It’s not about being the best. It’s about being better than you were yesterday.
A few weeks ago, an iGnite Member sent me a quote, which happens to be our quote-of-the-week. I thought it was a brilliant quote, as the pressure of being ‘the best’ is overwhelming, daunting, and requires a winner and loser. The idea of striving to be better everyday is personal and less competitive, making the goal much more achievable and enjoyable. At the time, I knew I wanted to incorporate the quote into a journal entry, but I wasn’t exactly sure how it would happen, as my intention is to let each entry grow organically and authentically. Sure enough, just as I was thinking about how I would use the quote, I ran across an article by Darren Hardy featuring Jerry Seinfield. This is what it said:
A young comic asked Jerry Seinfeld if he had any tips for him starting out as a comic. What he told the young comic would benefit him for a lifetime. Seinfeld told the comic that the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes. And the way to create better jokes was to write every day.
But his advice went further. He explained a technique that he uses to keep himself motivated, even when he doesn’t feel like it. Jerry explained the calendar system he uses to pressure himself to write. Here’s how it works:
He said, “Get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. Maybe somewhere your family can see or your office mates. The next step is to get a red magic marker. For each day you complete the task of writing, put a big red X over that day. After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”
Seinfeld understands that daily action yields greater benefits than sitting down and trying to knock out 300 jokes in one day. This calendar system works because it visually reinforces us to stick with that consistent daily action. Skipping one day makes it easier to skip the next.
The visual of not breaking the chain resonates with me. Each consecutive day I don’t break my chain will allow me to be better than the day before, just as the quote states. In addition, every day that I take action towards my goal will strengthen my ability to be my best, and will build discipline and positive momentum for my goal and my life in general.
Honestly, I have not chosen my goal, habit, or positive action yet; however, I have come up with a multitude of positive actions that, if implemented everyday, would lead to incredible results. For example: drink 64 oz. of water a day, take my vitamins, tell my family I love them, write a note to a friend, exercise, pray, journal, get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, eat at home vs. eat out…
Literally, the list is infinite, but as Jerry suggests, “just choose one and purchase your wall calendar and a red magic marker.” Then, start your objective and don’t break your chain to being your best and better than you were yesterday.
Point To Ponder:
If implemented everyday, what habit, behavior or action would make the greatest impact on your life?
Determine your habit, behavior, or action. Then purchase your wall calendar, red marker and start your chain!
To your health,