THE 3 MINUTE RULE | The Power Of Consistency And Habit
‘Don’t break the chain. Your only job is to not to break the chain!’ These are not the words of a drummer, but of comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Asked, how he works on his craft, he responded he writes at least one joke a day, every day. Even if he doesn’t feel like it, even if he feels extremely unfunny. Every day means without missing a day, like building links to a chain. The job is not to come up with brilliance every day, or to carve out a huge amount of practice time, or to be perfect; the job is just to be consistent, to not break the chain.
There is great power in consistency and habit. This is the big secret to greatness and genius, NOT talent. Work on your craft every freaking day! The name ‘3 Minute Rule’ comes from what I tell myself when I don’t feel like practicing: ‘I will at least play for 3 minutes, I can do that…’. The goal is to not miss a day connecting with your instrument, to let the feeling sweep over you of what brought you to drumming in the first place and surrendering to it, letting it guide you.
Perhaps you’ve been to the Grand Canyon. The awesome shaping and sculpting of the massive rocks and canyons was done by a substance seemingly as weak as water. But done consistently, one drop at a time over millions of years … the result takes your breath away! And the same will happen with you. Your individual expression you must take shape one day at a time. Not ‘every now and then’, and not ‘when I can get to it.’
What if you were able to make one straight year of playing every day, at the very least, 3 minutes? Here in lies the power and force of momentum, which comes from creating habit. Willpower doesn’t work, habits and rituals do! This way, practice becomes an addiction, not an affliction. Fire up those neurons in your mind every day, and the connection between body, mind, and instrument becomes stronger each and every time. The most common excuse of not practicing is, you guessing it … ‘I don’t have enough.. TIME!’ The 3 Minute Rule is a trick you play on your own mind, the voice that tells you to relax and to ‘do it tomorrow’. EVERYONE can find 3 minutes! Now of course, you will need to practice generally more that 3 minutes, (that’s not even a full song!) but if that’s all you got in on your worst day, then at least you’ve mastered yourself and had time with your instrument you otherwise wouldn’t have; this adds up.
What would you rather have, a penny that doubles in value every day for 30 days, or $3 million right now in cash? Most people would choose the quick cash, and until about day 20 you would still be pretty happy with that decision, as the penny stock has only made it to just over $5000. But if you can wait out the 30 days, you will now have over $10 million dollars! Doing a small act every day without fail creates massive momentum that can shatter your ceiling of achievement, of what you previously thought possible within yourself. I want to see and hear more of YOU on your instrument … I am invested in your own personal SOUND, the one everyone already has within them. You can only sound like YOU, and no one else.
You’ve heard ‘the hardest part of working out is getting to the gym’. The 3 Minute Rule is tricking yourself of getting your butt onto that drum throne. Once you are there, sticks in hand in front of our amazing instrument … well, you will most likely find that you CAN’T stop after 3 minutes, you will want to keep going! You will probably go at least 15 minutes, or 45 minutes, or an hour or two. But even if it WAS only 3 minutes, you’ve kept the coals of consistency burning, and you’ve pushed that next domino forward to keep and build your momentum. And as Seinfeld says: ‘your only job is don’t break the chain.’ You’ve now created a habit that ‘gets you to the gym’, no matter what. You’ve now created a habit that silences the master excuse writer inside your mind. You’re now riding the wave of momentum, so remember: DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN!