A lot of people tell you that at whatever you want to become really good at, you have to do it every single day. No matter what.
Like writing. A lot of people out there tell you that you should write every single day. And read every single day.
I think that's a bad advice. It was for me at least. I don't know about you. I don't know you.
What happened to me when I tried to write every day is that some sort of pressure built up somewhere in my stomach. And over time the load on my shoulders got heavier and heavier.
At some point it didn't feel like fun any longer. I have to admit it. It started to feel a bit like work. There. I said it. It felt a bit like work..
So I wanted to see it for myself. I wanted to see what happens if I stopped writing for 30 days. If all my skills would disappear. If I had to start all over again.
And you know what? Nothing really happened.
I still know how to write. Or at least I think I still know how to write. In case I ever really knew how to write, which I highly doubt. But that's another story.
And now it feels a lot more like fun again.
So I think it doesn't have anything to do with skills. There might something else at play. Something a lot more dangerous.
Once you stop doing something, once you break the chain, even if it' just for a few days, it's almost impossible to get back into the flow. You won't lose your skills. But you'll lose your momentum. The flow.
And once that momentum is gone, it's super hard to get it back. It's like starting all over again. Just think about your last vacation. How did you feel when you knew you had to go back to work the next day? It was probably the worst feeling ever..
You didn't lose your skills. You still knew how to do your job, but you lost your momentum.
Luckily, when you're working a job you'll have instant gratification at the end of each month. You'll get a paycheck to pay the bills, to feed your family and so on. So it's a lot easier to get that momentum back. You'll see instant success on your bank account.
But when you're trying to learn a new skill there's no instant gratification. There's no instant success. There's only a very long and exhausting path that will probably never lead to any gratification or success, ever.
There's no guarantee for anything. There's just hope. And a long and lonely road..
And that's why breaking the chain, breaking a habit or stop exercising is so dangerous. It puts everything you did before at risk. It makes you doubt the long and lonely path. You'll lose confidence in yourself, the thing you do and your path.
Until one day turns into a week, a month or a year. And then you stop for good. Like everybody else that stopped for good.
I believe that meticulously following the advice from someone you admire, someone you look up to, sets you up for failure. Because something that works for them doesn't necessarily work for you. You have to find your own way.
I don't think you have to feel obliged to do the things you want to become good at every single day.
It should still feel like fun. It should still feel right. And not like work. And not like a heavy weight on your shoulders. Or like that strange feeling in your stomach.
Otherwise you might turn into one of those Chinese kids I saw in a documentary recently who are drilled to become olympic athletes starting at the age of four years. They didn't look like they were having some fun..
Just do what feels right. What feels good. Until it doesn't anymore. And that's when you know you should change something..