Jerry Seinfeld is arguably the most successful comedian of all time. In addition to creating and starring in the most acclaimed sitcom in history, Seinfeld has been named the 12th greatest stand-up comedian of all time. Seinfeld’s long-term success as a writer, actor, and comedian is worthy of study.
Seinfeld is legendary for his writing process. Every day, he is committed to the discipline of sitting down and writing. On a large calendar, he crosses out the day that he completes this writing practice. He doesn’t wait for inspiration, he doesn’t write when he is feeling creative, he writes every day and then crosses off the date on his calendar. The goal is to create a chain and then never break the chain. He’s fabled for sticking to this practice for decades.
In his mid-60’s, Seinfeld’s writing, producing, and stand-up schedule remains prolific. His secret? According to him, is strength training.
In an interview with Tim Ferris in December, Seinfeld stated that he was a jogger off and on throughout the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. He got married and started a family a bit later in life and he said he needed to get serious about getting in shape and protecting his health. In addition, he, like so many comedians, has had a life-long battle with depression. Seinfeld states, “I think I could solve just about anyone’s life, and I don’t care what you do, with weight training and meditation.” He goes on to say, “I think it (strength training) builds your constitution.” Ferris, who hosts one of the most popular podcasts in the world and focuses solely on interviewing top performers in all walks of life responds to Seinfeld’s comments, stating, “If I think back on the hundreds of interviews on this podcast, whether it’s Bob Igor in the world of business heading Disney, or an athlete or otherwise; If you look at the people who have really performed at a high level for decades, weight training seems to be one of the constants.”
I love the idea of playing the long game and I’m inspired by Stephen Covey’s concept of, “living life in crescendo,” meaning, our most important contribution, work, and value still lie ahead of us. Stated otherwise, we can get better and do better with age.