Jerry Seinfeld was once asked in an interview how he gets psyched up before going on stage.
“You don’t have to get psyched up—the audience will take care of that. You walk out in front of 3,000 people who have paid $75 or $100, they’re sitting there saying, “We want to laugh right now,” and you feel that. But every comedian, like every athlete, has a little routine. Mine is to look at my notes until five minutes before the show. When my tour producer says, “Five minutes,” I put on the jacket, and when the jacket goes on, it’s like my body knows, “OK, now we’ve got to do our trick.” And then I stand, and I like to just walk back and forth, and that’s it. That’s my little preshow routine. I never vary it. It just feels comfortable.”
Seinfeld, as admitted, isn’t unique here. Before every game, Michael Jordan would ask his Chicago Bulls teammates what time it was. Their response: “Gametime”. Then they would storm the court.
Real Estate legend Ryan Serhant whispers “Ready, Set, Go” to himself before entering a situation where he needs to be “on.”
They don’t do this for fun. They do it because it works. They are tricking their subconscious mind to “turn it on”. That’s what the ritual does.
If you’re in sales, create a pre-call ritual. If you’re a leader, create a pre-meeting ritual. If you’re a writer, create a pre-write ritual. You get the point.
What time is it?