Once in awhile, you come across something that inspires you, something you wish you could integrate into your bones. You want it to become part of who you are.
This happened to me recently.
I listened to the Q&A episode of the Time Ferriss Show with Jocko Willink, where Jocko said something that really changed how I think an important topic, and I immediately thought: “I must not forget this message”. I wanted to make it a part of my life.
The question Jocko was answering, was about an artist’s discipline. Jocko is BIG on discipline, and the listener wanted to know, how an artist could apply his principles of discipline at times of low inspiration.
If an artist didn’t “feel like it” on a given day, how could he get up early in the morning and start showcasing his disciplined spirit?
I really perked up my ears when I heard this question, because I usually tell myself, that I am excused for not writing, if I am not particularly “feeling it”.
Well, as usual, Jocko can make you feel like a weakling for carrying such a mind-set.
His response was basically, that you must do your work every goddamn day – regardless of whether you are inspired or not. You need to practice to get better. And if only 1% of what you produce is any good, you are still closer to your end-goal than before.
If you are a painter, you must get up and force the paint onto the canvas.
The sculptor must force the clay together.
And the writer must force the words onto the paper.
It was especially the last part that resonated with me, because I fantasize about becoming a writer one day, and I therefore immediately thought that I must integrate this idea into who I am.
I therefore, wrote a note on my phone that said “force the words onto the paper”,
took a screenshot of it, and made it the background image on my phone.
That way, I am reminded of the idea every day, in a non-intrusive way, and I find it immensely helpful for really remembering something inspirational.
Try it yourself, if you want to live by a quote or something. We all look at our phones a million times a day anyway ?