I talk a lot about pacing and routines and rhythms but it’s mostly because I struggle with it so much. As soon as I notice something is going in a direction I dislike, rather than course correct a little bit, I love to run in the opposite direction as fast as I can. Why be steady when chaos begets creativity?
Silicon Valley success myths are tied heavily to people that go their own way. We’ve coined terms like contrarian and narrative violation to add a high gloss to the basic truth that we just don’t like having our hands forced. Not even by ourselves. We like being able to pick and chose our direction.
This isn’t just truth of institutions or common knowledge. I get pissed when I’m forced into something by my own body. Heck, I especially dislike having my hand forced by my own biology. There is no authority more unforgiving than my own flesh.
Which has sometimes meant if I can overcome a biological reality my ego finds painful I’m inclined to do it. I love imposing brute force on myself. Naturally this habit isn’t the sort of thing that makes for a comfortable or pleasant life. But it’s a huge comfort to know that if you simply apply a little willpower you can undo the sins you’ve spent too much time accumulating.
Just look at some of the habits that have gained popularity in startup culture from intermittent fasting to overnight work sprints. Those techniques work. Some are arguably even sustainable for people. But it’s important to remember no matter how much we like to make things happen quickly, decisively or in new directions that sometimes the reality of being human cannot be ignored. On those days remember it’s ok to take small steps.