Let’s get one thing out of the way first: there is no such thing as an overnight success. We all want to be an overnight success. We want to reach the peak faster than a climb atop Mount Everest. As much as we yearn for quick returns, the mechanics of success just don’t work that way. Nah ah. So, forget the overnight success desire. Success is a marathon, not a sprint.
Now that you know you should forget about quick returns, buckle down and immerse yourself in the rest of the article to find out how you will reach success. Note how I said WILL, not CAN. There is a distinct difference between the two. So, let’s delve in what will make you reach success.
What will make you successful in all endeavours you undertake? Consistency and persistence. All the success stories you read about and come across all have one thing in common : they practice consistency and they are persistent.
The thing about success is it’s easy and hard at the same time. It’s easy because you know what it takes to get you to the next level. It’s hard because, well, getting to the next level requires a stubbornness and determination that cannot be sold cheaply at your local flea market.
Let’s get down to it, shall we? Consistency, consistency, consistency. Let the word sink in for a moment. Make it your daily mantra. Consistency is the elixir of success. I don’t care what anybody else says. I will stick to my belief about this. I stick to my belief about it because I know it’s true.
I have seen consistency work in my own life. Doing something daily in small increments is the way to go. Let me share how consistency is working for me. Late last year I made the decision to take care of my body and make physical exercise part of my lifestyle.
When I started I set my exercise regime to be a combination of yoga, jogging, intensity-driven strength and muscle training. I told myself that I want to exercise no less than 5 days a week. With those foundations set, I then eyed 4 pair of pants that I could no longer wear because I had gained weight and those buggers just didn’t want to fit me anymore.
My goal, amongst the myriad of other fitness goals I have set for myself, was to lose weight so I fit into my favourite pants. And so I embarked on this journey. Never in my life have I ever felt so happy, so driven, so purposeful. Those who say exercising gives you a new lease on life are right on the money! I’m in full agreement with this sentiment.
Fast-forward a couple of months later and guess what? I fit snuggly into those pants that had hitherto not fit me! I’m absolutely ecstatic. How did I do it? In one word : consistency. Success is inevitable when you are consistent in your effort to achieve your goals.
Do one thing everyday and you will start to see results. You will not see them initially. Don’t be disheartened. Keep at it (this is where persistence comes in – more on that later).
When you do just one thing everyday, you will start to see the compounding effects of your efforts. I can tell you now that no effort goes unnoticed. It may not be noticed today, but give it time and bam, your efforts will start to pay off.
Going back to what I said earlier : success is a marathon, not a sprint. As far as consistency goes, do one thing daily that will lead you closer to your goals and you will reap the benefits of your efforts.
Athletes practice their craft everyday. There is no reason why you shouldn’t adopt the same mindset of action. As I writer, I write everyday. A day doesn’t go by without me jotting down my thoughts. Your strongest skill, whatever it is, hone that craft consistently.
You can’t be good at something by doing it in half measures. You are either in fully or you are not. You are either consistent or you’re not. No half measures. That’s the power of consistency and one of the key ingredients to success.
The other key ingredient to success is persistence. Where consistency is about doing something daily, persistence is about keeping at it even on the days when it seems bleak and the odds are not in your favour.
Persistence is defined as, “continuing with a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” In fact , persistence is comparable to endurance. Endurance has the same quality of staying the course no matter how turbulent the seas become.
Persistence is the voice that reminds you why you started on the journey. Persistence is the vessel that channels your thoughts to push through constantly even when your resolve is faltering under immense heat. Consistency alone is not omnipotent. The combination of consistency and persistence is lethal. Carry these weapons in your arsenal and you will be a force to be reckoned with.
Nothing you do when you have these two will not come to the surface. There is one quote from Calvin Coolidge that is one of my personal favourites. It goes thus, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
The truth is when you set your sites on achieving your dreams and you have a dogged determination to achieve them by taking action everyday (consistency) and staying this course no matter how tough the road is (persistence), you will achieve them. It’s a given.
Your success will be inevitable when you use these two timeless strategies. These are the same strategies that gave rise to the success of Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Vusi Thembekwayo, etc. These are the same traits that will get you to where you want to be.
One would argue with me that there are so many other factors in between that determine success. Sure there are. But none of those factors will come into play without daily and persistent effort. Consistency and persistence are the cornerstones of success.
The secret to success? Consistency and persistence!
All the best in your daily efforts to be the best version of yourself. Take action and see the fruits of your efforts manifest!