“Part of courage is simple consistency.”—Peggy Noonan
I get so energized when I go to a conference and am motivated in sales or in leadership. I am reinvigorated when attending a Christian conference and God speaks to my heart, motivating me to make some changes and improvements. I can even read books that encourage me to make changes; they even tell me how to do it and I am ready to “jump on it”. But sometimes, just like with the New Year’s resolutions we make, the “air in our tires,” the “gas in our tanks” can evaporate over time….and we end up not much farther down the road than when we began. Our intentions and desires are good and positive…but somehow…we get distracted. Maybe it wasn’t important enough to us. Or we lie to ourselves, or believe the “lies” Satan or others tell us and end up believing that it just isn’t possible to make the change or improvement.
In his book, “Tipping Point,” Malcolm Gladwell makes a very good case for showing you that if you repeat something or practice something 10,000 times or more you will become excellent at it. How does that relate to me or to you? I call it “consistency”. Becoming consistent in and of itself can be a boring concept but it is worth embracing. If you want to “get farther down the road” in decisions or resolutions you make and move forward…whether it is in selling….self-improvement…mastering a skill…losing weight…strengthening your walk with Christ…the real change happens through becoming consistent.
For example, if I had a large oak tree in my back yard that was 200 years old, it would be pretty big. Suppose it needed to be cut down because of disease and all I have is a sharp ax. There is no one else to cut it down but me. If I go out with all the energy I have and swing away off and on all day, the probability that I am going to cut that tree down is not very good. Along with the fact that the next day I will be sore and tired and maybe a little discouraged, that tree hasn’t moved. But on the other hand, if I decided that, in time, the tree is coming down, then I am going to work at it differently. Be consistent. Every day I am going to take the ax and make five hard, solid swings. I am not going to miss a day. You know what? Eventually that tree is going to come down. How many swings and how many days will it take? I do not know but I do know that if I REMAIN CONSISTENT…the tree will come down.
I don’t know that any of us aspire to cut down a 200 year old tree but hopefully the example encourages you to become “consistent” in
any change you are wanting to make…
any skill you are wanting to master….
any habit you are wanting to break or create.
Over time consistency trumps sudden motivation which can be fleeting.
A significant point I want to make is this….to evoke real and lasting change in your life…you have to become a self-motivator.
The one thing that is a huge motivator in life is P-a-i-n.
In fact, in my own life “pain,” whether it be physical or emotional, has been the greatest motivator and catalyst for promoting lasting change in my life. You have heard it said…the best way to get to “palaces” in life is through the “pit” and I agree with that statement.
The best example of living this out loud? Being faithful and consistent? Jesus. Even to His cruel death on the cross. It led to a palace in heaven where He was seated by His Father. Scripture is clear on His consistent character. Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
For you and me scripture is clear. In Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Do not allow man nor Satan to “take away from you the harvest!” Growing weary or impatient can cause us to stop pursuing. It can rob us of the harvest God intends for us to have. Understand, pain can be the path to the palace/harvest for our lives. A great way to fight weariness is consistency…day after day…swinging the ax 5 times instead of a 100 times.
Seek to be consistent today in all that God has put on your heart to do. Trust Him in the pit or while on the path to the palace/harvest. The destination is for everyone. The harvest is for everyone.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” ~Aristotle