Do It Every Day
One of the simplest secrets of what I’ve been able to accomplish so far–which, while not overwhelming, is at least something more than nothing–can be attributed to this paragraph I encountered years ago.
Do it every day.
Want to become a concert pianist? Do it every day.
Want to become a writer? Do it every day.
Want to become depressed? Think of depressing thoughts every day.
Want to become an optimist? Think of cheerful thoughts every day.
Do it every day.
–Robert Anton Wilson
It’s one of those things that’s simple but not necessarily easy. I’ve kept a copy of that text in various places over the years. It used to be my home location in my browser, so that I’d see it first thing when I sat down. For a number of years, it hung on the wall by my work computer, so that I could see it every day and remind myself that my true work never happened at that desk.
Within it is the idea that we make ourselves. That the outside only forms us up to a point–and the rest is up to us. Also hidden in there is the idea that small effort, applied consistently over time, will get you where you want to go.
There are days when it’s hard. And days when I missed it completely. The important thing is to move on from there and make sure you do whatever-it-is the next day. Don’t double up to make up for lost time. Don’t let the guilt keep you from getting back to business the next day. Just be there, do it.
Even if it was 500 words a day, I eventually ended up with stories. Then there’s the whole “pyramids and bricks” thing. Yadda-yadda. You know the routine.
The only thing I would add to the above quoted text is this: every day, ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. What makes it worthwhile? Is it what you want to be doing? This goes back to the mental aspects that Wilson included and can help you adjust your thinking.
The answer, along with the daily reminder to “do it every day,” will give you a good push in the direction you want to go.