Set the Alarm

One of the blogs that I follow is one written by Andrew Watt. Andrew is a he’s a teacher currently serving up the subjects of Latin, History and Design Thinking. He’s also very disciplined. For example, he’s taken on a practice of Tai Chi daily of a year. Another great topic Andrew has written about is the Palace of Memory.

So Andrew is a wicked smart friend of mine and if you look at the dedication he’s taken to the tai chi practice and read the daily entries like I have, you’ll find he’s discovered more in this practice than simple body movements. He’s discovered the basic tenets of work and discipline

If you take any activity and repeat it, deliberately, there’s something of value in the act.

Now take that thought and combine it with this Facebook quote from Patton Oswalt:

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It says: “Everyone: just pick one small thing you want to try to do, and quietly do it as many times as you can in the new year. But don’t give tomorrow any importance. Calendars are constructs. It’s just you and the pursuit.

Whoah, who dumped bath salts into this Chex Mix?”

Let’s look at the value of doing something you’re passionate about and doing it over and over again. Forget the calendar. If you like to paint, then paint. I find if the activity is small and deliberate, like a set of specific tai ch moves, the progress can be accurately measured. You’ve either done it or not. As I discovered from Andrew’s tai chi experiment, he was able to explore a daily process and find near infinite interest and detail in the daily act. It’s the discipline and work that truly rules the day.

So set that alarm and write in that journal. Leave that reminder and pick up that drawing pad. Discover the joy in that activity. And while you are at it, forget the clock.