Word Count: 1078
Reading Time: 5.3 minutes
“Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.” – Billy Graham
Life and Writing
Today marks my 92nd blog post! Since my first post, The Adventure of Treasure in 2017, my journey in writing has been filled with twists and turns. Nothing short of an adventure. Along the way, I have learned plenty about writing but also about life. Writing has taught me the impact of stories and how telling them can inspire and lift the quality of someone’s life. By being consistent and persistent I have discovered the truth in what Jim Watkins once said, “A river cuts through rock, not because of its power but because of its persistence.”
No exercise has stretched my limits like writing. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone, causing growth in my life. Writing has a way of leaving a mark in people’s lives. A life that impacts others is a life not easily forgotten. Writing has helped prune selfishness out of my life by giving me a cause that is greater than me; encouraging and edifying others with words that help to raise the quality of life.
Each Thursday in August, I will review year two of my blogging journey with a life lesson I have gleaned. I believe they will naturally fit into your daily life and provide food for thought and ways to make adjustments. Here they are in a snapshot:
Lesson 1: Your Reward Is In Your Routine (today’s post)
Lesson 2: Get Clear About What Matters (August 8th)
Lesson 3: Learn to Silence Your Inner Critic (August 15th)
Lesson 4: Success in Life Comes From Impact, not Impression (August 22nd)
Bonus: The Potency in Your Potential (August 29th)
Routines and Rewards
Whether in life or in writing, what you do daily has everything to do with how your life is turning out. Routines and rewards are inextricably linked. Dr. John Maxwell made this eye-opening statement, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” Today’s lesson is anchored to that statement.
The word routine might come off as boring. It seems to put out the fire of spontaneity. But, imagine your life without a routine. Confusion and disorder would abound! Almost everything in life functions on routine. I would even venture to say that life is better with routine built-in. Quality of life is connected to the quality of each day. As a husband and father, I can attest that our home would be chaotic without a routine. If routines live on both extremes of life, we can conclude that the right kind of routine improves the quality of our lives while the wrong one impedes it.
On the Wings of a Routine
My writing has soared on the wings of my daily routine. Reading deeply from different sources as well as practicing my writing every day, even when I had zero inspiration, has been pivotal to this. Exposure to different environments and interacting with various people helped make writing richer and enjoyable. Likewise, I believe our health; physical, mental and spiritual, rises or falls based on our daily habits. You see, habits and routines are synonymous. And a healthy routine will reward you with structure and progress. Let’s see how:
Rhythms and patterns are part of our human nature. They help automate decisions that would cause unnecessary stress if we had to make them over and over again. Routines give our lives structure and build strength and character in our lives. Dr. Stephen Covey observed, “Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.”
Consistent writing has taught me that structure gives content flow and makes it richer. This is why I use sub-headings and provide specific points in a given blog post. It is also the reason behind me switching from random weekly topics to a monthly blog series. Additionally, by having a weekly publishing schedule for my blogs, I am able to plan when to write and it keeps me accountable. Structure shapes our lives for the better. Finally, a structured life and structured writing share this in common; progress.
What’s possible becomes reality because of what we choose to do daily. Routine is the bridge that connects possibilities and reality.
When I went back to read my first blog, I thought it was horrible. I saw all the ways I could have written it better. I even asked myself, “Why did I write this?” This observation was possible because my writing routine has improved my writing from where it was in 2017. If I did not start where I was, I would have been a 2017 writer in a 2019 world.
If you took a survey of the best players in various sports you will notice that they have applied a daily routine to go from good to great. Their daily routines have kept them at the top of their game for years. Players like Lebron James, Stephen Curry, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Roger Federer are a few that come to mind. Jim Collins explains this through the 20 Mile March concept in his book, Great by Choice. He mentions how setting a daily 20 Mile walking goal to journey from San Diego to Maine no matter the conditions, gives a higher probability of reaching there. He compares this with a person who has no daily plan. Rather they decide how far to walk depending on the weather or feeling, and still expect progress. Structure and progress are the fruits that are borne from the seed of a healthy daily routine. Do you have a daily plan for the progress you want to see personally or professionally?
Final thought: Our routines are like a thread that we use to weave our life with. The pattern of life we see is directly tied to the routines we have sewed together over time. Find a healthy routine and create an atmosphere of consistency around it daily. You will notice structure and progress. Tony Robbins observed that “It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” It’s the routine you choose to stick with that has the greatest possibility of changing your life, for better or worse. In short, our routines either break us or make us.
Keep on Keeping on!