We don’t make movies of the janitor who cleans the school everyday for 30 years. Consistency creating a clean, healthy environment for kids to learn and explore in. We love the over night success story, the shiny toy, or the big, bold change story. It’s radical, full of guts and gumption. Movies are made of this. Movies cut out the daily dish washing, brushing teeth, watering the houseplants, or paying the electricty bill.
Consistently showing up day after day after day is viewed as boring, unattractive, and not noteworthy. And yet, consistency may be one of the most powerful and hardest things we can do.
Instead of going straight, if you alter you direction by one degree at the beginning, after 100 yards, you’ll be off by 5.2 feet, after a mile, you’ll be off by 92.2 feet, and if you fly around the equator, you’ll land almost 500 miles off target. Here the hard part is making a small change at the beginning and the consistently sticking with. But effectively, after making the change you just keep going straight.
Even harder is consistently changing one degree or one percent every day. If you become 1 percent more effective every day for a year, at the end of the year you are 37 times more effective. That seems doable and would be quite impressive. At yet we don’t, partly because it requires consistency. And consistency feels rigid. Feels boring.
However, consistency works both ways. If you became 1 percent less effective every day for a year, at the end of the year, you be only 0.03 as effective as you are today. That’s scary.
We may have been convinced that consistency is boring and unexciting. And yet, it might be the most powerful tool for change we have.
What small change do you want to make today?