Blog Master G

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Power of Consistency

Friday, April 8th, 2005 · 3 Comments

“You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an event — it is a habit.”

As I complete my third week of daily push-ups and sit-ups, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to consistency. It’s a powerful concept and often how we achieve goals in life. Whether it’s accumulating more than 1,100 blog entries over the course of many years, creating a work of art, earning a college degree, reaching financial landmarks, or going to work every day, consistency can make us feel better about ourselves, have something to show for our hard work, or simply achieve an inner peace or sense of satisfaction.

I think consistency is more than routine or commitment. A routine is something we get used to doing, for better or for worse; it’s not necessarily planned or sought after (waking up, showering, eating lunch). Commitment is a part of consistency, but it’s more about the mental dedication. Consistency is deciding you’re going to do something. Then doing it. And doing it again. And again. It’s getting into the habit of achieving a goal, whatever it takes.

If you’re consistently exercising, you’re going to feel better about yourself — maybe lose weight, maybe have more energy. If you’re consistently paying down your credit card debt or contributing to a retirement account, you’re going to to reach your goal — slowly but surely. But the only way to do so is through consistency.

In the excellent 2003 surfing documentary, Step Into Liquid, the one story that sticks in my mind the most is that of Dale Webster, the Northern California man who has surfed at least three waves every single day for nearly 30 years, no matter what. Whether he was sick or his wife was giving birth to his daughter, he was out there in the ocean, doing what he loves. That’s more than commitment. That’s fierce consistency. That’s a man who’s surely reached and maintains inner peace and discipline on a level far beyond what most of us can probably comprehend. I’ve barely been alive for 30 years, let alone been doing something consistently for that long.

Last night cousin Jack and Kim hosted an open house in their latest architectural restoration. It’s amazing what they’ve done to the 1917 Albany home in need of much TLC. They don’t restore homes full-time; they do it in their spare time. I’m amazed by what they’ve achieved not only with this latest home, but with their own home and in others. They do so consistently in project after project. I admire their dedication and consistent achievement.

I firmly believe that any of us can accomplish anything we set our minds to. Reaching the goal requires commitment, perseverance, and, most of all, consistency.

As part of research for this entry, I searched my own blog’s archives to see if I’d previously written about Step Into Liquid. I hadn’t, but when I did a search for liquid, I found only one result — Deep Thoughts – HOW TO SURVIVE IF YOU FALL INTO A CESSPOOL — which I posted two years ago today. Serendipitous.

Tags: anecdotes

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sarah // Apr 8, 2005 at 12:09 pm

    Your blog always makes me think about things. How many push-ups/sit-ups are you doing? Did you start with a specific amount to do daily… or did you set a goal of doing x by a certain date? I loved Step Into Liquid, beautiful cinematography!

  • 2 Gabe // Apr 8, 2005 at 1:22 pm

    Glad to hear my blog makes you reflect, Sarah!

    I do 145 sit-ups (75 forward, 35 left, 35 right) and 30 push-ups every morning, which are just arbitrary numbers. When I got back into the routine a few weeks ago, I couldn’t do more than 20 push-ups, but I slowly worked up to 30 again.

  • 3 mrs. a // Apr 8, 2005 at 2:04 pm

    and big G is roping me into this whole exercise thing too… we’ll see how long it lasts, my abs are killing me!