Why ‘Don’t Break The Chain’ Is The Best Life Tip *
I’ll start this post with an immediate disclaimer * that while this tip may not be the best ever life tip it’s still a pretty good one.
It comes from comedian Jerry Seinfeld who attributed a big part of his success to his “don’t break the chain” practice and the momentum that this created. He said “for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day on the calendar. After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain. Don’t break the chain.”
What a great tip because not breaking the chain leads to momentum, which in turn generates success. I can also imagine the powerful visual stimulus of the red chain on a calendar somewhere in your line of sight.
Entrepreneur Aytekin Tank attributes his own success to momentum which he describes below in an extract from his “The science behind making a change that lasts” blog.
Not breaking the chain leads to momentum. And momentum isn’t mystical. Science defines it as the force that allows something to grow stronger or faster as time passes.
However, momentum isn’t the only science at work in our daily lives. Like everything else, it must have an equal and opposite reaction.
The enemy of momentum is friction and friction is the resistance caused when one object is moving at a different rate than another.
And what is life if not an infinite number of distracting meetings, ideas, goals, people, projects, emails, meetings, chores, and commitments all moving at a different rate than one another?
If you can’t kill friction, it’ll eat through your momentum like rust through a chain.
However, if you can find a way to focus on building a single goal, or “chain,” and building it well — the payoff might be more rewarding than you ever expected.
Sustained momentum toward a singular goal creates a compound effect. Which is, in essence, the concept that consistent, incremental changes can result in fundamental changes over time.
Focus and momentum are important aspects of mental toughness and represented mostly in the Commitment C within the MTQ 4 C’s framework. People with a high achievement orientation, which is measured within the Commitment C of the MTQ assessment, find ways to meet their goals and targets despite the friction that Aytekin Tank describes. They are consistent and persistent. They don’t break the chain.
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