Step one: Never Stop, Never Stopping*
*Reference to a bad Andy Samberg movie — the title of which I repeat ad nauseum. I thought I could quit typing after Never Stop, but I simply couldn’t.
One Hundred New Things in One Year blog, the origami artist phase, the self-imposed Read-a-New-Book-Every-Two-Weeks thing, the 365-Day Photography Challenge, countless first chapters of novels…and don’t even get me started on the number of exercise fads and diets.
All things I attempted and quit, in fairly short order.
Living color examples of me earnestly trying to find a “thing”. The common denominator in all of them? None of them were backed by the simple, but brilliant, power of consistency.
Consistency is quite possibly my favorite success tool because it asks nothing of you other than — keep going.
“Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking your potential” — Winston Churchill
It would be easy for me to look back on the endeavors listed above and think, “Well, wrong pursuit, wrong time”, and, let’s be honest, I had no business dreaming I’d take the blue ribbon at the National Origami Competition and win the heart of Martha Stewart (factual daydream of mine).
A few of them, however, might have become something special had I stayed consistent enough to get past the Canyon of Death (see: illustration).
While consistency seems an extremely obvious concept, it wasn’t something I was consciously aware of. Nor did I know how to rely upon it when the inevitable pitfalls arose.
I took the boredom, frustration and stagnation as a sign to throw in the towel — rather than fight through the Canyon of Death and Just… Keep… Going.
- The excitement of your new idea is going to ebb and flow.
- The hill is going to seem much harder to climb than you ever anticipated.
- The wins are going to come — but not before you make it through the exasperations.
Prepare for these things, embrace them as part of the process, and your chances of succeeding double.
This week’s theme was inspired by a good friend of mine who has made it her pledge to be consistent in 2017. Hearing this reminded me how much I connect to its value and was re-inspired to be ever more consistent in my own efforts.
I’ve been on the other side — throwing darts into the wind with no plan and no promise of persistence.
It’s much better on this side — confirming a goal to yourself, pledging a pact of consistency, and, perhaps most importantly, being mindful of the dreaded Canyon of Death.
Where am I now? (see: illustration)
Smack dab in the middle of the canyon. Speaking of which, can we get that girl some water….she looks exhausted! A power bar maybe? Jeez.
Onward and Upward, my friends.
Originally published at medium.com