Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most successful comedians of all time.
And when I say successful, I don’t just mean because he has made the most people laugh or because he has had the most tour dates.
Comedy Central regards him as one of the “Top 100 Comedians of All–Time”.
He was also the co-creator and co-writer of Seinfeld, the long-running sitcom which has received numerous awards and was claimed to have the “Top TV Episode of All–Time” as rated by TV Guide.
And then there is his financial success…
Forbes magazine suggests Seinfeld reached his peak in earnings when he made $267 million dollars in 1998.
10 years on, in 2008, Seinfeld was still earning $85 million per year.
Based on wealth, popularity, and critical acclaim, it’s fair to say Jerry Seinfeld is among the most successful comedians, writers, and actors of his generation.
Don’t break the chain
Brad Isaac was a young comedian starting on the comedy circuit.
He asked Jerry Seinfield if he had “any tips for a young comic”
“He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day”
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.
After a few days, you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain. Don’t break the chain.”
I like to call this process ‘streaking’.
You create your own ‘running streak‘ and then get a small dopamine hit every time you add to it making the chance of you continuing the habit more likely.
100 days of meditation
A few years ago I experienced the benefit of this firsthand.
Although I like to meditate at least 5/7 days a week I had never done 100 days consistently so I thought I’d give it ago.
I was using a device called Muse, which is a brain-sensing headband.
The app tells you how many consecutive days you’ve done each time you finish a session.
On day 79 I got into bed later than usual – 11.50 pm.
I remembered I hadn’t meditated but the thought of my app telling me I was on a 0 steak the next day was enough to make me finish the day with 10 minutes of meditation before I went to sleep.
The ‘pain’ of having to start again on 0 when I was 3 weeks from achieving my goal was the extra accountability I needed.
You’ll notice in what Ben Issacs shared about what Jerry Seinfeld said to him he didn’t say a single thing about results.
It didn’t matter if he was motivated or not. It didn’t matter if he was writing great jokes or not. It didn’t matter if what he was working on would ever make it into a show.
All that mattered was “not breaking the chain.”
And that’s one of the simple secrets behind Jerry Seinfeld’s remarkable productivity and consistency. For years, the comedian simply focused on “not breaking the chain.”
Let’s talk about how to stop procrastinating by using ‘streaking‘ in your life…
Stop Procrastinating & Start Streaking
I have said for years now that it is important to have a North Star and, if used correctly it enables you to focus on the process.
Jerry Seinfield’s ‘streaking‘ process works because it helps to take the focus off of your performance and puts the emphasis on the process instead.
It’s not about how you feel, how inspired you are, or how brilliant your work is that day.
Instead, it’s just about “not breaking the chain.”
What is a habit that you need to start ‘streaking’ with?
Until next time… make it happen.