The theme of this article is how performing rituals helps you be better and reduce anxiety. It is part 1 of 2 articles. Part 2 covers how rituals help groups become stronger.

Everyone performs rituals but not everyone does them consistently. I’m sure you’ve come across people who are “superstitious” and have unusual rituals and habits. People perform rituals for a wide variety of reasons - one of the more popular being a way to get better at something, often in stressful environments.

It's easy to get confused between routines and rituals within the larger context of habit formation. Maria Popova writes about the differences in her popular newsletter, Brain Pickings:

They seem to be different sides of the same coin — while routine aims to make the chaos of everyday life more containable and controllable, ritual aims to imbue the mundane with an element of the magical. The structure of routine comforts us, and the specialness of ritual vitalizes us. A full life calls for both — too much control, and we become mummified; too little excitement and pleasurable discombobulation, and we become numb.

Everyone wants a fuller life. I think any time the mundane becomes magical is cause for unbridled joy and celebration.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a ritual as

“a prescribed order of performing religious or other devotional service.”

Rituals are important because they help motivate us to get started on something without overthinking and overanalyzing. They eliminate self-doubt and questions like, Why am I doing this? James Clear in his popular book, Atomic Habits writes that motivation:

Often comes after starting a new behavior, not before. Getting started is a form of active inspiration that naturally produces momentum.

When I looked at the science of rituals, I was surprised to learn how important it is to call a ritual a ritual and not something else. For instance, you should not view or call a ritual "a few random behaviors". Calling a ritual a ritual each time you do it improves your performance and reduces anxiety. Studies have shown that calling a ritual a "few random behaviors" won't have the same positive results.

The biggest surprise was discovering that the most successful creative people of the past century work like accountants but think like artists. They live their lives according to repetitive and disciplined routines. The recurring pattern for a creative person's working life that David Brooks observed is:

Order and discipline are the prerequisites for creativity and daring.

If you want to learn more about how rituals and routines make you better and happier, check out the article I wrote here.

Stay safe. Stay sane. Get vaccinated.


PS: Spinning Forward is the new name for the newsletter. The new focus covers how the new creator economy is empowering creator communities to grow and thrive with fans. If you like this newsletter and want to support us, please share it with a friend or two and remind them to so subscribe here. You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

To share this newsletter on social media:

  • On Facebook, click here
  • On Twitter, click here
  • On Linkedin, click [here](



LASTLY 🏠 ❓ ℹ️

The Spinning Forward newsletter covers how the new creator economy is empowering creator communities to grow and thrive with fans. Flavian DeLima founded Collaborate for Purpose. Besides the newsletter 📧, we have a podcast 🎙️ and run kitchen table conversation events 🔥.

If you see a link to a piece you would like added to a future issue, please DM Flavian at Instagram or Twitter or reply to this newsletter. To support us, please follow and like our content on Instagram, Twitter or YouTube.

If you are enjoying the newsletter, please share it with a few friends because we want to increase our readership.