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  • For years, Jagar wanted to be a successful writer, but he felt his life was too disordered.

  • I need to get it together, he thought.

  • One day, he stumbled across some videos on Youtube talking aboutmillionaire morning

  • routines”.

  • These people are successful, he thought, let me see how they do it.

  • And each video showed a lot of the same actions: wake up at 5AM, make your bed, exercise, take

  • a cold shower, meditate, journal, and make a to-do list for the day.

  • Every video said it was important to generate positive momentum early on in the day that

  • would carry forward.

  • And each video made the subtle implication that the right routines lead to success.

  • So Jagar began executing a routine each morning, leading him to feel more productive.

  • And after making his to-do list each day, he wrote for an hour.

  • And subconsciously, because he believed in the power of routines and formulas, Jagar

  • worked on a three-act story which faithfully followed The Hero's Journey—a supposed

  • formula for crafting a great story.

  • After several months of this routine, Jagar finished his book and sent it off to his friend

  • Tony, a literary agent.

  • He wanted honest feedback, and a few weeks later, he received an e-mail from Tony.

  • Jagar, I'm going to be brutally honest with you because you're my friend.

  • Sorry to say this, but your story is derivative and painfully mediocre.

  • It's nothing I haven't seen before.

  • I can tell you worked hard on this.

  • Your good at the craft, but I think you need to take a break from writing.

  • Live life.

  • Find something you care for deeply and write about that.

  • It takes more than craft, routine, and habit to be a great storyteller Jagar.

  • You need something that feels alive, that resonates, that feels like you and only you

  • could write it.

  • This feels like a mechanical formula, a pale imitation of everything else that exists.

  • We can talk about it in detail over some drinks.

  • Your friend, Tony.

  • Meanwhile, Rubi lived in a multi-generational, 12-person household with only three bed rooms.

  • Her mom and dad in one, her grandma and grandpa in another, and her and her seven siblings

  • in the other.

  • Her family lived on a farm which was an hour drive from the nearest major city.

  • They had no TV, and so Rubi, the oldest of all her siblings, wrote stories to keep her

  • family entertained in the evenings.

  • There was no room for routine in Rubi's life.

  • She's constantly cycled between working on the farm, taking her grandparents into

  • the city for medical visits, cooking dinner, doing laundry, playing with her siblings,

  • and resolving family conflicts.

  • Rubi loved taking care of her family, and she felt like telling stories was a good way

  • to help them bond and relax in the evenings.

  • So whenever she heard an interesting exchange between her family members, saw an interesting

  • event, or someone told her an interesting story about their day, she found a little

  • bit of time to capture it in words.

  • Over time, she built up journals full of material which she decided to condense into a collection

  • of short stories.

  • One day, while hearing some of her newer work, her dad was stunned by their beauty and insightfulness.

  • Secretly, he took her collection and went to the city to meet a literary agent.

  • The agent turned out to be TonyJagar's friend.

  • He told Rubi's dad to leave the collection on his desk, and that he'd review it when

  • he had time.

  • But to be honest with you,” he said, “don't expect to hear back from me.”

  • A few days later, a white car pulled up to Rubi's farm.

  • It was Tony.

  • He asked to speak with Rubi.

  • “I've never read anything like this.

  • Your voice is distinctive, your stories are unique, and your insight into the human condition

  • is unparalleled.

  • I even cried a few times.

  • Your grammar and sentence structure need some work, but we can help you with that.

  • Your exactly what the world needs right now.

  • We'd love to offer you a publishing deal.”

  • The greatest difference between Jagar and Rubi was routine.

  • Jagar worshipped routines.

  • Not only were his mornings filled with routines, but his writing was too.

  • His life was a mechanical formula.

  • He wanted to paint by numbers his way to excellence, but routine was the quickest way to mediocrity.

  • Rubi, on the other hand, was inventive, adaptive, and alive, in real life and in her work.

  • Morning routines, like all routines, are great for solving repetitive, mundane problems,

  • like pooping, hygiene, eating, drinking coffee, exercising, or taking medications, but they'll

  • never lead to the excellence they often promise.

  • People engage in new routines with the hopes of inventing a new life for themselves, but

  • invention comes from breaking routine.

  • Horse-drawn carriages allowed us to break the routine of walking, cars allowed us to

  • break the routine of horse-drawn carriages, and e-mail broke the routine of sending physical

  • letters.

  • Each invention gave us new freedoms, but each invention simultaneously became a new routine,

  • a new trap.

  • Even when working out or dieting, it's the subtle breaking and overcoming of routine

  • that leads to results.

  • One has to lift a little heavier or eat a littler more to reinvent their body.

  • The greatest fighter isn't one who has a routine in the ring, but one who is completely

  • free of all routines.

  • One who is completely unpredictable, free, and capable of fighting in any way necessary.

  • The greatest artists haven't mastered a single style of creating, but rather, they've

  • transcended all style, so that they can freely and fully express themselves.

  • One might look to Picasso or Joyce as examples.

  • The greatest lovers don't fall into routine and complacency.

  • They keep the flame alive in new and interesting ways.

  • We put routine breakers on pedestals.

  • We worship the inventor who brings us a new way of living, the painter who shows us a

  • new form, the musician who captures sounds we've never heard, or the writer who tells

  • us a new story.

  • We worship the routine breakers, but ironically, we try to be them by imitating their routines.

  • But what made them them was the breaking of routines in the first place.

  • We try to imitate people whose greatest strength is that they don't imitate others.

  • If one is looking to solve repetitive, mundane problems, a routine is helpful.

  • But if one is looking to reinvent one's life, then a routine is the greatest trap.

  • They say necessity is the mother of all invention because only when one becomes truly fed up

  • with a routine, when one can no longer live with the old way of doing things, when change

  • becomes absolutely necessary, does one have hope of inventing a completely new life

  • for themselves.

For years, Jagar wanted to be a successful writer, but he felt his life was too disordered.

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Why "Morning Routines" Are A Waste of Time

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    Summer posted on 2021/06/24
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