Walking into any church for me is an interesting experience. The quiet music playing, the smells of coffee, perfume, cookies, dim lights, and bright whispers reflecting off of polished floors, or, muted by thick carpeting–somehow put my mind into a different state. It feels like magic. It’s part of the ritual.
Religion got one thing right, that’s for sure. It’s how to develop and maintain a ritual.
It wasn’t until recently that I thought about the act of creating a ritual to accomplish a specific purpose that had nothing to do with religion.
With a ritual, I found a key to the writing part of my brain, a trigger that I can pull to get me going. I touched on it in past articles, where I call it my “Morning Routine.” In fact, I just abbreviate it in my notes when I refer to it. I just write “MR.”
Without my MR things can go sideways that day. If I wake up and the first thing I’m doing is having an intense discussion with someone, if I’m checking emails, if I’m doing anything other than my MR–I definitely feel off–or that it is literally a day I’m taking off. I don’t do these types of things on the days that I write. I don’t check emails, I don’t look at market charts, I don’t do anything other than think about what I’m grateful for. I try to feel gratitude emotionally and then I write my name in Korean out of respect for my natural mother, and to her memory. Then I begin to work.
It’s fascinating to me that I didn’t realize that MR really should mean: “My Ritual.”
By looking at my morning routine as a ritual I use to get my mind ready, I’m using the same powerful tools that religion uses to get us ready for the sermon, the message for the day. Even better, I’m learning that I can create mini-rituals to complete other tasks.
I’ve made a major realization people! I hate STARTING to do anything!
Make a ritual to begin and break the inertia is what I’ve realized I need to do and more of it, especially when it comes to starting the most vital tasks that I absolutely have to complete.
It’s kind of funny to me that I’m just now becoming mindful of this fact–and I’ve been using them in other arguably less important areas in my life. Lately, I’ve been working on a very specific set of actions I take before I hit a golf shot. Why the heck haven’t I been developing the same type of routines to do things like: stock trading, writing on different topics, or developing art? I’ve been meaning to start creating some sort of art lately, why haven’t I? Well… it’s probably because I don’t have a ritual or routine for starting that activity, YET!
The hardest part of finishing anything is starting it.
That’s a fact for me at least, and one I can address immediately. I feel like it’s definitely going to amp up my productivity and we’ll see. I can actually tell that it’s already working. Yesterday, I was talking to my friend whose father is a writer. He told me yesterday that the trick to writing is just getting behind your keyboard and typing. Anything, just start writing something.
That, my friend, is part of his ritual. He would just write whatever, even if it was not great. Guess what. That’s how I finished this article. And another one earlier this morning on an obscure cryptocurrency I just invested in.
I just started typing whatever came to mind. I used the ritual of opening all the tabs I need to write a NFTM, and presto–this article appeared.
Have a great weekend! I’ll be on vacation next week so I won’t be writing a daily. I’ve even promised myself that I’m leaving all computers at home–except for my phone.
Guilt is the thing that happens to me when I don’t start something I’m supposed to do! I’m going to try to avoid that in the future. I’ll leave you with one thought that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about and how it relates to procrastinating important tasks.
We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. . . . Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, ‘Too late.’ … Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world.Martin Luther King, Jr.
You’re the best! I love you! Have a great one!