Today, I write my blog post number 1,000.
1,000 days of writing every day. Almost three years since I have decided to give it another try.
And one thing has become more and more clear during this time. The end goal is the act of writing itself. It is not the views – for those, I am grateful. It is not the likes – by those, I am humbled. It is the sitting down in front of the screen every evening, no matter where I happen to be, no matter the kind of day I had, no matter whether I know what I will write about or not. It is the habit. It is the doing.
We need habits. And we need to go back to choosing the ones we dedicate time to.
In whatever you do that matters to you, make sure to put a touch of your own unique personality.
When you apply for a job, when you write a blog post, when you deliver a speech, when you interact with others, when you are in a meeting, when you are bringing your boss up to speed, when you are out with your kids or talk to your parents. In every single situation there are many rules that have but one job: to make things predictable and dull.
Rules are important, and you should follow them. Few people are happy when all of their expectations are disregarded.
But remember to add a touch of your own unique personality. Few people are happy when all they see around is predictable and dull.
It is a difficult balance to strike. Just don’t forget who you are and what you stand for.
You can’t start with great.
You might start with average, decent, ok. Or more often, you will start with poor, näive, ineffectual.
And that’s where you will have to continue from. One step after the next. From horrible to passable, from decent to respectable, from good to fantastic.
You can’t start with great.
You can, though, end with legendary.
Herding information will eventually keep you from doing.
Articles, white papers, eBooks, webinars, podcasts, online classes, books, live and virtual events, tutorials are great resources, when they serve your higher purpose. But they can quickly become a self-serving treat: “just as our brains like empty calories from junk food, they can overvalue information that makes us feel good but may not be useful” (Assoc. Prof. Ming Hsu).
And clearly, the whole space (physical and mental) you occupy while you feed on information is space you cannot use otherwise. Is space you are taking away from focus, care, delivery.
There will be times in your digital life when you will be subscribed to plenty of newsletters, getting updates from a wealth of podcasts, consuming bottomless blogs, and recycling all of that in social media posts of doubt relevance.
Stop that now.
Find the bare minimum you need and bring the focus back to doing.
For your own sake.
In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.Herbert A. Simon
Motivation, inspiration, and creativity are resistance in disguise.
If you wait to be motivated to start going, you won’t get far.
If you wait for inspiration to struck before doing meaningful work, you’ll soon be out of a job.
If creativity is what you seek when sitting down to write, the page will stay empty most of the time.
There is nothing sudden in people’s achievements, no overnight success will surprise you.
Go do what you are supposed to. Every day.