A full life, well lived, is dependent on good daily habits. What you do when you get started in the morning sets up a successful day. A successful day, done every day, adds up to a successful career, a successful year, a successful life.
Remember the old Dunkin Donuts commercial where the alarm goes off before dawn, the donut chef climbs out of bed. and says to himself, “It’s time to make the donuts!” as he goes to work? I did that as a school teacher for more than twenty years. I said to myself, “It’s time to make the donuts!” Then I dragged myself to school before anyone else and didn’t make any donuts, but I did prepare lessons and got the classroom ready to tutor early birds and teach kids to read and write.
I accomplished most of what I have done in life by taking just a few small steps every day. That’s how a teacher delivers a lesson. Introduce two or three ideas, practice them, and connect them to what has been learned before and what will come after.
That’s also how I have written and published 21 books so far. I wrote 500 words a day, edited what came the day before, and outlined what would come the day after.
Most of what I have said in this post is simply repackaged Stoic philosophy. We can only control those things we have control over. And we exert ourselves to control those things in ways that move us forward to better things. The things we have no control over, we simply choose not to worry about.