Consistency is about the ability to execute a plan, day in day out, and that will eventually lead to a desired outcome. Right?
It has been named as one of the most important traits for succes by famous entrepreneurs, athletes and leaders. The ability to be consistent in executing a plan, to be disciplined, is what to a large extent determines the outcome of what we do. But without context, consistency is a word that can be interpreted in multiple ways. So what is it then?
The first this that comes to my mind when I hear the word is that consistency is about making a plan and following this no matter what happens.
Let’s look at this interpretation in the context of interpersonal relationships instead of sports or business. If I was to make a plan on how I am going to have a meaningful conversation during dinner tonight and formulate a strategy to this like most businesses do, it could look like this:
- Produce 50 questions during the conversation (Pieces of content if you’re working in marketing or reps of a certain weight if you’re a bodybuilder)
In the build up to the conversation I could:
- Ask how the other’s day was 6 times per week (like staying visible in marketing, or doing a certain amount of training sessions when you’re a …you guessed it.)
- Send the same message everyday at 5 AM (this goes for all examples)
- Plan the conversations ahead for the whole month and automate them using an online tool (decide what content you’ll be posting or what training sessions you will be doing in advance)
This might sound like a joke and it is. But when we relate it to business or sports like in the brackets, we see that we’re doing this daily in other parts of life.
If I want to have a meaningful conversation with someone and all I do is ask a set of predetermined questions, no matter what answers they give, what are the chances of me being successful?
To have any real impact on the way we live and the outcome of what we do, we have to be both spontaneous AND consistent. We have to be willing do to do the work while leaving room to react to what’s happening at any moment. No matter if this is us coming home late from a conference and needing an extra hour of sleep, doing an extra training session because we’ve got an important competition coming up (or skipping one to recover fully) or just being silent today if that’s what the conversation with your partner needs.
The thing is, we are too concerned with output instead of outcome.
Because we don’t trust ourselves to be accountable, we only try to be consistent.
Because we don’t trust ourselves to be accountable, we only try to be consistent. And that hardly yields any fruit. What I mean by this is, in order to be spontaneous and make an impact, we have to be REALLY honest with ourselves and what we need to do.
Feel like sleeping an extra hour because you come home late? Better think carefully if it was really that late or you just want to stay in bed (especially when this thought pops up in the morning). To really trust ourselves is to let go a fixed frame of how things should be done and be consistent in doing what needs to be done to create the right outcome.
Of course this can be scary as there is no fixed plan to follow. Only the strategy we set and our honesty about what we need to achieve the outcome.
But what it will give us is the freedom to be playful, to give meaning to moments and a lot more opportunities to make a difference.
Curious on how to find this inner balance within yourself? Send me a message.