Streaks and Success
I’m a big hockey fan (have I ever mentioned that?) and one thing the commentators are constantly banging on about is streaks;
- Winning streaks
- Losing streaks
- Point streaks
- Goal streaks
- Shutout streaks
Would you like to know the dirty little secret about streaks? Here it is:
Streaks mean absolutely nothing.
Seriously, there is so much randomness in hockey (and all sports) that streaks, good and bad, are inevitable. Better players will have better streaks because the are better at the things that might lead to good outcomes, but being on a streak actually means nothing.
A long time ago I read one of my sister in law’s Psychology texts, “How We Know What Isn’t So,” (yes, that’s my idea of fun reading, so what?) and it devoted an entire chapter to debunking the idea of “the hot hand.”
Just because you’ve done something 5 times in a row doesn’t mean you are more likely so succeed than someone who has failed 5 times in a row. In reality, you are actually more likely to fail, and him to succeed, due to randomness and that is sports, in all its random glory.
Streaking to Success
You, on the other hand, can use a streak to keep you on the path to success. A basketballer will eventually miss a free throw. A hockey player will eventually miss a penalty shot. A slumping baseball player will eventually hit a home run. Etc.
What about you? Suppose you want to write every day and you write every day for a month, but then miss a day. You feel like crap. You know you should start again, but the streak is broken and getting it back to 30 is a big task and this makes the decision to skip another day easier. That, in turn, makes the decision to skip tomorrow easier, and so on.
Instead, suppose you’re at 30 days, you’re tired, and you just want to go to bed. Except, you’ve been here before, and you know that it’s easier to knock out something now, than to try to motivate yourself to start again at zero, so you do. It may be second rate, but you kept the streak alive. This may or may not have happened at least twice in the last 5 weeks of daily posting.
Keeping the streak alive is a powerful motivator, and takes a life of its own. Best of all, unlike a sports streak, it is completely within your control and it stops or continues based only on your decisions.
A New Feature at StandUpRight
Which brings me to another new regular StandUpRight feature. We have
- Posture Mondays,
- Ergonomics Wednesdays,
- Posture Thursdays and
- Nutrition Fridays.
Now it’s time for Success on Sunday, and to launch it, let’s take a little look back.
Last year some idiot in Wuhan looked at a bat and instead of thinking, “Ooh, that’s kinda creepy and gross,” instead thought, “Mmm, yummy, I gots to eat me some of that.” A few months later, we were all confined to quarters.
Shortly after some Pangolin licking pinhead visited this plague upon us, I began writing on the topic of turning the crisis into an opportunity and thinking about what success in seizing said opportunity might look like.
For myself, I decided to;
- Improve my writing
- Increase my reach
- Expand my skill stack
We’re now looking to be coming out the other side of the pandemic and before I move on, let’s take moment to look back and assess. Over the last two months I have:
- Completed a course in copywriting.
- Written and published more content than in the previous six months combined
- Completed a course on podcasting
- Begun laying the foundation for the StandUpRight podcast, to be launched this summer
- Completed two challenges on creating an online course
- Registered for a course in online course creation, set to begin tomorrow
- Registered a mobile app for StandUpRight and begun programming it
- Completed a course on time management, and started another
- Begun a course on content generation
With all of the above in addition to my normal, run of the mill life of working, educating my kids, daily exercise and the completely unrelated task of adding in a ½ hour kung fu workout, five days a week. I’m exhausted, and I think I’m beginning to see why.
No I’m not exhausted. In reality I’m having the time of my life. I’m on a huge daily publishing streak, I’m expanding my skill stack and I’m pushing myself out into new areas.
So how have I managed to add all of the above to my plate in less than 2 months?
- Starting small for a little win
- Enjoying the endorphin rush of having a little win
- Using that rush to keep the small thing, small win and small endorphin rush, going
- When the small thing is programmed in, adding another small thing
- Finding unused capacity
- Trimming away useless activity and, pertinent to today’s topic
- Using the endorphin rush of keeping the streak alive to…keep the streak alive
In fact, the more I’ve been accomplishing, the more I feel like I’m expanding my capacity, not using it up. Which is a good thing, considering tomorrow I go full bore into finally creating a course.