“Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.” Bernard Berenson
“It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do consistently.” Anthony Robbins
Today’s focus came in the morning quiet as I reflected on and celebrated my consistency in writing a post on Thursday mornings for 12 weeks. In a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious), ‘consistency’ offered itself.
As the topic began to form, I thought I’d be writing solely about the virtue of consistency. Hey, consistency is always a good thing and I was celebrating mine, right?
Not only have I honored my commitment to these weekly posts, consistency has been a focus of my personal observation and reflection recently. I’ve challenged myself to identify where I’m consistent (and not) and the commitment (or lack thereof) demonstrated by my consistency. Then, I’m assessing how my consistency aligns (or not) with my values, my goals and the life and world I want to create. For example, I’m consistent walking Luke several times daily and in making our first walk of the day a longer, meditative walk. This consistent action honors my commitment to care for an amazing canine, who brings so much joy and learning to my life. And it demonstrates commitment to my self-care.
I find I’m also consistent in my curiosity, questioning and challenging myself and often others. One of my gifts is a ‘critical eye (or I)’. I’m not consistent in using this gift peacefully with gentleness and grace. That’s a consistency to develop to create more peace in my life and in the world.
It’s that critical eye part of me that kicked in when, a bit to my surprise, the first quotes I found for ‘consistency’ challenged its value. Say, what? I could just ignore those and choose a quote that supported the approach I started to write. But that’s not what The Zone is about. I see value in exploring this paradox as it relates to how I define success.
Yes, consistency has value. Just ask Luke or me what life would be like without our walks. But like all light consistency casts a shadow. Without awareness, my consistency could lead me to take this walk as an unconscious habit and not notice the beauty that surrounds and nurtures me. I could even come to resent it (especially later in winter when morning temperatures will be sub-zero and there’s snow on the ground).
On a deeper level, I began to see that consistency can be a seed not only of habits that don’t serve me, but of fundamentalism, of seeing things through the lens of right/wrong judgment, of closing me down rather than opening me up. That’s a seed I don’t intend to nurture, but one that draws me to further explore and understand. What about you?
Experiment for the Week: Reflect on this topic. Observe your consistencies. Are they contributing to the life and world you want to create? Share what you think!