• Chris Tran

10,000 Links of Chain

We all share similar victory conditions.

Day in, Day out, we want to create work that is worth sharing. We wrestle with twin demons. A daily habit and our own quality bar.

Take these two items as our non-negotiables. Show up daily. Show good work.

Yet, I am human. I am mortal. I can’t be my 100% every day. And what’s more, my goal isn’t 100 days. My goal is 1,000 days, and if the body is willing, 10,000 more.

What can be negotiated? How can I reframe the conversation to make this daunting goal, dauntless? I have trying to arm myself with three tools.

  • Forgive myself. I know I’m imperfect and that I will miss days and ship work that doesn’t represent my best effort. And that’s ok. I won’t dwell on my failure, and instead just restart again with the least amount of effort. If I miss one day, I’ll restart the next day. If I miss ten days, I’ll restart the next day. And if I miss that day too, I’ll forgive myself and start again. I am not a failure because I am not perfect.

  • Reduce my definition of complete to the MVS, Minimum Viable Satisfaction point. I won’t write a novel in a day, nor a complete chapter. But if I write 500 words in a day, or even just 300, it’s an amount that satisfies, creates progress and does not crush me. We all have a MVS point. Find yours.

  • Have fun. Writing takes effort, especially at the beginning. Surely as there are painful topics to write about, there are topics that cause me joy. Specific subject matters bring me closer to the ideal me, percentage point by point. Seek those topics out and hold them close.

And that’s it. Three simple points to try to turn my streak into a chain, and my chain to transform into whatever is bigger than a chain. For years upon years until my body tells me that I’ve fulfilled my job.

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