Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Rhythm of Consistency

I feel like I’m back in the zone. Things are moving, working hard again, with new business opportunities tracking, and good work being developed. The brand report is evolving nicely, and hopefully the client will agree with the quality of work and messaging, too. Tuesday is deliverable day… Yes, locked in once more.

In reflection, it really annoys me that I had to ratchet things back and curb my momentum. Granted a natural disaster occurred, literally, and my attention was definitely needed elsewhere (and to be honest it was and still is pretty depressing). However, I was fortunate that my workload was only 50 percent AND that it happened during the Fourth of July. Even the summer to recover is helpful.

Listening to Musashi’s Book of Five Rings today in the car (currently in the Water book), I am reminded how important consistency is to my effort. It’s critical to provide a strong effort everyday, ready for all situations, no matter how good or bad it gets, how tired or rested I am, whether it’s a holiday or not.

Wikopedia defines consistency as "the property of holding together and retaining it's shape.” Back to the Water book, a consistent total effort balanced with a calm, unshakable approach to every day creates opportunity for success.

Now, after listening to the Five Rings, I realize that what really bugs me about the flood recovery period was that I could not dedicate myself to the start-up the way I’d like to, in a consistent, totally committed way (yes, I know it was a natural disaster).

Don’t get me wrong… rigid consistency is the stuff of fools: Flexibility to events, situations and errors is just common sense. To be consistent in answer and thought is to become predictable, and eventually means that you will be surpassed by those that continue to change. The point of a consistent hard effort it that in anything – whether it be career, art, hobby, sport, even parenting – if you are leaving it all out there everyday, there are no regrets... only successes and lessons.

To be honest, I don’t think anything else could have knocked me off course with the exception of a close death or, yes, this natural disaster. In the end, some things are fated, but that was yesterday. Today, it’s back to the rhythm of consistently hard, all-out effort.

Here are some quotes for you to start the week:

“Part of courage is simple consistency.”
- Peggy Noonan

My theory is to strive for consistency, not to worry about the numbers. If you dwell on statistics you get shortsighted, if you aim for consistency, the numbers will be there at the end.”
-Tom Seaver

“In everyday life you should be determined though calm… Even when your spirit is calm do not let your body relax, and when your body is relaxed do not let your spirit slacken.”
- Musashi


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