David Letterman’s cup technique

David Letterman and Cups

Damon Winter

David Letterman dressing for a taping of “Late Show.” Each cup to the left represents a completed show. New York Times

A carpenter's work is real. The chair. The house. There's a physical manifestation of the work; the work is tangible throughout the entire process.

There's something to this idea. Seeing the work. Having a physical manifestation of the work.

It's such a fleeting idea in today's digital world.

I think of David Letterman's cup technique and wonder how cool it'd be to have stacks of cups for every training session I completed over the years.

I kept a training log from 2006 to 2015. It spanned (wait for it) two notebooks.

I don't know how much work I've done. That's important, too, I think. How good should you expect to be when you only have a small stack of cups? That'd be a good reminder. Great people have a lot of cups.

Feeling lazy or unmotivated? Look at your cups. See that? Your stack of cups. Maybe knowing that, if you pushed through and did the work, you'd be able to add another cup.

The body changes slowly. You have to do a lot of things many people won't do. Wouldn't it be nice to see those days? Wouldn't it be nice to see those days accumulate?

Day after day after day.

There's something to this concrete real representation that hits me.

Are you going to add another cup to your stack today?

MAYBE YOU’RE A SUCKER


You can’t fool me.

I know this isn’t your first rodeo, trying to lose fat, build muscle, and build a body you’re proud of.

But you’re not a quitter, which is why you’re here.

You might be a little lost right now.

Maybe you don’t have much motivation.

Maybe you don’t what program or diet to use.

I don’t know…

But what I do know is this:

Everything you need is inside of you.

You’re capable of more than know.

You just have to open your eyes.

My weekly column can help.

Just a small little honest note from me sent every Sunday.

Unless I’m hungover.

And then it comes Monday.

What I’m trying to say is that it’ll come Monday.

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