I have this rule for myself that if I say I'm going to do something, even if it's only to myself, I do it. My overarching principle is to always to do the best I can, but sometimes my best is not very good. Maybe I've told myself I'm going to go to the gym, but I'm exhausted and have to rush my workout because of an appointment. I'll go, but it's not going to be good.
My thinking in doing these things is that absent of any other value, I want to train myself well. I know that I don't do great with gray areas or slippery slopes, so I avoid at all costs giving myself excuses to skip.
As I've committed to writing every single day, you can imagine that there have been throwaways from time to time. It will be right before I'm supposed to go to sleep, and all I want to do is splash down a big enough chunk of words to feel like I did my duty. This is especially tempting when I know I've got a backlog of a few good posts, so I won't need to rely on whatever I write.
Sometimes, though, these throwaways come out really well. Maybe it's random chance, maybe it's repetition, or maybe it's the unburdened context of writing a post that's just going to be thrown away anyway. Some of my favorite posts are those which I originally thought would be trashed. I'm getting the benefits of training my brain, but also high-quality output.
I actually try not to dwell on this too much. I mention it only to encourage you to put yourself in situations where you'll have throwaways, not to get you to take those throwaways more seriously.
I've found these throwaways valuable even outside of work. Sometimes I'll take a meeting that I regret agreeing to, and being so uninvested in the outcome makes it more fun than it would otherwise be. Every throwaway workout I've ever had ends up being pretty good by the end, and I've even set personal records during them. Random trips, like the one I went on to Chile recently, that I'm not that excited about when they come around, end up being highlights.
Throwaways are worth doing just for the mental training aspect, but the real gains from them make them even more valuable. Never skip a habit or commitment-- throw it away instead, and reap the rewards.
Photo is some clams we caught around the island, cooking on the fire. I wish I liked clams more.
I'm annoyed with myself for shifting my posting schedule so far forward. Going to get back on track next week and start scheduling ahead.