As someone with OCD, it is all too easy for routines to become cruel overlords instead of helpful assistants. This episode of the Art of Manliness Podcast was helpful and encouraging for me: #821: Routines are Overrated.
In the podcast, Madeleine Dore explains that discipline can be more productively viewed as a skill, rather than a trait.
This is similar to the way in which Jocko talks about discipline, as I posted a month ago. His tagline is “Discipline equals freedom.”
I love this clip where Jocko discusses developing discipline.
Back to the podcast, Madeleine went on to talk about how our motivation often comes after our interest and fascination. It’s normal for us to not be excited about doing something immediately.
A practical implication of understanding this is to consider starting our day with something enjoyable, rather than trying to get the worst out of the way first.
Brett McKay shared that his approach is to find an easy part of a difficult task to start with, and use that to build momentum to finish the rest.
The key principle in all of this for me is to lean in to flexibility and uncertainty. Every day is going to be different. It is fine to work on building good habits, but they shouldn’t become rigid.