In this section, we explore the daily routines of people who probably have their sh*t together.
Profile: Jerry Seinfeld
Today, we profile one of the most successful people in his field, comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
Ritual: the ‘Don’t Break the Chain’ Technique
In order to be the best joke teller, you have to, well, tell the best jokes. And just like any other craft, you master it by practice. Jerry knew that in order to become the best comedian of his generation, he had to write every. single. day.
So, he bought a yearly wall calendar, accompanied by a red marker. Every new day that he wrote, he drew an X on the calendar so as not to ‘break the chain’. This calendar acted as Seinfeld’s reward system. Drawing an X and seeing his progress fuelled his accomplishment bug.
His goal was not to write each day, it was to keep the chain going. Yes, in order to keep the chain going he had to write. But the daunting, difficult task of disciplinarily writing each day is more mentally exhausting than merely…keeping the chain!
It eliminates the mental block, similar to looking at an intimating to-do list and instead of starting it, lying in your bed because you don’t even know where to begin.
Quote: 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.
Read: Life’s Work: An Interview with Jerry Seinfeld
Watch: Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill