Not resting on laurels

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard was something Michael Jordan said.

I think it was Michael Jordan, anyway. I can’t find the exact quote, so I’m going from memory. If I am just making this up or I dreamt it or whatnot, I apologize.

When asked what sets him apart from less successful people, he simply said he does not rest on his laurels.

Wreaths of laurels are a symbol of victory. Resting on them means being content at a certain plateau of accomplishment, and slowing down or going no further. To say, “I’ve made it, I’m done.”

Michael Jordan hasn’t done that in his life and career. As a result, he’s failed more times than I’ve tried, and succeeded more times than I’ve failed.

Yesterday I broke the chain, as Yann Girard puts it, on a 30+ day streak of writing. I had accomplished a goal, of writing Overcoming Financial Failure: A Peace Treaty with the System in thirty days, posting rough drafts of the chapters daily.

That felt good, and for a minute there, I thought I would just keep going and just write every day. You know, forever.

But yesterday, I rested on my laurels. Broke the chain. Momentum diminished.

As a result, now I have to write this awkward post about starting a new chain.

And, after a whole day of hardly thinking about writing, I only have a couple days remaining to edit, polish, finalize a cover for, and publish Overcoming Financial Failure (I committed to publishing it on January 3, 2017).

Unlike my first book so far, I am publishing the ebook version of OFF in multiple formats instead of just on Kindle. This involves learning how to use unfamiliar software, so that I can properly convert the files. Probably not a big deal, but the clock is ticking. I could have done it yesterday…

I am not beating myself up, really. Just learning and applying. The simple fact is, my day off yesterday was unneeded, and was not a part of the plan. Now, there is the same amount of work to do, but less time.

I could wax philosophical about how time is an illusion, but then I’d just be wasting more time.

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to break a chain. Like when I have overeaten for like thirty consecutive days.

Breaking a productivity chain hurts a little (especially when breaking a 31 day streak on Habitica!).

It’s a lot easier to reengage a pattern of self-destruction than it is to return to productivity.

At least it is for me. Or at least that’s how it’s been so far. Maybe only because I’ve destroyed myself a lot more frequently than I’ve produced, so the corresponding neural pathways are all oiled up and ready to go.

That’s changing now, because here I am. Writing this post. One day of laziness did not turn in to two. For me, that’s progress. Compared to what I have done many times in the past, this is success.

So now that I’ve written this post, I can go back to bed.

..just kidding. I’m just getting started.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work I go.