never working out to deciding they’re going to the gym everyday. Instead, you can sit down and write one joke a day, or do 10 pushups in the morning when you wake up, and start creating a chain.
Nathan Barry made a commitment to writing 1,000 words per day in 2012 that skyrocketed his blog and led him to making $30,000 in only 6 weeks.
Consider the one thing that would make the most profound difference to your life if you practiced it everyday.
For Seinfeld, it was writing a joke. For Grisham it was writing one page. For you, it could be writing poetry, drawing, or a multitude of other things. It just has to be something you’re passionate about improving on.
For myself, I wanted to improve my writing and learn to express myself better, so I started writing 750 words, approximately 3 pages, in the morning. Now I’m on day 39 of my morning pages. Yesterday I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to write anything. But I knew I had to. I’m on a roll! So I wrote 150 words about how I couldn’t be bothered writing (yes seriously), and the other 600 words ended up being ideas that led to writing this post.
“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”
– Steven Pressfield, The War of Art