In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. That is a lot of times of constant repetition of the same thing over and over again. That’s why it’s fascinating and mind boggling to me that people show up to the gym for a week, maybe even a month, and are disappointed because they haven’t yet seen the results that they expected. You can’t show up to the gym for a few months and expect to look like the guy who has been showing up for years. Olympic Gold medalist, Apolo Ohno, said it this way “One thing guys have to remember is consistency… You can’t make up for three years of eating poorly in just one workout.” In other words it took years being a model of consistency to get you in the shape you’re in, why would it take any less to get you out of it?
I probably won’t get many likes or shares or comments on this post because this language of consistency isn’t very sexy. Everyone today wants to see results instantly. They want to become successful overnight. That’s why there is Instagram. And instant messaging. And even instant coffee. Because we’ve reached a day and age where waiting for a fresh pot of coffee to brew is too long. Today, being labeled a model of consistency is almost like putting a black mark on your record.
The truth is success in life comes from being consistent. Yes there are people who become overnight sensations, but the overwhelming majority of successful people are persistently consistent. Only 8% of American millionaires inherited their wealth. Compared to 67% of high-net-worth Americans who are self-made.
You see whether you like it or not, the main ingredient to being successful in any area of life is being consistent. So if you want to accomplish something, don’t just pick it up and put it back down. Stick with it! Become a model of consistency.