The power of streaks

cal ripken

On September 20, 1998, Cal Ripken walked into the office of his boss, the manager of the Baltimore Orioles, and told him he wanted to be out of the line up for that evening’s game. That night he chose, himself, to end “the streak”. At that point, he had played in 2,632 consecutive games for the Orioles over more than 16 years in a sport with 162 games in the regular season alone.

Nearly two years ago Seth Godin wrote a blog about his habit of daily blogging that inspired me to do the same. I have now published a daily blog more than 650 days in a row.

This week Seth wrote another post, which I share today. I agree with him. Each morning I don’t think “will I write?”, it is simply “what will I write about today?”.

Thanks again Seth, and also thanks to Cal Ripken, it was a pleasure to witness you in your prime and to have seen you leave on your own terms.

Over to you, Seth:

Streaks

Seth Godin, Aug 8, 2019

Today’s the 11th year in a row of daily posts on this blog. Nearly 5,000,000 words since my first post twenty years ago, and I haven’t missed a day (given some time-zone wiggle room) since 2008.

Streaks are their own reward.

Streaks create internal pressure that keeps streaks going.

Streaks require commitment at first, but then the commitment turns into a practice, and the practice into a habit.

Habits are much easier to maintain than commitments.

I’m pretty sure that the blog would still have an impact if I missed a day here or there, but once a commitment is made to a streak, the question shifts from, “should I blog tomorrow,” to, “what will tomorrow’s blog say?”

And once you’ve made that shift, it’s 100x easier to find the voice that you’re looking for.

I didn’t set out to have this particular streak (I don’t remember the day the blog went from ‘most days’ to ‘every day’) but I’m glad to have gone on this journey. Thanks for being part of it.

 


Also published on Medium.

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