The Philosophical Apprentice

“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” Albert Einstein

Don’t Break the Chain!

Here’s a link to the new organizational strategy I’ve been using. It’s called Don’t Break the Chain (DBTC). It’s also called the Jerry Seinfeld technique since it reportedly has been used by the comedian to force himself to write everyday.

It is very simple in practice. Here is one description

1) Choose some habit(s) you would like to adhere to on a regular basis

If you’re new to this, start with just one or two. My current habits are morning meditation, 1 mile walk, waking by 6am, exercise

2) Get a calendar

Here are your options for calendars in order of awesomeness:

A smartphone app made for this technique. My favorite is Streaks, but there are plenty more if you search your app store for ‘streak’ or ‘don’t break the chain’.

A web app, eg. chains.cc which also has an accompanying iPhone app.

A physical calendar on which you can draw big X’s. Only use this if you’re desperate because the digital versions automatically keep track of your streaks and allows for multiple habits with varying requirements of consistency.

3) Cross out every day you stick to the habit

It feels fantastic to cross off each day. I’ve been told it’s common to unconsciously utter the words ‘Damn right’ or ‘BOSS’ while doing this…

Why does this work so well?

You’ll do anything to continue the chain. You’ll even find yourself having the urge to lie when you break a particularly long chain. That’s part of why this technique is so effective: it’s painful to go back to (literally) square one.

Consistency is key. Habits are solidified through steady commitment to change, even if those commitments are small in scope. Going an inch a day is far better than trying to go 6 inches every few days and failing.

Here’s another perspective on DBTC.

I’ve been using the DBTC for four days now and am very pleased with the results. I have included a Don_t-Break-the-Chain-Calendar-365-Year for anybody who wants to try it out. Good luck.

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