Brain Food #621

The most important days

Thoughts of the day

Yesterday, we looked at Haruki Murakami’s routine, and the suggestion that a repetitive life might be the type that can lead to a breakthrough.

Maintaining a routine is much harder than breaking one. Yet a routine is a daily appointment with ourselves, one we cannot break, even when we don’t feel like it. In a way, what we add to our routine is a version of our future self, waiting for us to take the necessary steps to meet them.

And Murakami’s routine was an effective one. He has written 14 novels and published 5 collections of short stories in a very fruitful career. Through his words, one also hears echoes of what Woody Allen once famously said in an interview, that “80% of success in life is showing up”.

A recent New York Times piece by Adam Grant quickly went viral after suggesting an appropriate word to pinpoint the general emotion of the world these days: ‘languishing’.

“Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.”

And if this holds true, perhaps waiting for the feeling to go away is not the best solution. Perhaps remembering Woody Allens’ simple words, paired with the lacklustre magic of a routine, are all it takes.

There will be days when you will not feel like it. These are the most important days.