Writing Wednesday 011: Consistency — Turning A Weakness Into A Strength

Every day requires commitment.

I’m determined to change myself. I’ll do whatever it takes to turn some of my weaknesses into strengths. A mentor of mine espouses on focusing on your strengths and pushing weaknesses to the back-burner in order to gain the best results. Although I do agree, I often want to ask my mentor what about when a weakness is interfering with strengths? What about when the weakness is in such obvious need of attention that it can’t be omitted? What about when the weakness is my inconsistency?

In cooking, you’ll often hear people talk about consistency. “This batter isn’t the right consistency…” Not just batters, that sentence could be used for any number of dish components that could be incorrect, but usually refers to liquids and sauces. The root of consistency is constant — standing firm. Outside of the kitchen consistency is even more important. Consistency’s other definitions include:

1. conformity in the application of something, typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness: example — the grading system is to be streamlined to ensure greater consistency.

2. the achievement of a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality over time: example — his principal problem in tennis has been consistency.

The second definition resounds with me completely. My level of performance and achievement has been hampered by my consistency in the past. I am changing this behavior now, and will push forward to make it a strength. It’s not like every single aspect of my life has been inconsistent, but enough so that it’s stood out in self-audits and demanded attention and reconciliation. My inconsistency has been consistent in several areas: fitness and training (to reach the highest levels), dedication to writing, production of videos, photography, earning income, and reading all top the list of areas needing more dedication, discipline and being constant in my development. I have to, I must be consistent on a daily basis in pursuing my dreams — and the skills, habits and behaviors necessary to see them realized. Every day. Rain, snow, sleet, sunshine, and any other weather pattern or psycho-emotional state I may find that day. When the sun rises I must be working towards the aims I have set, and the vision for my contributions and achievements in life. When the sun sets I must continue to be working and inching closer to these realizations. I’m blessed to be alive each day, and grateful to have such a grand plan to make my mark on the world. Being inconsistent in my execution of this plan is doing myself and everybody that I want to help a disservice.

Before I can help anybody (especially at scale), I need to help myself. If you’ve read anything I’ve written you’ll begin to see this as a pretty apparent theme I’m amidst right now. Improving myself is a never ending journey, but some benchmarks and milestones indicate readiness to advance. When I feel that I can consistently perform at my desired level, and consistently execute, then I can increase the number of people I can positively impact. I’m not standing still waiting for this, because I can still help those that are physically in my life right now as I improve and gain the momentum of positive repetition. I don’t need permission to help others, nor do I need to be a finished product myself — but I need to have my shit together in enough ways that I’m not being a hypocrite in guiding others to places I’m not in or haven’t been. I’d be the last person to coach anybody financially right now. In that area, I’ve been consistent to a fault — consistent in my bad habits, illiteracy, and impulsiveness. I feel the need to reach a stable and secure level financially before most people (in America) would pay me much attention, let alone let me help them.

Generally speaking, I hold myself to a high standard. Sometimes this has led to me failing grandly to meet or even come close to actualizing the standard I hold myself to. Of course, this has caused me pain, but I don’t really know how to turn it off, nor do I think completely turning it off would serve me long term. I have a tough time understanding whether that’s a strength or a weakness. Right now my awareness of major weaknesses and major strengths at an all time high. This comes after a continual journey of personal development, and investing 2015 into cultivating self-awareness. I do want to maximize what I’m good at, but I honestly believe that the target of my piece today, overcoming inconsistent efforts and executions in my day in day out behaviors must evolve from a weakness into a strength. I’m on my way to making this happen, but I need to sustain it over a long duration.

What I’m doing that’s yielding the best results is training for Mixed Martial Arts 6 out of 7 mornings a week. Rising at 4:30 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday — and no later than 7am Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Of course rest and sleep are very important to my equilibrium, and I’ll sneak naps or a couple extra hours in when I’m really tired and my body is depleted. I don’t want to become inconsistent inadequate sleep/rest just to become consistent in physical training. But, I am willing to sacrifice other things and prioritize sleep and training above almost everything else. In order to become consistent in my desired behaviors and habits, I’ve had to eliminate others. Writing Wednesday pieces 005 & 009 talk about this in more detail, but I can summarize: I don’t and won’t go after immediate pleasure or allow myself to succumb to vices that have been part of my past. I can’t change the world with things weighing me down and keeping me in deep ruts. I need to get the traction of a beneficial and healthy structure to evolve any further.