#816 Rituals of Preparation

A Cab Ride with Twyla Tharp

In our last several +1s, we’ve been having fun hanging out with the great choreographer Twyla Tharp. We spent some time archeologically digging (in a book!) and remembering that the great ones never forget the fundamentals. (What are yours?)

Today we’re going to hop in a cab with her and check the box on her most important ritual.

If you’ve read many books on creativity and/or habit creation, you’ve probably stumbled across this passage. It’s pretty epic.

Twyla is ALL about creative rituals.

More specifically, she’s all about “rituals of preparation.”

She starts by telling us how important preparation is: ”More than anything, this book is about preparation: In order to be creative you have to know how to prepare to be creative.

No one can give you your subject matter, your creative content; if they could, it would be their creation, not yours. But there’s a process that generates creativity—and you can learn it. And you can make it habitual.

Then she goes on with HER #1 creative ritual.

Here it is: “I begin each day of my life with a ritual; I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st street and First Avenue, where I work out for two hours. The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual.

Today’s +1.

What’s YOUR #1 creative ritual?

My dominoes fall every morning in the same way.

The NIGHT BEFORE I turn off the Wi-Fi, knowing it won’t go on again until I’ve hammered my AM1 (Pre-Inputs) Deep Work.


See you in the cab!

🚕 🚕 🚕

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