Long term consistency trumps short term intensity

bruce lee

Bruce Lee was famous for saying ‘Long term consistency trumps short term intensity’ but how many of us go through our ‘fads’ at one time or another only to quickly burn out and give up? If we want to achieve anything worthwhile we need to bring our bigger picture into alignment with our daily rituals and create some positive habits so that we are not constantly struggling against the momentum of our habitual laziness!

Often it isn’t that we are lazy, just that we lack focus and a tangible goal. We think we want something and then have to overcome our old habits, patterns and behaviors in order to move towards it. The early changes in our habits are the hardest but once we have created habits, they are ingrained within us and even missing a day of our routine feels wrong. What we need to create is inertia.

Think of a freight train. Starting from a stand still, a freight train needs a huge amount of energy to get going and reach its top speed. Once there though, it requires a huge amount of energy to stop. The same is true of our daily habits and regimes. Once they are built into our lives they are unstoppable!

freight train

I’m currently doing the 30 day challenge which is run by one of my business mentor’s Stuart Ross and his daily video has inspired this post. Check out the free 7 day boot camp video series here to learn more. The 30 day challenge requires writing a blog post every day for 30 days. This is something I have never done – although I have written a lot, it has never been for 30 days straight. Something always distracts me (or should I say something used to always distract me!), and I get sidetracked so this will be a good challenge for me. I have also committed myself to meditate every day for the same 30 days!

Stuart’s analogy of the practice of building habits is a space rocket taking off from the Earth. It requires a huge amount of energy to lift off but once it is out of the Earth’s atmosphere its energy use is much less. Much like our habits, getting started and off the ground can be a huge challenge. When we are moving already it is hard to stop.

Setting a new goal

When setting a new goal we need to keep in mind that our inertia is based on the things we have been doing (or not doing) for a long amount of time. This is what we need to overcome in order the start down a new path. This takes energy and time. If we expect too much of ourselves we fall short and give up. Doing one thing a day builds a new confidence and starts to build momentum. Getting confused with all the possibilities, outcomes and eventualities of our lives only stagnates us. Focus then on the one thing you can do today rather that the multitude of things which are out of your grasp!

Spinning too many plates

If you have too many plates in the air it is much harder to focus on the one thing which means the most. Cut out the unnecessary things and concentrate on the one thing which, when accomplished, will mean that none of the others really matter. If you have a whole host of goals on the go, it is much more likely that you will fall short in one area or another. Remember you need to concentrate on keeping each plate spinning long enough to leave it and go spin another!!!

This is a great book which I have just picked up which concentrates on the great truth of choosing just one thing. It definitely has hit a chord with me as I know I have been guilty of trying to keep many things going such that I don’t have enough energy to make a success of any single one of them! Up until now that is!

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