On February 1, I embarked on a life-changing program to help prioritize my life and help me think clear about what I'm trying to accomplish. I'm talking, of course, about Seintology. I'm sure there are detractors but, with the month coming to a close, I have to acknowledge how well it has been working for me.
Now, I realize Seintology isn't for everyone. Many people don't want to believe in something larger than themselves to accomplish results. And far be it from me to prosthelytize. Do what you want. I'm only here to explain what I've found effective in my own life.
The word Seintology literally means "the study of Jerry Seinfeld." It comes from the Jewish word "Sein" meaning "knowing in the fullest sense of comedy" and the Greek word "logos" meaning "study of."
Like the Buddhist concepts of emptiness (shunyata), Seintologists have long questioned nothing. By which I don't mean they didn't question anything, just that they specifically questioned the notion of nothingness itself. Seinfeld's nine-year run on NBC was often derided unfairly as being "a show about nothing."
In 2001, Seinfeld himself stated:
"Doing nothing is not as easy as it looks. You have to be careful, because the idea of doing anything, which could easily lead to doing something, that would cut into your nothing -- that would force me to have to drop everything."
This is one of main texts in Seintology and is heavily debated among people who fear its implications. There are smear campaigns and million-dollar lawsuits meant to protect Seintologists and enable us the right to practice our beliefs.
But I'm not here to hash out the old tired arguments about the road Seinfeld took to get his headliner (or thetan) status, only how I'm using those philosophies to improve my own life. The knowledge is already out there, but I think the only interesting thing is showing how I put it to work for me. Only applied knowledge has actual use in our daily lives.
In his documentary Comedian, Seinfeld impressed me with his work ethic. He said that from his office window, he can see construction workers who take their lunch break, but then have to go back to their jobs. They likely don't want to return to those jobs, but it's just how the world works. But his takeaway was that if people who have jobs like that have to put in a full day, then far be it from him to pack it in after a few measly hours.
It reminded me of Woody Allen's famous quote about show business: "Eighty percent of success is showing up."
And just seeing Seinfeld's focus throughout the movie getting a joke perfectly tuned was pretty impressive and a testament to how seriously he takes his craft.
Recently, I found a website that had a productivity secret from Jerry Seinfeld, and as soon as I read it, I knew it intersected with the twisted way my mind works.
In the piece, Seinfeld says to motivate himself he gets a calendar where you can see the year at a glance, and on days he writes, he puts a big red X through the day. And after you get a nice chain going after a few weeks, the only thing you need to do is not break the chain.
"After a few days you'll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day," Seinfeld said. "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.
It sounds simple, but I have to say, it has made me write for the past 23 consecutive days, as well as keep track of my weight lifting and cardio as well. One day, it was rainy and early in the day, I didn't get a chance to go to the gym, as it was quite a downpour at the time. Later, I got into a project. Then, it was dinner time. Finally, it was about ten o'clock at night, and I saw my calendar on the refrigerator. It had the red X for having written that day, but lacked the green X for cardio. So, it was down to a drizzle now and I dragged myself to the gym to make sure I got my X for the day.
Some days have certainly been better than others. For example, I am still trying to get the writing happening at the same time every day, which is supposed to improve things. But, for now, that it is happening every day is enough of a victory.
Like I said, I'm not here to sell you on Seintology. Only to tell people about my own personal journey.
Cross-posted from jeffwalsh.com.