Well it’s time to dust off the old blog and learn a quick lesson about the Power of Inconsistency.
Inconsistency is the something that we all deal with. Whether hitting the gym hard for 3 weeks before getting “busy at work” (Guilty), not finishing the last 2 chapters of a book for 6 months because we were “busy” (Guilty), or going MIA for 12 months on a blog due to “time limitations” (Guilty). Regardless of the excuse, we have all been guilty of being inconsistent in our lives at some point.
The problem with inconsistency is that it kills our momentum in the pursuit of goals. It pains me to think of all the things I could have done, or where I could be now, if only I had been more consistent in my pursuits. ‘Where would I be now’ is the BIG QUESTION that reveals the real impact of this reality.
The Big Question
Just ask yourself: “Where would I be now if I had only kept _______________…?”
Whether the answer is practicing the guitar, learning a language, or working towards a B.A., it becomes blatantly obvious the impact that inconsistency has had on our lives.
Beware the Subtle Stealer of Dreams
Personally, these questions began cycling through my head about a week back when I had read an article by Darren Hardy on How to Win – Every Time! The How-To in his post all boils down to CONSISTENCY. If you are interested in how inconsistency is the “subtle stealer of dreams” as Darren calls them, I highly recommend checking out his article on the topic.
Moving forward then the question we should all start asking ourselves is; “What am I going to miss out on if I cannot maintain consistency in the pursuit of my goal?”
LESSON LEARNED: Beware the powerful temptress inconsistency; she is the subtle stealer of dreams.
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Disclaimer: Thinking less can be dangerous and must be used wisely, serious action may occur. Not advised while driving, with credit cards, or taking exams.
Why can it be so hard to take action? Is it fear of failure that paralyzes us, or perhaps laziness? I am not one to think of myself as neither fearful of mistakes nor lazy, yet at times I can find it difficult to take hold of a goal and take immediate action towards the fulfillment of that goal. As odd as it sounds, I would advise myself to do less thinking and more doing.
Action starts with conscious thought. Physically, we must think, before we act. But can we think too much? Growing up, undoubtedly we have all heard that we must “think before we speak” and to “think about the consequences of our actions” before acting on them. But for some, we can think “too” much before we act. Over-thinking our actions can paralyze us into inaction.
In his blog post, Task Ninja: Form the Action Habit, Leo Babauta advises to;
“Stop thinking so much. Thinking is a good thing. Overthinking isn’t, and it gets in the way. Put aside all the thinking (analysis paralysis) and just do.”
Lesson Learned: Stop thinking so much. Don’t wait until tomorrow or until the goal or plan are crystal clear. Get out there and do something. Trust your intuition and take chances.
Update (2/20): Just before posting this, I happened to find a great post I would recommend reading. Check it out; Is Analysis Paralysis Stopping You from Taking Action?, Vincent offers 7 Tips for combating the Over-thinking virus.
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Delete, unsubscribe, remove, cancel; these are a few of my favorite things. Lately I have been a huge advocate of the frequent use of these powerful tools:
- Checking myspace.com once every 3 months? Delete!
- Getting newsletters you don’t read? Unsubscribe!
- Subscribed to a blogger that doesn’t blog or worse, blogs about irrelevant topics? Remove!
- Using, or rather not using a SaaS (Software as a Service) that you’re paying for? Cancel!
The Internet is a wonderful resource and can provide loads of value to our lives. But its use tends to fill up our cups everyday with e-goo that, in the end, provide little or no value. It took me a long time to become a fan for the delete. With time (or lack there of), I began to notice that I was wading through useless emails, having accounts with useless websites, and not reading blogs I subscribed to. From this, my passion for eliminating the unnecessary was born.
Is it really that hard to remove the e-goo from our lives that does not provide us with value? On second thought, e-goo with no value can be easy to delete, but it is that stuff that has just enough value, even a small amount, that can be the problem.
Consider Pareto’s 80/20 Principle. You use 20% of your e-stuff, 80% of the time or 20% of your e-stuff makes up for 80% of the total value. Would I be able to find this website again without bookmarking it if I needed to? Yes. Ok then don’t save it. The more you wade through your own e-goo, consider how much time it sucks out of your day. Whether it’s 2 hours for 40 emails or 2 seconds to find that bookmark amongst the thousand, it all takes time, your time, and that is something that you cannot get back.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and flex those delete muscles, throw out that old pair of shoes, and take back your time. Value your time, and use delete as daily practice.
Lesson Learned: The e-life can keep you connected and enhance your life, or it can drown your time and attention in a cesspool of digital e-goo. Your choice…
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Is it possible to focus on more than one thing at a time?
Here is an experiment for you. Look up after reading this paragraph and FOCUS on something across the room. Pick one thing to focus on, a clock, picture, anything. Bring your attention to the object. Bring it into focus. Now, keeping the object in focus, use your peripheral vision to see everything else. Notice anything?
What I want you to notice is that once the object you’ve picked is in focus and is holding your attention, nothing else in view is in perfect focus even though you can “see” and identify many other things. Not only is the peripheral view out of focus, it is impossible to bring another object into focus and attention while maintaining your focus and attention on the original object. Focus must shift between objects in order to become clear.
Cell phones, text messaging, email, Twitter, facebook, advertising, and daily deadlines are pushing and pulling to get our attention and focus every waking minute of everyday. As technology has gifted us with the ability to stay connected, we are challenged everyday in the ability to focus on the task at hand.
Lesson Learned #1: Take a hint from the experiment above on how we are hardwired and learn to manage and limit those things that compete for your attention. Because even nature demands that we focus on one thing at a time.
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