Consistency beats rapidity

This week as I was running on the treadmill, it dawned on me how much my approach to running has changed over the past few years.

I can get pretty competitive with myself – always pushing to run faster and farther. In fact, a few years ago I was beaming with pride at running 4 miles averaging less than 9 minutes per mile. I wouldn’t exactly win any awards, but it was pretty good for me.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. Shortly thereafter I began to struggle with pain in my Achilles tendon. Darn it! It was six months before I could run after that. And even then it was a long, slow comeback.

In fact, I’m still not even close to a 9-minute mile or even a 10-minute mile.

To be honest, my “running,” more accurately resembles a very slow jog than a “run.”

As I looked at the monitor on the treadmill last week, I saw numbers that would’ve made me cry a few years back.

But on this day, I smiled big. Because what I realized is that I haven’t been injured, I haven’t felt exhausted, and I haven’t felt burned out in a long, long time.

What I did realize was that I was running farther than ever and not feeling tired, winded or injured.

The reason is consistency. I’ve been consistent, and consistency beats rapidity every time.

All aspects of my life that bring me the most fulfillment and satisfaction are aspects that were built over long, steady, consistent periods of time.

Diet programs over the years failed. But daily, healthy eating habits over years of time keep me feeling great.

Relationships that started off with an intense bang of proverbial fireworks, burned out just as quickly as the fireworks, themselves. But my deepest and most rewarding relationships with friends and family are those that grew gradually over many years.

The consistency principle holds true for any success you’re looking to achieve. I talk to many people trying to start a small business or achieve career growth.

Although hard work is important and critical for success, pouring it on in a way that is unsustainable for the long haul is likely to result in burnout and failure.

Real success is achieved by being consistent day after day.

I can’t help but think about this  concept while watching the amazing Winter Olympics. These athletes I’m sure have been poring it on with ultra hard work. But they’ve also been consistent. They’ve been practicing day after day for years and years.

We see them show up on the screen, and we think how cool it must be to compete in the Olympics. They make it look easy. But they’re only able t0 make it appear easy because they’ve been consistently practicing all of their lives.

I know it doesn’t sound fun, but patient practice is the sure fire way to get you to the finish line, no matter how you define that for yourself.

What are you going to commit to doing everyday to bring you the success you desire?

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