Look, I am now a flying squirrel

I am now a flying squirrel

Wow, here I am day 1,000 of my daily writing journal on 750words.com and now I have got here and completed this continuous streak (well not yet), I feel that rather than my usual badly spelt and no doubt grammatically incorrect brain ramblings that I privately punch out here every day, I could choose to write something of note and break my privacy and share this one with the world.

So, sorry if you are used to reading my short, sharp daily blogs, this one is going to be at least 750 words in order to get the tick in the box for day 1,000.

Interestingly, the thing I love most about my daily writing journal is the privacy and the fact the I can swear like shit and not have to correct spelling or care about what anyone else thinks, or if it makes sense, reads well, etc etc. Now that I have chosen to share this one, the writing is not flowing as well and I am feeling the pressure and that is odd as I blog and share with the world on a daily basis.

Writing daily is a huge thing for me and I have my great mates Bernie and Seth Godin to thank for that, well I just read Seth’s books and blogs, so not really a mate. They have both met for tea and chat once, well according to Bernie, if you’ve met Bernie you’ll certainly know the story. I am now an email buddy with Seth but can’t claim to have met him, although one day…

So Bernie introduced me to 750 Words back in August 2014, he was an early adopter as always and I took the plunge on 1st September 2014 and had a longest continuous streak of 171 days and then woke up on day 173 with a startled panic that I had forgotten to do my words on day 172 and when I logged on my heart sunk, back to 0. I was aiming for the 200-day badge which is ‘The Pterodactyl’. Badges and ticks in the box each day are what helps to keep me going, the gamification of it appeals and some kind of reward or level of prestige is a great motivational tool and something to brag about to others, even if they don’t give a shit about my badges, at least I feel good.

So missing that day and going back to 0 was hard and I vowed to start again and to never miss another day and I was determined to get that 200-day badge. I also had read about the comedian Seinfeld who set himself the task of writing a new joke every day and he put up a calendar on the wall and crossed off each day and said that he would ‘never break the chain’.

I have written many blogs about the small daily steps, daily rituals, habits, the compound effect and now I know how that all works. I have written about 1.2 million words and completed over 1,200 entries in total in 4 years and if someone said to me do that, I would have laughed and believed it not to be true. I know realise as the world champion of procrastination that if you make it small, not a burden to do and it forms a regular habit that over time it makes a big difference. Patience, something that wasn’t a strong point too, is required.

Our moments of greatness are not on the 1,000th day when I earn my flying squirrel badge, it’s all about the badges really, it was the day I decided to start. As we all know it is the starting that is the hardest thing in life but that is the moment of greatness and each day that you do it the habit builds.

I only have 114 words to go, OK Philip, this is not your acceptance speech at the smug writers’ award ceremony. I just want to hopefully inspire others to take up writing of any kind, private or publically, as I have seen what a difference it has made to my life over the last 4 years. It has helped me to solve problems better, have better relationships, connect with others, share with others, it has helped me to write better, be more creative, not be depressed, by more inspired…it has changed my life for the good.

We all have something to say, a story to tell, knowledge and experiences to share with the world. We do not have to be on TV or own a newspaper to share with the world, we can blog, make a video, do a podcast, post on social media and so on. The only thing that holds us back is ourselves. Please, make your contribution to the story of the human race, before you leave this rock, make a difference.

Ok so that was over 750 words and I am now a flying squirrel.

Fuck, I love boredom

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been struggling with life a bit and in last 2 weeks I’ve been unwell, it has definitely been reflected in all that I do.

I haven’t been doing my daily art, for example, something that has been one of my greatest pleasures on a day-to-day basis over many years and it would normally be the very last thing to be overlooked no matter what had to be done.

Most of my rituals have gone out the window, apart from my private daily writing journal, thank god it’s private, and this my daily blog.

However, even this has felt like a tick-boxing exercise in recent weeks and I have even got to the point of saying ‘maybe I’m done with blogging’.

This is not an ‘aww poor Phil’ kind of post and I’m not looking for a ‘there-there’ as we all suffer these downs, as well as the ups in life.

I’ve been trying to eat my own dog food so to speak and talk myself out of this rut, however, like for most of us, the voice of authority, whether it comes from others or ourselves, simply does not work. I really deep down wanted to be down and screw the happy-clappy happiness BS.

So in the last few weeks, I have just said to myself ‘fuck it’ and I have done absolutely bugger all. I’ve binged watched and got bored, in fact, the boredom has become the cure.

This is one of the ills of our current world, we have less and less chance or time to get bored. Especially, since we are all glued to our boredom eradicators, AKA smartphones.

Boredom is great as it allows daydreaming, it leads to imaginative ways of relieving boredom, and that is something that I remember with nostalgic fondness from my childhood, towards the end of long summer holidays boredom would set in and that you would then lead you to fill the time with all sorts of ideas and games etc that would relieve the boredom. The best ideas came out of that boredom.

Boredom is so good for creative thinking, daydreaming is so good for the soul, as like art itself, the magic in life is in those things that are not useful, but are undescribably what matters. Knives and forks are useful, but I could live without them if I had to. Art, music, poetry and so on are useless but I’d die without them.

I am coming out the other side of this mini-shutdown and I feel the energy returning and I feel the weeks of self-imposed nothing has helped, it has broken the inevitable monotony that builds up over time with routines and rituals, it allows a mental and physical rest for the body and most of all a period of thought and reflection.

Am I now the unstoppable, supercharged go getting tiger of Deep Work just from a few weeks of boredom? Well, no. But I am ready to go again, to carry on getting even better, to take the next small step in the journey. I am energised and refocused.

I fucking love boredom and I do not intend to leave it so long before I get thoroughly bored again.