Of all the things that have changed my life and my career, nothing comes close to my daily writing habit. It’s the keystone habit that created a ripple effect into nearly every area of my life. It’s allowed me to publish books, make amazing friends, and wake up every morning with something to look forward to. And it’s allowed me to spend the first hour of every day on something that adds meaning to my life. It’s a habit that has literally had a six-figure ROI, and something that I will keep doing for the rest of my life.
In his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller said
“Humans are alive for the purpose of a journey, a kind of three-act structure. They are born and spend several years discovering themselves and the world, then plod through a long middle in which they are compelled to search for a mate and reproduce and also create stability out of natural instability, and they find themselves at an ending that seems designed for reflection.”
Life is a story that is made of words, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. It’s made up of brief moments of audacity, peaks, valleys. false starts dead ends, detours, and false horizons. We will have moments when we’re filled with joy and others when we’re consumed by grief. Shit will inevitably hit the fan. Some of it we will have no control over. But what we do have control over is the story. And a daily writing habit allows you to become the author of your life story.
For the most part, my mind races at about a million miles an hour. I have hundreds of new ideas every single day. And I can become quite scatterbrained.
Sitting down to write each morning is something that can provide you with a great deal of clarity. It allows you to separate the signal from the noise. It gets thoughts out of your head and onto a page.Think of this way. Thoughts are a bit like layers. With each thought you put down on paper, you shed those layers. You get closer to whatever truth you are seeking.
And it’s ok if only a small percentage of what you write ends up in the external world because your cumulative output matters more than any individual piece of work.
The ambitions we have will become the stories we live. IF you want to know what a person’s story is about, just ask them what they want — Donald Miller
A daily writing habit can also be a fantastic tool for self-discovery. When you start getting thoughts out of your head and onto a blank page, you’ll start to figure out what truly matters to you. You’ll tap into your inner compass and uncover your heart’s deepest desires, and greatest ambitions.
It’s been said that a Moleskine notebook is a platform for your imagination. And it’s one of the many reasons I say you should always carry a notebook. I can trace back every article or book I’ve written, every creative project I’ve shipped and nearly every worthwhile idea I’ve had to the pages of my notebooks. The beautiful thing about a daily writing habit is that there are no boundaries or limitations to what’s possible.
The blank page is a gateway to vision and imagination.
4. Behavioral Change
When we write every day, we plant seeds for the people that we eventually want to become. As Seth Godin has said, “if you want to be happy 10 years from now, do something you’ll be glad you did today.” Doing something every day teaches us that we are capable of changing our behavior. And when we start to change our behavior we change our results and in the process our lives.
When you become the author of your life story and discover what my friend Reema Zaman refers to as the golden thread of your narrative, you can shape the world to your own liking.
Before You Go…
If doing the best work of your life is important to you, you’ll love my free guide: “Optimizing Productivity & Creativity.”
The tactics I’ve packed into this guide allowed me to write over 1 million words in the last 2 years. What could it do for your life’s work? Don’t miss it.