How to make consistency your competitive edge
Here is a question I’ve been asked repeatedly: “Roger, you played collegiate tennis with four impaired limbs. How were you competitive?” The answer is, “If you hit the ball over the net one more time than your opponent, you win the point. It’s about consistency!” Here is what I’ve found: Consistency can overcome limitations and is more important than ability.
Talent alone does not determine success. It is what you do with your talent consistently that determines success. No matter how much natural ability someone has, they won’t realize their true potential without consistent action and consistent discipline.
If you apply the principle of consistency, it will beat the inconsistency of others and become your competitive advantage.
Here are a few thoughts about consistency that I hope you’ll find helpful in your life and work.
CLARITY BUILDS CONSISTENCY
You will find your commitment to consistency is greater when you are crystal clear on your goals. If you have only a vague idea of what you want to achieve and the action it takes to get there, you will struggle to maintain consistency over time. When we lose sight of what we want, competing interests will distract us and our discipline and consistency become weak.
The great tennis champion Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” We have all met someone who has awesome plans and big dreams, but their start date is always tomorrow. How many great ideas did you have that didn’t come to fruition because you never started? Consistent performers have a sense of urgency in pursuing their goals. They don’t wait for the perfect situation because that may never come. Getting started may be the most difficult part of being consistent.
YOU ARE ALREADY CONSISTENT
Let’s face it, we all are consistent in some areas of our lives. Perhaps it’s never missing our TV favorite show or consistently eating dessert! The point is we are all know how to be consistent. It’s applying it to areas of our life that will give us the best outcomes that’s difficult. It’s not a question of if you’re consistent; it’s identifying where you’re consistent. Then, ask if the focus of your consistent effort needs to shift in order to give you better results.
CONSISTENCY DETERMINES GROWTH
What happens if you try something over a period of time in a consistent manner and fail? You have a big win over someone who never even tried because you grew as a result of your effort. Consistency presents an opportunity to grow every single day. Darren Hardy in his book The Compound Effect highlights the importance of small changes done consistently. Over time, they lead to big results and massive personal growth.
Commit to being the person who will consistently hit the ball over the net one more time every day and you can look forward to great achievements tomorrow!