September 28

Ritual Voyeurs

A few years ago, a number of books were published about the daily rit- uals of famous achievers. Readers scrambled to discover what Richard Branson ate for breakfast or which brand of notebook Adele uses to capture ideas. There is an understandable desire to know how the people we admire structure their lives, but we often mistake correla- tion for causation. It’s not the specific rituals they implement that made them successful; it’s that they actually have some. They have imple- mented a bounding structure that channels their focus and energy in meaningful ways.

We make our rituals, then our rituals make us. They are the bound- ing arcs that keep us moving in the right direction, day by day. As I write this, we are just emerging from the COVID-19 epidemic, and many of our lives have been upturned by something we never saw coming in ways we couldn’t imagine. Except those of us with bounding rituals of study, reflection, writing, and connection maintained a constancy and stability that only ritualized disciplines can provide.

Don’t worry about the rituals of others, but make certain that you have some of your own. They are what keep you grounded even when the world and your work devolve into chaos.

Rituals that work for one person may not work for another. Adopt daily rituals that channel your creative energy toward your own personal goals.


Which rituals are indispensable for you? Are you practicing them consistently?

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