I just encountered Derek Siver’s post on specificity ( and thought I’d try writing a bit.

My first instinct was to tackle the question, “What do I need to do?”, but I think the better problem is “Who do I want to be?”. Because what you do and who you are converge toward the same result.

Anyway, I want to be a rascal. I want to be like Alan Watts and Clifford Stoll and Richard Feynmann. I want to be a kind, strong iconoclast who never turns down an opportunity to make people smile.

So what am I doing right now that’s preventing me from being this person? I do well as an iconoclast, but I don’t follow through with my visions. What’s preventing me from following through? I’d say it’s a mixture of forgetfulness, too much media consumption, and trying to do too much. The problem is, trying to fix any of these underlying causes requires self-discipline, which is also something I don’t have. I’m like a car with a messed-up steering alignment! I always veer towards the side of the road.

So how do I actually stick to a routine? I think the problem is the size of my “routine”. I think I need a larger quantity of little if-then statements. The best habit I could form at the moment is moving into a corner every half-hour to recalibrate. No, but I won’t follow that.