Our bodies were fashioned to protect us. Instinctively, all we do is towards survival. We eat, drink, sleep, walk, talk and go about our daily lives basically as a means of survival. However, there is little to no satisfaction in doing the usual stuff all the time. This is because we are more than our physiological makeup and deep within us, we want a challenge.
The best of us never comes out without a challenge. Thus, we begin to desire greater things; greater things our brains register as a “threat” since it could ruin our survival. Our survival is our comfort zone and stepping out of our comfort zone is risky and a threat. Nonetheless, we are excited to push beyond our limits when we actually do. The more risk we take, the more excited we become.
For instance, our fear of falling may not allow us to jump off a moving plane. When we finally do, there’s nothing compared to that kind of excitement. However, in a light of taking good risks, some of us will never jump off that plane. Never! The question now becomes, how do you break free from your comfort zone and survival mode and jump head-on into the unknown?
Persistence is key
Water has a very high surface tension. This is why some insects with low body mass can settle on the surface of water. In fact, that explains why some objects float on water. As humans, we can float on water if we relax our body mass on the water body. Our legs would hang and our arms would shield, keeping our torso afloat. Nonetheless, with a slight persistent application of pressure on the water body, we could swim deeper. The happy and sad part about persistence is that it is more difficult at the beginning. Good riddance. This means the beginning is the more difficult part. It also means when you become persistent in an area you shouldn’t – like drinking alcohol – since you have broken the “surface tension”, it become easier the next time to “dive deeper”. Persistence comes in two folds and that leads me to the next issue;
Consistency over Intensity
Consistency and Intensity are important ingredients in their own rights. As humans, we soon realize that there is no such thing as inconsistency. You’re either consistent or consistently inconsistent. Since you get to choose your pattern of consistency, why not stick to the ideal? Before you can be consistent for real, you need to understand how it doesn’t relate to intensity. Many of what we practice as consistency is intensity in disguise. Consistency is doing great things in little ways. Intensity is doing little things in a great ways.
Consistency is about the long-term. Intensity is about the short-term. No one can be consistently intensive without being intensively consistent from the start. It’s not brushing your teeth for 2 hours non-stop that will make a difference. It’s brushing it for just 2 minutes twice for about 2 years. If you focus on intensity as a beginner, you’ll break down even before the real journey begins. Long-term consistency will always triumph short-term intensity. Sadly, in the world of quick fix, consistency looks like a thing for losers.
Just remind yourself that short-term intensity does not equal long-term results. If you get injured, if you burn out, or if you stop, all the progress up to that point does little good. The LONG-TERM success is what you’re after. Consistency is the vehicle that will help you achieve those long-term results.
The “No Matter What” mindset
If you’ve been around for long, you’d realize that there is always something. Something always comes up. Ironically, we think we don’t have time to do the things we deem important to us. Yet we all know that if something is important to you, you’ll make time for it. We wait forever for the right time to start when the actual reason we’ve not started is because what we want to do is really not a priority to us. On paper, it’s a priority. In practice, nothing shows that it is.
There is a need to make firm decisions. Making decisions is the easy part. Standing by the decisions you made is the main deal. Are you going to make the main thing the main thing? Are you going to stick to plan when irrelevant matters arise? Trust me, almost everyone knows the right thing to do. Those who make the difference are those who take action and stick to it till it bears fruit.
All things are difficult before they become easy. We get better with time. It doesn’t change the fact that it gets hard sometimes. If only you can be stubborn. Be unrelenting. Not intensely. You may break down. Practice makes perfect. Consistently, every dream becomes a reality. Are you going to keep on keeping on no matter what?