To Become Successful, You Need To Be Consistent
Practice makes Permanent
If you were to ask most people whether they wanted to be successful or not, the overriding response would be yes.
Desiring success is ingrained in us. The majority of us covet it, but less of us are clear on how to achieve it.
It’s easy to look at celebrities, musicians and sportspeople and assume they were blessed with supreme talent, which meant they were destined to be successful.
This is not the case.
While talent helps, it is not a prerequisite for success. You only need to look at the numerous prodigies who have failed to have lived up to their hype in sports to see this.
Talent is but one factor in the recipe that is success. For you to be successful, there is one factor that you need to have, otherwise you are going to get nowhere.
You need to push on in the face of adversity.
You need to continue in spite of minimal progress you may have made.
Above all, you need to be consistent.
Consistency Is The Key
Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the greatest player in the history of basketball. He won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, and his name is synonymous with the sport.
However, he wasn’t always destined to be a success.
Jordan tried out for the Varsity Basketball team when he was at high school, but as he was only 5ft 11' (1.80 m), he was deemed too short to play at that level.
Instead, he played for the Junior Varsity team, where he scored 40 points in multiple games. He trained rigorously during this period, honing his skills.
By the time the next year had come around, he had grown by four inches (10 cm) and was accepted onto the team.
He would average over 20 points a game during those two seasons in high school and accepted a basketball scholarship to North Carolina University before he was the third choice pick in the 1984 NBA draft.
It’s easy to look back at Jordan’s career and come to the conclusion that he was destined to succeed.
But this is to only look at the numbers. Impressive as they may be, they do not tell the story of the work behind them.
Jordan practised and trained every day. He didn’t just show up to practice, take a few shots, run a bit and leave. This was dedicated, deliberate practice with one goal in mind, to improve himself daily.
By doing this, his actions and movement became second-nature, almost instinct like. Perhaps no game epitomises the value of Jordan’s consistent practice than Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, otherwise known as “The Flu Game.”
Jordan woke up on the day before the game sweating profusely. After consulting with the team doctor, he was told there was no way he could play in the game the next day.
A few hours before the game was due to start, Jordan got out of bed and declare himself fit to start.
Despite playing at nowhere near his full potential, Jordan still managed to score 38 points and drag the Chicago Bulls to a 90–88 victory over the Utah Jazz. Jordan was so fatigued at the end of the game, that he collapsed into his teammate, Scottie Pippen’s arms.
How did Jordan manage to perform so well, despite being so ill?
His consistent practice and training had allowed the actions he performed to become second nature. Even when he was ill, and not 100% fit, because he had trained so hard for many years, the actions were ingrained.
He was almost acting on autopilot.
If Jordan had not spent hours and hours deliberately honing his skill set to such a level that he could perform almost without thinking, he would not have had the influence he did in that match.
Talent had taken Jordan far, but consistency allowed him to transcend basketball and become an icon.
Without that consistency, he may well have been just another player.
Practice Makes Permanent
There is saying that goes something like this:
Practice makes perfect.
While that is true to an extent, it’s only true if you’re doing the right kind of practice.
If you’re turning up to the gym and going through your workout halfheartedly, your results are going to mirror your effort.
Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent. If you’re not practising well consistently, you will get consistently bad results
You have to show up and be dedicated to mastering your craft or developing a skill, whatever it may be.
Consistency builds discipline. The more you do something, the less of a struggle it is to do. But, you need to ensure you’re doing it right in the first place.
Once you have mastered your practice habits, that is when you can use that practice to develop consistent results.
Once you have become disciplined, you can use that to push towards success.
Disciplined actions done consistently create success.
This is the pathway to success. You need to show up, do the work to 100% of your capability and repeat. The reason most people fail or give up is that they don’t show up consistently.
They don’t have a clear structure in place that allows them to produce consistent results. If your approach is ad hoc, then your results will be ad hoc.
When you are in this scenario, you are left with random outcomes, and you are not in control of random outcomes. Jordan understood that to be the best he had to commit to his practice and work out on it consistently.
If he didn’t, he would fail to reach the heights that he aspired to.
Doing the same things over and over again may sound boring and pointless, but, it’s the only way to develop the skills and habits you need to be successful.
If you’re consistently putting in quality work daily, you will be successful.
It’s only a matter of time.