Anything Done Consistently Becomes Special
September 9, 2021
A few days back, I was chatting with a friend, and he had some kind words to say about my daily blog. He told me how some of my blog posts made him think and revaluate his beliefs and habits. He also wanted to understand how I stay motivated to write daily without being short on ideas.
Here is what I shared with him.
What everyone gets to see is the daily blog as the output. But something like this is not possible as spontaneous activity. There is a clear but simple process that makes the daily blog possible. The process that I have involves four core elements.
Don’t Break The Chain
It is easy to stick to any new habit if we follow the one simple rule of not breaking the chain. Whatever daily routine you wish to commit to, do it no matter what, without a break. Your mind will tell you many stories to distract you from not doing it- You are tired, not in the mood, better things to do, etc.- Ignore all that chatter and don’t break the rule. When I started blogging, this was the primary element of my process. Come what may, I will write every day. Some days it could be 100 words, while other days, it could be 700 words or 1000 words.
We all intuitively think creativity is all about creating something original. But, this is not true. I certainly don’t consider myself the most creative person, and I don’t really have many original ideas. But I am certainly good at remixing stuff where I take ideas from stuff I read, watch or listen to, add my own spin to these ideas, and then give out an interesting perspective that is uniquely mine. In many ways, this is what creativity is. Pablo Picasso said this- good artists copy, great artists steal. The critical element of my daily writing habit is at least 1 hour of reading books, listening to podcasts, or watching great content like the Ted Talks. I make a note of all the key ideas that resonate with me, and this then becomes the source material for my writings.
This flows through from the first point. Our brains are very good for having ideas and making connections but not storing or memorizing the ideas. There have been several instances where I have had an idea while on a walk, and I thought- “wow, this is a great idea,” and by the time I am back in the house, much as I rack my brain, I can’t seem to recollect that idea. Our mind is just not good at retaining information. So if an idea strikes me, whether on a walk or in a shower or when reading a book, I make it a point to capture the idea immediately in my notepad or mobile. I don’t let the thought or idea decay. This way, I can access a ready array of ideas and concepts that I can pick up on and write about in my daily blog.
Many of the themes around which I write are not single-use. I can convey the same idea in different ways. E.g., some of the common themes I write about are dealing with fear, mindfulness, decision making. The idea and message may be the same, but the perspectives can be infinite. I could convey the same core message using a personal anecdote, an actual story, or a personal reflection. So, in a way, every new blog I write about becomes a source of information that I could potentially reuse and recycle.
Any basic skill, when done consistently, starts feeling special to others because, for most people, when it comes to developing skills, the challenge is always in being consistent.