Brad Issac was a software developer looking to build a new career as a comedian. Constantly on the look out for mentors and experienced comedians to learn from, Isaac was fortunate to meet with Jerry Seinfield one evening at a comedy club – just around the time that Seinfield’s TV series was taking off
Given such a great opportunity, Isaac asked Seinfield if he could share some tips and advice for new comedians.
Below is a summary if the advice Isaac received:
“Seinfield said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day. But his advice was better than that. He had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself and you can use it to motivate yourself—even when you don’t feel like it.
He revealed a unique calendar system he uses to pressure himself to write. Here’s how it works.
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.
He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. ’After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.’
‘Don’t break the chain’ – he said again for emphasis.”
So from today, January 1st 2014, I’m using “The Seinfield Method” to write daily and post a new blog post each day.
Never miss 2 consecutive days
However, a daily blog post for 365 days is quite a challenge. So to help myself, I’m adding one twist to Seinfield’s method. In my method, I’ll allow myself to occasionally miss a day – but to never miss 2 consecutive days. Sounds more realistic I think.
What’s your new habit for 2014?
New years resolutions don’t work. Most people who fly out the traps with grand intentions to change their health, relationships and careers on January 1st usually find their resolutions fizzle out before the end of the month.
Sustainable changes occurs one day at a time. Inch by inch. Slowly but surely with the adoption of new habits and behaviours. With such consistent action, comes improvement and ‘success’ (regardless of how you define it).
So whether you’re planning to work shorter hours, do more networking, become a better leader or simply become healthier in 2014 – remember, it all comes down to taking small steps today. Then again tomorrow. And then the next day. Just don’t break the chain.
Happy new year