I believe keep doing, doing and doing for some meaningful thing is important. I don’t think anyone would argue about this. However, what is meaningful will bring a lot of argument.
Why You Blog?
In a Kijiji event in Shanghai University tonight, students asked why I kept blogging for more than three years. “What makes you keep doing that?”
I think it is a great question to ask me, or ask anyone who kept doing.
Does Consistency Helps
Many people started blog but quit after three weeks. Someone decided to recite all the words in an English directory, but quit when they encounter “B”. More people make up minds to start running, but stop after five morning exercise.
People believe the reason they cannot keep doing something is due to lack of consistency – consistency means the firmness a of people’s mind.
I don’t think so. I don’t think I am a person of consistency, and have the ability to do anything longer than a week. It has nothing to do with consistency.
It must be Meaningful
I believe you have to find out a reason to do something. As long as the reason is still valid, and you can feel it is valid, you keep doing. If you don’t think it is still meaningful, you may quit. I do.
Most Confusion Time
For this blog, it has millions of page views every month. If you know more than one thousands people are waiting to see your article today, do you see the value of keep blogging today? Maybe you do. I do.
However, when there is no one visiting your site, do you still think it is meaningful to do that?
Back to the end of 2002, I was confused sometime. At that time, the server is still in my reading room in my home (the reason I didn’t remove the home part from my blog URL http://home.wangjianshuo.com). When I blog everyday, and see the access log, there are only 20 to 100 page view that day. At the first month, out of excitement of trying new stuff, you may want to keep the server up everyday. However, after the excitement went away, I start to think, does it make sense to keep the server up 24 hours day, consuming electricity and making big noises in my home?
That is the hardest time in my 3 years of blogging. I can keep doing something for a long period of time, as long as I still believe it is meaningful. In my blogging case, what is the meaning to still keep blogging once everyday?
Finally, I thought of the reason – to keep accumulating my thoughts on daily bases. It may be a big boook one day.
As soon as I realize to have visitors or not is not the meaning of my blogging, I feel happier. Only after I realized to write for myself, instead of for visitors, and page view is more meaningful to me, I found the reason to keep blogging. So I kept doing that.
In the last three years, I always keep the belief, that at first, I write for myself, to accumulate my life experience. Secondly, if it can help someone out there (maybe after one year or two), that is better. As long as these two points still make sense for me, I will keep blog. If one day, I found it is not meaningful for me to blog, I will also quit (hope there is always reasons to keep blogging).
Why People Quit
Some people start out of curiosity, and don’t find any reason why he/she start to blog. Well. Good. Just quit. Good for him/her.
Some people admire others’ high page view and blog for page view. They quote all interesting articles others wrote, and think hard about what attracts users most. If they can keep doing that, it is good. But the problem is, it is too long for them to see the result. For me, it takes two – three years. If there is no other reason to keep doing that, they will quit. They quit not because they are lack of consistency, they quit because they didn’t feel any sense of connection between what they are doing (blogging) and what they think is meaningful (page view).
It is the same for running. If someone just enjoys running very much, they keep doing that. If someone hate running, but only do that to improve health, they quit because they cannot observe the difference after running for three days, and start to doubt whether it is meaningful to run. The same as reciting a directory (which I never think meaningful as a way to learn English).
Passion for Contribution, and Confident for Return
The other day, I read an article about Contribution and Return. The article said: visionary, and successful people in history are so passionate about their contribution, meanwhile be confident for the return they can get. The unsuccessful people are doing the other way. They care too much about return (in terms of $$$), and have no interest in contribution. Just like a good writer only cares about writing good article (contribution), while don’t want to pay attention to manuscript fee. Bad writers only cares about how much they can make, and don’t care about how good he/she writes. That is the difference between good writers (who becomes better and better) and bad writers.
So Bill Gates do care about its contribution, so does Edison, the two founds of Google, and lots of successful business owners. They do care about what they can do to help. Although they are confident about return, they don’t do business just for the return. (Of cause, things changes after a company goes public).
If the reason to do something is to contribute, and you are satisfied with your contribution, you can keep doing that.
If the reason to keep doing something is to get return, chances are, you cannot get return as you expected, and you stop.
That is my thoughts about reason to keep doing something or stop.