Doing Every Day

17:15 Wed 30 Aug 2006
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A few years ago I read a book called Undoing Yourself. I probably need to re-read it, and remember that it had a bunch of suggestions for “reprogramming” the self (or structuring your consciousness, if you want to put it another way) that I felt were probably useful (but didn’t get around to actually applying). It also had an intro by Robert Anton Wilson in which he stressed that if you wanted to be good at something, you should do it every day.

Actually, he was a little more emphatic than that, it was more like


I thought that over at the time and decided that it made a lot of sense, and have made efforts to follow that advice since (this month of blogging is an example). I do think that that is a really good way to become good at something. Recently, though, I’ve been thinking that becoming better at something, or wanting to do so, might be beside the point.

In other words, if there’s nothing in particular you want to be better at, or if you’re just not motivated to improve any skill, it’s still important to do something every day. The improvement is like an incidental benefit (albeit one that may be very important and the impetus for doing it at all). With or without improvement, though, one will derive a lot of good from consciously doing something every day, and focusing as much as possible on that thing when doing it—doing it with awareness, as opposed to doing it by rote or while thinking about something else.

Furthermore, I’ve been increasingly feeling that “if you don’t know what to do, do something” is a really good rule of thumb, especially if whatever you do, you focus and concentrate on.

Hence, while I agree with Wilson about doing something every day if you want to get good at it, I also think that it is wise simply to do every day.

2 Responses to “Doing Every Day”

  1. kevintel Says:

    You’re right about ‘do something’, but around here the cool kids invariably fall back to drinking and burning cars, which while ensuring that they ‘do something’ isn’t necessarily constructive. So, maybe you can quantify the constructive aspect of that directive, or maybe how some of the potential aspects of that can also be a bad thing…

  2. Eoin Says:

    Ah yes, but I suspect those kids have got VERY good at drinking and burning cars, not to mention being soooo “cool”.

    That aside, I totally agree with all said here.

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