The Power of Consistency and Persistence

Published on: August 11, 2014

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“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” – Thomas Carlyle

The Measure of Consistency

How many of you can claim with absolute certainty that you have applied consistency and persistence in your daily life with some measure of success? [Cue silence]

Consistency and persistence are two elusive virtues difficult to sustain if not regularly engaged. Let’s take a moment to peer through the lens of what consistency and persistence have to offer.

You’ve no doubt been well informed of the merits of consistency within a practical approach. Attend any weekend course and I can assure you the instructor will endorse the power of consistency as a key attribute toward accomplishment.

Consistency may be defined as developing discipline in a chosen field, in light of a favourable outcome. Those who uphold discipline are rewarded with success, since they have harnessed enduring focus through concerted effort.

Let’s be clear while on the subject. Success in this context is not limited to certain areas of life. If losing weight and eating healthy is your primary goal, taking appropriate action steps on a frequent and consistent basis may be considered a success.

Far too many people discount the power of consistent effort towards their goals. Consistency creates powerful neural networks in the brain known as grooving. These grooved neural networks help form strong connections within the brain’s synaptic connections, thus enhancing your concentration on a task or goal.

When one applies intermittent effort to a goal, the brain does not receive sufficient stimuli to form powerful habits. It is the Hebbian theory, introduced by the Canadian psychologist Donald O. Hebb who states that “nerves that fire together, wire together.” With consistent effort, your brain acquires permanent neural connections as a result of prolonged application.

Consistently focussing attention towards your goals allows the brain to lock on to the target. Consistency may be perceived as the ability to sustain continuous effort despite external forces. Ceaseless determination is paramount in order to draw a positive outcome.

Consistency builds character and sharpens the mind. Consistent people are triumphant. They possess an inner drive which is unyielding. They are firm in their resolve to bring about positive results. They do not compromise by cutting corners or taking the road less travelled. Ultimately this dedication pays off with the rewards that await.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou

One final thought on consistency worth mentioning. Consistency is essential in a task-orientated goal since it allows you to trace your results through to completion. For example, many people give up on improving their nutritional and exercise goals as challenges arise.

Following success without a measure of sustained performance is likely to produce ineffectual outcomes. In a number of instances ones desired results may not be visible for some time, particularly when modifying nutritional and exercise goals. Oftentimes events are working in your favour albeit behind the scenes, while laying the foundations for future progress.

Harnessing Persistence

Let us turn our attention now to the power of persistent effort. It should be stated that persistence is a state of mind. It is the hallmark of accomplishment given that persistent people push through pain. Pain refers to the setbacks and roadblocks that are apparent when ploughing ahead. One’s ability to recover from failure and setbacks forms the basis for future success.

Persistence acknowledges the presence of external forces continually acting on us. Such forces have the potential to derail or even hinder one’s progress. The persistent person acknowledges these forces are working against them, yet lingers ahead.

In previous articles, I drew your attention toward establishing a compelling WHY? since I believe it to be a crucial measure of improvement. Persistent people have an indomitable will to succeed, having connected with a persuasive WHY?

Behavioural psychologists have long believed that simply showing up is a sufficient measure towards future success. I hold firm to the belief that showing up is inadequate, since people show up every day to dreary and mundane jobs which they loathe. Whilst the body is present, their minds are on vacation somewhere on a tropical island. Showing up means being present and engaged with absolute intention and purpose.

Another key influence is the power of momentum, which is a formidable ally toward goal attainment. Without momentum, one applies partial effort while anticipating victory. Think back to your last project in which you applied persistence and momentum. I daresay that your efforts were met with ease and perfection, as though you were in Flow.

Momentum is the accelerator driving persistence. As you maintain persistence, momentum takes the wheel to hasten progress. Artists will advise you that every creative pursuit takes a life of its own once commitment has been made, compelling it forward.

In closing, I leave you with a final principle which ties together the power of consistency and persistence known as the compound effect. Author Darren Hardy wrote an insightful book aptly titled The Compound Effect which outlines ways in which success is leveraged through building on consistency and persistence.

According to the author, “The compound effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. The most challenging aspect of the compound effect is that we have to keep working away for a while, consistently and efficiently, before we can begin to see the payoff.”

Thus the power of consistency and persistence are two fundamental forces that have the potential to generate powerful and lasting success in all areas of your life.

Use them wisely.

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