“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
What this means for you and I:
- Have a routine (go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time every day)
- Forge habits that, when aggregated, make your life better over time
- Look after yourself – good nutrition, adequate rest, strenuous physical exercise, access to a broad range of mentally stimulating inputs (films, books, podcasts, conversations etc)
- Don’t make stupid financial decisions that will put strain on the rest of your life
In sum: get out of your own way. Don’t let chaos impede your ability to do the work you’re capable of. You owe it to yourself.
So far, I’ve been successful in doing a drawing every day of 2018 (all seven days of it… pretty impressive, right?).
Certainly wasn’t easy to motivate myself to draw after a day spent in the university library doing econometrics… But I got it done.
I’ve been thinking about why this recent bout of writing and drawing has been going well (and feeling good) so far. I think this quote is extremely important:
“You can’t win a game you haven’t defined.”
Vague goals are impossible to achieve. Most new year’s resolutions are like this: “get in better shape”, or “be more creative.”
If you set clearly defined parameters, you’ll know if you’re on track or not. You can adjust as and when you need. So “be more creative” has become:
- One new drawing a day.
- Write 1000 words a day.
And that’s it! It’s binary. If I notice a pattern of routinely meeting these or not, it’ll tell me something about whether they’re the right goals, whether I need to change a habit or routine.
That’s infinitely better than flailing around in a cloud of uncertainty.
Define your game.