“A silver lining to any mistake is the lesson you’re going to extract from the experience, which you can use to help save you from similar mistakes in the future.”
– Writer and podcaster Julia Galef shares three ways to cope with criticism and defeat.
Practice Interrupted Sitting
Is sitting all day really that bad? Answer: it depends.
Here’s a fascinating finding. Researchers tracked hunter-gatherers in remote tribes and found that they spend about 10 hours a day sitting. As much as your average American!
There’s one crucial difference though: the hunter-gatherers get up regularly (to tend to fires, kids, etc.). As a result, they’re much healthier.
Says Daniel Lieberman, a Harvard professor of evolutionary biology, getting up every 10 minutes or so switches on your muscles. This, in turn, uses up fats and sugars in your bloodstream and turns down inflammation.
“So the evidence is that interrupted sitting is really the best way to sit,” he says. Try using a timer to remind you to get up regularly – your body will thank you for it.
Use The Seinfeld Strategy
How did Jerry Seinfeld become one of the most successful comedians of all time? Consistency. He sat down and wrote every single day, whether he felt like it or not.
Here’s the advice he gave a young comic:
“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… You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”
Seinfeld was right: there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your progress visually. Give it a try! Use a calendar or Panda Planner scratch-off habit tracker and let us know how you go.
Jerry Seinfeld, Comedian, Actor & Producer
The comedy writer and creator of Seinfeld believes that if you’re too efficient, you’re doing it wrong. “The right way is the hard way,” he says. He:
- Starts his day by splashing water on his face – it’s his morning ritual.
- Has a writing session every day, using the “don’t break the chain” technique (see above!). “I still have a writing session every day. It’s another thing that organizes your mind. The coffee goes here. The pad goes here. The notes go here,” he explains. “My writing technique is just: You can’t do anything else. You don’t have to write, but you can’t do anything else. The writing is such an ordeal. That sustains me.”
- Does Transcendental Meditation twice a day.
- Exercises. He does weights training and HIIT three times a week each.
Why it works:
- Small rituals can have powerful effects, like giving confidence and mitigating negative feelings.
- Seinfeld’s strategy harnesses the power of small wins. Each day that we make progress, we feel good and want to progress more. It’s a positive feedback loop.
- Transcendental Meditation has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Combining HIIT and weight training gives you the unique benefits of both.
Notice that writing jokes doesn’t come easily to Seinfeld? He’s clear proof that persistence and good habits are what count the most!
What’s one thing you find difficult but should be doing more of?