Mondays with Mac: Creating a Habit

Mondays with Mac: Creating a Habit

"You often hear, 'Be bold. Take a leap!' Sometimes you should. Other times, there's a better idea. Take a step."
~ Harry Beckwith

From his best-selling software to his blog, Persistence Unlimited, Brad Isaac lives goal setting. He describes how years ago when he was trying to learn the ropes as a comic, he met Jerry Seinfeld and asked him if he had any tips for a young comic. What Seinfeld told him he never forgot.

Seinfeld said that the way to be a better comic and create better jokes is to write every day. He said that he used a leverage technique to motivate himself even when he didn't feel like writing.

Here's how it worked...

Seindfeld told Brad to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and to hang it on a prominent wall. He said each day that you write, put a big red X over that day. "After a few days, Seindfeld said, "you'll have a chain. Just keep at it, and the chain will grow longer each day. You'll enjoy seeing the chain when you get a few weeks under your belt. Now your only job is to not break the chain. Don't break the chain," he said again for emphasis.

This is great advice, not only for comics, but for anyone with a goal they wish to achieve. Daily action builds habits. It gives you practice and will keep you moving towards your goals. If you don't break the chain, you'll spot opportunities you otherwise wouldn't. All of the small improvements accumulate into large improvements rapidly because daily action provides "compounding interest."

"We first make our habits, and then our habits make us."
~ John Dryden

January 19, 2009
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