Don't Break The Chain

If you're a reader of my friend Josh's blog, you probably already know the news I have for you today. Read along anyway. Yesterday, January 6, marked the 365th day in a row that I'd written. That means today is 366.

Or it also could be day 1 of year 2. Depends on how you want to look at it. The point isn't to comment on what I've done. It's to talk about what you could do.

There's a question everyone in the world should have an answer to, I think. If asked this question, there shouldn't be a pause as you think on it or consider it. You should know.

The question is this: "If you could do anything, what would it be?"

Once you know the answer to that question, the answers to a lot of other questions become a lot easier.

For me, the answer to the question is that, if I could do anything, I would write. That's my dream.

So when you see that I've written for 365 days in a row, there shouldn't be any surprise. That's not shocking. It's me doing my "if I could do anything."

The truth is, we all have a lot more time than we tell ourselves we do. We all have opportunities to do our "if I could do anything," but we tend to turn them down. We find other things we could do instead.

The fact that Netflix now automatically plays the next episode of the show you're watching is a pretty prime example of this.

I've written extensively in the past about how for years, I would say I wanted to be a writer and never take the time to write. It felt good enough to have a goal that I didn't think I needed to do anything to achieve it. Telling people about that goal and hearing their reactions was enough.

Until it wasn't.

I first heard of the concept of "Don't Break The Chain" because of my fandom for Jerry Seinfeld. In an interview, someone asked him how he produces such a large quantity of jokes. His response was easy - he writes every day. He has a calendar and he puts an X through the days he's written.

Once you build up a few days, or a few weeks, or months or years, you'll start writing just because it would be awful to break that chain you have going. Sure, you might be tricking yourself into doing something, but it's better than not doing it. Especially on the days when you'd rather not get up off the couch.

From what I can tell, if you'd credit this idea to Seinfeld, he'd scoff it off. He doesn't take any credit for the idea. He simply says that if you want to get better at something, you do it every day.

If you could do anything, what would you do?

Now do it.