Self-Discipline: Principles In Action
Don’t Break The Chain
Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most successful comics of all time.
Since the last episode of “Seinfeld” aired on NBC, repeat fees for the show have surpassed $3 billion dollars.
“Seinfeld” is also the most profitable 30-minute show in all of television history.
Now a cultural icon, he started his career as a lowly stand-up comic.
So, how does a regular guy from Brooklyn perfect his craft and reach such fantastic heights?
Back in the early days of his show when Seinfeld did live shows regularly, a young comic approached him backstage at a comedy
The young comic asked Seinfeld for his best piece of advice.
Seinfeld told the new comic to get a big one-year wall calendar and hang it where he’d see it all the time.
Next, get a big red marker.
He explained to the aspiring comic that he should write jokes everyday, and for each day he completed his writing task, he should cross off the day on the calendar with a big red X.
After only a few days, a powerful visual chain would develop.
“Your only job next is not to break the chain,” he said.
For Seinfeld, being a great comic meant writing great jokes, and writing great jokes could only come with daily practice and consistency.
Only deliberate practice—in this case, writing actual jokes—would make a difference.
So, make sure your daily tasks are tied to clear deliverables with practical ends.
Some days you won’t want to practice. But, if you continue to be disciplined and practice deliberately, you will get closer towards your goals.