JUNE 10, 2021
“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently.”—Marie Forleo
What happens when your alarm fails to go off in the morning?
What happens when your mom forgets to cook you dinner?
What happens when your computer doesn’t turn on because there is no power.?
What’s common about all these situations?
Something’s going out of order. In the first case, you get late for work, and your morning routine is messed up. In the second case, your dinner is messed up, and in the third, it’s your work.
Whenever something doesn’t happen in order or regular fashion, it gets messed up (sometimes very badly).
For you to live and do things properly, you need consistency. You can’t get any work done if the power goes out every 50-60 minutes. You can’t have a morning routine if you wake up 45 minutes earlier or later than yesterday. And, you surely can’t have a proper evening meal plan if you rely on your mom or someone else to cook, and they do so with unplanned and inconsistent gaps.
Without consistency, we cannot survive.
In some of my previous blog posts, I have touched on the topic of consistency very briefly, but I knew it had to have its own dedicated space because of the fluidity of the concept.
Consistency can be as simple as waking up every day around the same time and as complex as writing and publishing two books each month. The idea of consistency and its applications are present in almost every type of work and in human nature itself. But its meaning is not as complex as we may perceive it to be.
Consistency means doing something on a regular schedule.
Your computer needs to consistently perform every day for you to get work done. Your family needs to have a regular cooking and eating schedule for you to eat food properly. You need to have a normal waking time every day to have a structure that allows you to be productive.
I have the schedule of writing one blog post a week and publishing two YouTube videos a week. I write one quote every day and send out 15-20 tweets a day, or even more.
Why is Consistency Important?
If I’d written two blog posts in July 2019, one in August 2019, then in January 2020, September 2020, and finally today, would you be interested in reading my content?
You won’t. You probably won’t even remember who I am and what I write.
Without consistency, I would not have seen any improvements in my writing. I would not have started my YouTube channel. I would not have interacted with so many amazing people on Twitter, and I wouldn’t have been able to write a book.
Without consistency, I would never have grown and gotten to where I am today.
It’s the same with every successful person. Sachin Tendulkar did not become such a great Cricket player by practicing once every two or three months when he was motivated. Elon Musk did not become a revolutionary entrepreneur by working on Tesla and SpaceX whenever he “felt like it.” Steve Jobs didn’t create an empire by working a little bit on Apple during a break.
All these successful people were consistent in their actions. They regularly gave in their efforts towards a precise aim, and that is how they succeeded.
Without consistency, you can’t live, and you can’t succeed.
Why do we lack consistency?
According to the data present on trends.google.com, over the past five years, the search volume for the term “Exercise” starts to rise near the end of December, suddenly spikes over the New Year, and begins to decline after the end of January until the same pattern happens next December.
What do we notice from this data? Every year when we set our New Year resolutions, we look forward to being consistent and improving ourselves. Health is a significant goal for a lot of people; hence the rise in search volume for “exercise” and also, there is a high spike in gym memberships in January, which isn’t the case further into the year.
Why do we behave this way? Why are we not consistent with things that matter?
The answer is simple:
We are motivated, not inspired.
At the beginning of each year, we are motivated as we see the hype about New Year Resolutions rising and give into that. We set aspirational, amazing goals, which at that moment pump us with energy.
We excitedly spend the first few weeks on them. Then the excitement fades, and so do our actions and consistency. We begin procrastinating and forget our New Year Resolutions. We again sit down on 31st December or 1st January to set our New Year resolutions and forget them in the same way.
We rely on external motivation and excitement. They are like carrots. They grow every year as the season comes around, and when harvested, the whole plant is uprooted and then vanishes away.
Motivation is temporary; inspiration isn’t.
Inspiration doesn’t rely on any external event or excitement. It is permanent and stems from your deep beliefs, values, and purpose. Inspiration depends on a strong will and purpose, just like a mango tree does on its strong roots. A mango tree doesn’t get uprooted every year during harvesting. Instead, mangoes are broken of the branches, and the tree stands firm for the next season and lasts for over a hundred years.
That’s what inspiration and a deep sense of cause and purpose are like. They don’t blow with the wind like temporary motivation, and they stand firm no matter what. If we try to be consistent on something powered by motivation, the story of New Year resolutions is likely to repeat itself. If we instead build on inspiration and a strong purpose, we don’t need to wait for 1st January to come by. The time won’t matter because we’ll start at any moment.
I have a strong reason for writing blog posts and making videos, which helps me be consistent.
Having a sense of purpose and will is the only way you’ll be consistent in whatever you do.
What side are you on? Are you a carrot plant or a mango tree?
Tell me in the comments below!
Partnering in your success, happiness, and growth,