Training to get better or training to get worse
Today I took a trip back to 2010, the first year that I used https://750words.com/ online. I read something I wrote in April.
The post was wise and relevant. I’ve reproduced parts with small corrections and improvements.
You’re either training your brain to get better, or you are training your brain to get worse. There’s no in-between.
When you grind at something you don’t do well—like social chit-chat, or cold calling customers, or managing a todo list (all problems for me) then you (and by “you” I mean “I”) am training myself to do whatever I am trying to get myself not to do.
By putting myself in a social situation and talking, I’m training myself to stay silent, and I am perfecting my ability to find nothing to say, and improving my ability to wish it wasn’t so
And so, I realize it is with posting.
Every time I intend to write something to post and don’t press onward until I press Publish, I’m training myself to get worse at publishing and better at not.
I’ve developed good habits — several times. And then stopped using those habits. And then had to develop another good habit.
When I consulted what Past Me had written (thank you, again Past Me), I realized that every time I “failed to recover my good posting habits,” I was practicing my bad not-posting habits. There’s the habit where I get an idea and don’t write. The habit where I write and don’t finish. The habit where I edit the thing to death and never publish.
Practice, practice, practice.
Habits die hard. They persist because ineffective attempts to change a habit makes the habit stronger. A failed attempt to change a habit is a new way to persist in that habit.
That sucks, doesn’t it?
So here’s the solution.
I have a writing-and-not-posting habit developed over years.
I also have a writing-and-posting habit, perhaps less well developed, but developed well enough.
Every day I have a chance to strengthen one habit or the other. There is no middle ground.
Today, I choose to strengthen my writing and posting habit.
For the benefit of Future Me (and no one else, since it’s private) here’s the link to what I wrote on April 30, 2010.
Once again, thank you, Past Me.
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