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657 Day Streak Down The Drain?

657 Day Streak Down The Drain?

Hello and good day!

I'm sitting here in an airplane, and I look how a T-rex would look if it were typing on a laptop, with my arms folded into my body, and my hands barely sticking out.

I am using the fold-down drink tray on the seat in front of me to write.

I have to apologize in advance if there are any typos.

I won't be able to follow my regular proofreading protocol, although I will do my best.

Airplanes are not made for a 6'4" man to write on.

I went to bed too late last night and I got up too early this morning. My brain was too foggy to write before the trip.

I couldn't get it going.

I tried to write on our first flight, but I fell asleep. Plus, I've had a headache all day long.

And now, my back is up against the wall. If I don't do this right now, I won't do it.

I've noticed something over the years.

Nobody can convince you more effectively than your own inner voice.

Let's say you are on a diet, and you want to cheat.

You attempt to employ your will power to stave off the temptation.

But here comes your inner voice who knows you better than anybody, and knows where all the skeletons are buried, and knows where there is still a thin layer of puncturable skin amidst the scar tissue.

Oh, you're inner voice can be such a rapscallion sometimes.

"You work hard and you are a good person. What does it matter if you have just one cookie? Does that make you a failure? Of course it doesn't. You've been so good for so long. Go ahead. You deserve it."

It speaks soothingly, in just the tone that you need to hear it in.

So, you have the cookie, even though it is in clear contradiction to how you promised yourself you would behave.

Once you've tasted the forbidden fruit, and you have the taste of that sweet, sinful juice on your tongue, all manner of lasciviousness is liable to follow.

I have my voice.

It says, "You are a good man, a family man, a business owner. You work hard and you deserve a rest. Why not take this day? Who else has written 657 days in a row? You can be proud of that. Nobody would hold it against you if you stopped now. Who are you anyways? Some kind of big shot? Be happy with what you've accomplished and take a nap. Besides, you will look ridiculous typing in such a cramped space."

"Yes, that makes sense," I think to myself.

My eyes become heavy, and I begin to nod. Mmmm. Sleep.

The headache will disappear with sleep.

The pressures and the promises and the responsibilities dissolve momentarily.

Sleep is such a sweet solution.

If your inner voice can be so devilish, what can a person do to counteract its potentially bad influence?

I have a feeling about this because I literally just experienced it.

I am writing an observation in real time.

I believe that the answer lies in something that I would call a spiritual routine, for lack of a better term.

Before delving into this concept, I want to share something about a friend of mine.

One of the things that has always kept me from becoming religious is the notion that I'd have to study the same holy texts, year in and year out, for the rest of my life.

It seems very limiting given the vast diversity of learning that life has to offer.

I've talked to my pal about this, and he has given me a bit of insight, which I am now realizing is valid. This fellow has a palpable inner beauty to him that you can see through his clear, light, blue eyes.

He is a deeply religious person and I've put the question to him.

"Don't you get bored?" I asked.

And he answered me honestly.

"Yes, sometimes," he told me once.

"But I'd rather be righteous than excited."

There is something to that isn't there?

A long and solid marriage can be shattered by a brief interlude of infidelity.

A successful career can be derailed by a single angry outburst in an important meeting.

Decades of sobriety can be undone by the flow of a single sip of ice-cold brew passing through your lips.

We almost went out of business in 2014 when we produced a flawed cacao harvest and many of our customers jumped ship on us.

Even though I am not particularly religious, I am a praying fool.

One of the things I pray for constantly is strength when I am feeling weak, reminders when I forget, and a shouting voice that can break through the lull of complacency and snap me into action.

From my experience, the result of this practice of frequent prayer is that I get a message when I am on the verge of filching on one of my beliefs.

The message is usually, "Why not just get started with a baby step?"

Isn't that a lovely message to get?

"Why not set the cookie down for just a minute and do something else? You can come back if you still want it a minute from now."

Or, "I know you said you were going to run 3 miles. Why not run one block and take it from there?"

Or, as it pertains to writing, "I know you want to sleep and all the lights in the airplane are turned off and you have to type with T-rex arms. But what if you were to write just one sentence? I know you like to write a thousand words, but why not twenty words, just to test it out? And after that, if you are still tired, you can go to sleep then."

I feel quite certain that I wouldn't have a counterbalance to my smooth-talking inner voice if it weren't for ongoing prayer, multiple times daily.

And I wouldn't have kept the streak alive today if a voice from deep within didn't jump out and save me and convince me to put my fingers on the keyboard.

Religious or not, some kind of spiritual routine seems to be essential for enduring so that you can achieve long term goals.

Now my friends, I have earned my sleep and I bid you adieu.

Thank you so much for your time today.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day.


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