Consistency: A Gain in the Ass of a Greater Life
Once in a while, we listen to ourselves saying something like “damn… Couldn’t make it” or “fuck it, I give up.” Whether due to our mental condition or circumstances themselves, it seems like there’s always something that pushes us to a upsetting inertia. A cloud hanging in the sky of our brain which prevents us from going the extra mile and, ultimately, achieving what we really want.
Most of us come up with personal and professional goals in the course of our lives. After all, human beings have this peculiarity of not being satisfied with what they have and that’s amazing. So, as soon as we figure out what the next steps are, motivation is at its finest:
“Today is the day. I’ll start eating healthier! I’ll work out 3 times a week! I’ll go to bed earlier! I’ll find more time for friends and family! I’ll excel at writing, dancing, painting, public speaking,…” The list goes on and on, the same way as frustration and disappointment a few weeks later. But why? Why do we let all these resolutions vanish away?
ALL THE TIME, EVERYWHERE WITH EVERYBODY: A MIND-WASTED COCKTAIL
From all superheroes, I must admit that Spider-Man is my favourite. He’s one of the fewest playing the underdog role: a storytelling’s magic element to attract, retain and engage an audience. In fact, Peter Parker is a caring, altruistic guy whose virtuous agility allows him to rescue almost everyone, everywhere at any time. Flying through the skyscrapers of New York City, he makes me dream that, like Adidas says, “nothing is impossible.”
However, today’s reality is a little bit more complicated than that. “The New Normal” dictates that the human brain is loaded daily with 34 GB of information. Crazy right? A study conducted by the University of California-San Diego reveals the following:
“Through mobile phones, the Internet, electronic mail, television, radio, newspapers, books, social media etc. people receive every day about 105,000 words or 23 words per second in half a day (12 hours) (during awake hours).”
These numbers (and words) aren’t nothing but a reflection of the frenetic world we live in. A world shaped by increasing responsibilities, expectations as well as constant distractions wherever we go. Given this background, one must agree that keeping our mind clean and focused on what really matters is a Herculean task around these days. “Now this, tomorrow that, and, by the way, why not the other thing as well?”
FROM SOCIETY TO EDUCATION ITSELF, THE WORLD IS KIND OF UPSIDE DOWN
Contrary to what you might be thinking, I’m a deep apologist of experimentation. Actually, that’s one big reason why most people don’t find a purpose in life. There’s no time, no room, no incentives for us to go through a self-discovery process. Thus, existential questions and disturbing thoughts come to the surface day after day, unveiling an inner restlessness difficult to deal with. Explanations for this? There may be some.
On the one hand, everyone is affected by an asphyxiating social pressure that aims at fitting us in closed boxes, regardless of our own identity. Under those circumstances, the fear of feeling vulnerable to others’ judgments undermines one’s attempt to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As a matter of fact, how many of you would feel comfortable in quitting your “educated” jobs right now? Financial stability and a “successful career” may win the first round. Moving to the second one, what if such a risky move means being a step closer to find who you really are and what you want to do with your life?
On the other hand, educational systems have failed in accomplishing one of their primary missions: empowering people to make the right decisions as well as being strong-minded enough to carry on with them in the future. With the exception of some countries, everyone’s education has been based on learning things “by the book” without endowing us with essential tools to thrive in life: creativity; critical thinking; problem-solving; and consistency. If I’ve already looked over the former, it’s now time to deepen the latter.
DEAR CONSISTENCY, TELL ME: WHY ARE YOU SO HARD TO KEEP?
Over recent years, I’ve been capable of releasing myself into the wild, hoping to put my life’s pieces together. From quitting 2 jobs in a 4-month period to being a waiter soon after, exposure to the unknown has given me the answer I was trying to get: storytelling. My ease in writing coupled with my Marketing background and a relentless need to interact with people turned out to be the foundations of a totally new Tomás: a storyteller who wants to leave a positive legacy in this world by telling real stories, from real people.
In reality, I’m 100% aware of how fortunate I am to have climbed this steep mountain. Nevertheless, life keeps dragging you to new dimensions, so other challenges loom on the horizon: how can I become a better storyteller? what do I need to do in order to turn this rough diamond into a brilliant and memorable jewel?
“Consistency: It’s the jewel worth wearing; It’s the anchor worth weighing; It’s the thread worth weaving; It’s a battle worth winning.” — Charles Swindoll
A never-ending battle, I’d say. The first days, weeks and months are a piece of cake. There’s nothing to worry about. Full of stamina, you commit yourself to a certain routine where topics and words are as sweet as honey. You get nice feedback, you end up finding a cool job, and the obstacles are smooth enough to get over them without a great deal of effort. All in all, you’re proud of yourself.
Then, the sky darkens as time goes by. The discipline, rigor, and resilience from before is gently replaced by mental fatigue. With work, not only comes life stability but also new duties and responsibilities, which demand more time and commitment. If one adds emotional instability to the equation, there you have: failing in the quality of achieving a level of performance which doesn’t vary greatly in quality over time. In other words, consistency.
Shit… It’s so difficult to be consistent. It requires a mental strength that only those who strive for something greater, are able to have. Imagine if, for any reason, Matisse would have stopped painting; Mozart would have stopped playing the piano; Shakespeare would have stopped writing; Ronaldo would have stopped training every single day…
This is the true challenge: to live up to our own expectations, based on a belief of a positive legacy in this world.
If there was one word; one single word I could take with me whatever I do, whenever I go, that would be consistency. With her by my side, I know that my mind would be completely focused on writing stories that deserve to be told, for the sake of all of us. I know that there wouldn’t be room for excuses like “today’s cold! I’m in a bad mood! Worked until late! There’s this show coming!” Am I overreacting? Probably. But back to the above-mentioned resolutions, you probably know what I’m talking about right? Honestly, it’s nerve-wracking!
STORYTELLING AND CONSISTENCY: A FRIENDLY BATTLE FOR A GREATER LIFE
In the midst of such consistent turmoil, we human beings were made to adapt to changing environments. Like anything else in life, building up consistency is a work in progress, personal and professional-wise. In moments of self-turbulence, I always like to revive “balance”: a word full of wisdom. As Hila, an Israeli entrepreneur said in my podcast show, “when you take things from a life course perspective, you end up relativizing anything that happens to you.”
All things considered, achieving something greater is all about feeding our life purpose with mental strength, sacrifice, and consistency in doing and adapting to this fast-paced world.
I’m still seeking the right way to potentiate my storytelling skills, whether by articles, podcast, video or whatever the future brings. The truth is that, following a long writing gap (for the blog), I guess I’m ready for a diplomatic battle with consistency. Hopefully, you’ll join me along this journey so that we can get our hands on the trophy: the trophy of meaningful human relationships.