The Power of Consistency
"I mean, listen: We talking about practice. Not a game. Not a game. Not a game. We talking about practice. Not a game. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it's my last. Not the game. We talking about practice, man." -Allen Iverson
Yes- we're talking about practice.
We're talking about the practice of consistency. Consistency is the act of putting our full attention on the practice of <insert behavior here> and allowing the outcome to be a by-product of the consistent repetitions that practices allow.
Conformity in the application of something, typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness.
Do you want to be motivated? Or do you want to be consistent?
Motivation comes and goes. We often have to search for it. We have to wait to "find the motivation" to complete the task we agreed to complete.
Consistency is discipline. Consistency is not the mastery of the task, but the ritualistic practice of the task we agreed to complete.
Motivation is a powerful sensation, but it is a fleeing one. Consistency is the thing that drives us ever forward. If the behavior is consistent, we will perform the task at a much higher level, and far more often, because it is naturally ingrained in our behavior. This is why the "10,000-hour rule" is often talked about within the realms of the most successful people in life.
With consistency, motivation is no longer necessary.
Be disciplined in your practice. Be consistent. Always.
"Motivation is crap. Motivation comes and goes. When you're driven, whatever is in front of you will get destroyed." -David Goggins
Use that drive to be persistently consistent.
If it is important to you, be persistent in attaining it.
You must practice daily if you want to be the best, to achieve the most, and to acquire your truest sense of self-worth. These feats do not come from the accolades themselves, they come from the work it requires to attain them.
The outcome is nearly always indicative of the habit. If you are not persistent with the habit, the outcome is unlikely to be what you want. Be persistent with your habit and the outcome will eventually arrive.
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." -Michael Jordan
It seems we all love a good motivational quote, or pulling inspiration from our favorite author or athlete or whomever we deem important. But the problem I find with motivation and inspiration is that it is fleeing. It's powerful when it's present. But when it's not, what do you do?
For me, I practice consistency consistently. I make coffee and espresso each morning while drinking a glass of water. Then, as I drink the coffee, I write in my journal. From there, I move into the meditation room and spend between 10-60 minutes meditating, breathing, stretching, doing yoga, and playing my djembe. After that, I run. These are my morning behaviors, my repetitious rituals, if you will.
Some days, I'm not motivated to do one, or any of these things. And I'm not always perfect in doing them. But they are so ingrained in my daily practices that, even if I miss doing something one day, or a whole day of all the things, it's not difficult to get back to it the following day. But I don't have to find motivation to do the things I do. I do the things I do because it is what I do.
When I was a practicing addict and binge drinker, I was also very consistent. I was consistently high and drunk. I was consistently great at finding the next buzz, and usually before the previous one wore off. I was consistently good at driving under the influence, peer pressuring others to get higher with me, and partying until the sun came up and then some. I was really good at these things because I was consistent. I was so consistent that, for the most part, I stayed out of trouble with the law. I was so consistent that I was able to still show up for work (and work well), hang out with sober friends without them knowing, and hid it from family for years. I was so consistent that my inebriated lying became so believable that even I believed my lies.
I'm fortunate to have been able to switch my behaviors around for the better. It's not easy and I wish I could tell you that I did it with intention. But I didn't. But, as I slowly let go of old, consistent behaviors, I gathered new, and better, healthier behaviors. And the more "good" I experienced, the more "good" I wanted in my life. I stayed consistent with that ideology and have continued to supplement with healthier, more positive behaviors ever since.
So, no... you don't need motivation. You don't need to wait to be inspired by another human that is succeeding in life. You need to find consistency. You need to practice your craft every day. It needs to be so ingrained in your Youness that your craft becomes part of you.
I am a writer.
I am a runner.
I am an artist.
I am an athlete.
I am a meditation practitioner.
I am vegan.
I am peace.
I am these things because I practice these things.
I am consistent.