Consistency sounds boring. Something being basically the same every day. When something or someone is consistent there are no surprises. Consistent things blend into the background and do not get noticed.
Consistency has value. It implies being steady, dependable, and predictable. As a person, when you are consistent, people’s opinions of you tend to match. At work, being consistent means that your organization doesn’t have to worry about you because you already know what you are doing and that you meet their expectations of you.
But where does consistency fail?
When our consistency yields outcomes that are ineffective. When we consistently create surprises for others around us. When we consistently stumble, lose, fail or don’t fit in. What happens in all of these cases we become labelled as this or that. And then this label traps us, no matter how hard we try to change or how much we have evolved.
The word consistency, when used, implies only one “speed” for lack of a better word. You either are consistent or you are not. But this is not necessarily true.
Consistent effort is the best example I have for sharing with you the fact that being consistent is not an either/or proposition. Consistent interest or focus varies day to day. Consistent effort is the hardest thing to sustain for long periods of time.
We exercise for a week and then we get sidetracked and don’t do it again for a month. Our problems at home devour us and our actions at work are no longer consistent because we have already lost focus.
There is a time component to consistency that also degrades its effectiveness. Like friction, it slows us down because of our limited attention span to all that life hurls at us.
Consistency in life ebbs and flows. This is part of being human. Robots can be consistent. Humans can’t. This ebb and flow of the level and intensity of our consistent efforts is a pretty good reason why we can never achieve perfection in anything we do.
Learning that there is power and leverage in becoming more consistent can be huge. Understanding, up front, that our consistency will vary over time is even bigger.
If only we can be so patient and disciplined to remember to put forth more consistent effort in areas of our lives that matter most to us.
Applying the same consistent effort again, on more than one new day, could be the beginning of something big. Over time.