It’s 9 o’clock on Sunday morning. I’ve written an article and sent it out every previous Sunday for almost a year, but I haven’t written this Sunday’s article yet. There goes the streak. I should probably throw in the towel.
But I won’t. I decided to start writing articles (née blogs) last year because I want to explore new ideas at the intersection of productivity, technology, and thinking, all from the lens of a scientist. To me: writing is thinking. Want to test your knowledge of a subject, teach it, Feynman famously touted. This explains the popularity (and difficulty) of ELI5 - “explain it like I’m five”. But this comes much later in the thought process. Want to develop and hone an idea? Write about it.
By committing to writing each week, I carved out time to think. The by-product of having ideas to share with you is a fortunate side effect. More importantly, by thinking in public, like learning in public, I connect with a like-minded group of people who are also curious, like to think, and explore new ideas. Lastly, you all provide sticks and carrots to me to keep going — I’ll let you determine if you’re a stick or carrot.
“every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become”
I see myself as someone who likes exploring ideas. Therefore every article I write is a vote to be that type of person. Behavior is deeply rooted in identity. This powerful idea can move mountains, but also freeze you in place. Did you exercise today or do you see yourself as a fit person? Are you on a diet or are you the type of person who eats healthy food? Did you write an article this week or do you see yourself as the type of person who likes to explore ideas?
So what did I do on my first missed Sunday morning? I thought about some ideas, wrote about them, and shared them with you all on Sunday night, or even that one time on Monday morning. Consistency in the abstract, just for the sake of doing something, is not viable for long-term success. Consistency of a behavior that is linked to part of your identity can lead to meaningful change and growth.