On Being Consistent

In my last post I wrote about the run that I really didn’t want to do. My legs felt so tired and all I could think about was stopping. But I kept going and built up momentum.  I ended up having a great run and feeling terrific afterwards!

When examining this more closely, it is clear that it all began with a choice. My choice.  It was my decision to keep my legs moving despite how fatigued I felt. I could have very easily chosen otherwise. I could have stopped. But I chose to keep going.  In life, everything about us ultimately comes down to our choices.

I wrote a recent post about choices.  At the risk of being redundant, I would like to discuss a bit further. This is because our choices are so important. There are two wonderful books that I would recommend for anyone who would like to read more on this topic. One is “The Slight Edge,” by Jeff Olson, and the other is “The Compound Effect,” by Darren Hardy. These books provide great descriptions of how consistent decisions affect our lives and our circumstances. Even those seemingly small decisions, when added up over time, can have enormous impacts in our lives.

The “added up over time” phrase is key.  Smoking a single cigarette won’t give anybody lung cancer. However, smoke a pack a day for twenty years, and your putting yourself at risk for very bad things.  Going to the gym one time will not get anybody into shape. However, go a few times a week, and over the course of several months there will be some positive changes noted.

I’m sure we’ve all heard about what’s been called the magic penny.  You know it-take a penny and double it every day. Doesn’t sound like it would amount to much. 1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128,256, 512.  On day 10, all you would have is $5.12.  On day 20, you would have  $5242. Day 25-$167,772.  A nice chunk of change-but not rich.  But then, on day 30-$5,368,708. During the first 25 days, change occurred relatively slowly.  The last 5 days was really where most of the magic occurred.

So the moral is not just to make good choices, but to make good choices on a regular basis over time. If you do, you will see positive changes. They may seem small at first. But don’t get discouraged.  Stay patient and consistent. Enjoy the journey. The big breakthroughs may take longer to occur, but when they do it will have been well worth the effort.

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