In the last decade, I’ve been ridiculously, laughably lucky in my career. (Have I worked hard? Yes. Were there circumstances I didn’t control that stacked the deck in my favor from my birth onward? Also yes.)
I’ve worked for companies that sound attractive to work for: Google, HubSpot, a VC firm (NextView), a tech startup.
I’ve done things that sound exciting to do for my own business, too: hosting podcasts and documentary series, writing a book, and delivering dozens upon dozens of speeches, sometimes to thousands of people.
I promise you, I feel grateful for it all. Insanely, obnoxiously grateful. But I also promise you: We view “success” all wrong. We lean back, tilt our heads to the sky, and we daydream about doing some of these things I’ve listed, believing that will bring us fulfillment. If only I could work for X brand. If only I could get Y more followers. What it must feel like to get paid to do this cool project, or to hear the applause of people who sit there to watch you speak from a stage!
And honestly? I can say with absolute certainty, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that nothing — and I mean NOTHING — comes close to the joy, the satisfaction, and the pure bliss of tilting your head back down from where its been daydreaming, opening your laptop … and just writing something.
Nothing shapes your thinking better than writing a little bit, day after day. Nothing builds trust — trust in yourself, or the trust others have in you — than committing to typing out a bunch of stuff, regardless of how many people see it, each morning or evening.
You can chase all the “big” ideas of creativity and success that you want, but I can’t emphasize this enough: Nothing will match the benefits of writing, for free, without anyone’s permission, all the time. And once you start doing it a little bit, you’ll start experiencing this bizarre level of bliss, like nothing else in the world can match. It’s your own corner of the internet, and it matters not who else visits. It matters that you’re there quite often. It’s like that street corner you always thought was somewhat beautiful, or the park bench where you can sit and stare at the world, or the backyard view where you feel most at peace.
Writing early, and writing often, is somehow far grander an experience than any of those “big” things we seem to celebrate. I can think of nothing more fulfilling, because I’ve done nothing more fulfilling.
We live in a truly amazing era, where we can all write daily, simply because we want to write — no matter where we live, where we’ve worked before, who has paid us or what amount. We can be famous. We can be unknown. We can be confident, or uncertain, a great writer, or a poor one. It doesn’t matter. Young, old, classically trained, or a wide-eyed novice — each and every one of us can experience the euphoria of starting our days by writing something. Anything. Consistently. All the time. For free.
So what are you waiting for?
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