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When You Go Off the Rails, Only Go a Little

As imperfect humans constantly trying to stick new habits, we're all familiar with the concept of falling off the rails. It happens to everyone, sometimes as a conscious decision, sometimes through neglect, and sometimes through defeat.

You decide to run every day for a month, nail it for a week straight, and then you just stop. Maybe you give up sugar for a month, but then give in to temptation and eat half an apple pie in one sitting. There's this feeling when you know you're about to go off the rails of: oh well-- if I'm going to go off the rails, I may as well go way off. In fact, when I see people go off the rails, I most often see them go way off. It never seems to be a small violation.

Is this the best we can do?

It's important to understand what is happening when you go off the rails. At your best, you decided to make a change. You made a plan for that change and you actually stuck with it for some amount of time. As you begin to veer off the rails, you're taking your past progress and your unrealized future progress, and putting it at risk. You're pushing a stack of chips from the safety of your bankroll to the middle of the table.

Three Strategies For More Writing In Less Minutes

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

Three Strategies For More Writing In Less Minutes

We had some wonderful sweeping discussions after the GiveGetWin Tour event in New York. Stepping out of the secluded wine bar we held the after-event in (and thus narrowly avoiding St. Patrick’s revelry), Zach Obront, Janet Lai Chang, Jason Shen, and I got some chicken.

The topic turned to writing. Everyone at the table writes more or less, and it’s at least a somewhat important part of all of our lives. All of my compatriots-in-chicken at the table are good writers and disseminate important thought and pull the world ahead with their pen or keyboard.

The topic turned to my recent wager, where I’m now firmly committed to writing daily for the next two years. I offered around to see if anyone else was interested in getting in on the bet — no? — but then, broadly, how much time does it take everyone to write?

And it comes that everyone at the table takes considerably longer than me to write.

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