Tag Archives: skills

Be Consistent. Be Consistent. Be Consistent.

Success requires consistency.

In order to get good at anything, or build anything meaningful, you need to be consistent. You need to practice skills, put in the hours, and stay focused on one idea or activity for long lengths of time.

If you’re trying to get good at a skill, but you never or rarely practice, you’re not going to get good at it. If you’re trying to build a business, but you never put in the hours, it’s never going to get off the ground. If you want to have a successful blog, but you never sit down to write, you won’t have a blog to show people.

There’s a saying out there, that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It’s most often said in the context of challenging traditions or promoting innovation – but taken another way, success requires being a little insane. You have to believe that consistency works – that if you practice and put in the hours, you’ll reach some level of success.

Obviously, success is not guaranteed to anyone – life isn’t fair, and you’ll occasionally run into people who live to stand in the way of others. Since life is unfair, failure will remain an option. If you are never consistent on top of that, failure is guaranteed.

To be honest, I mostly understand all of this from the experience of not following this principle. For most of my life I’ve been resistant to practicing anything, bouncing between different focuses and losing interest in most things quickly. As a result… I haven’t been nearly as successful at anything as I could have been. I don’t like saying it, but it would be worse to not admit it.

Don’t make my mistake. Put in the hours. Practice. Be a little bit insane. Be consistent, and get the results you’re after.

Fix Your Weaknesses First

When pursuing self-improvement, it can be hard to know where to start.

You want to be the most effective version of yourself, capable of doing anything you put your mind to. You have skills you could improve, skills you could master, or skills that you could start learning.

I’ve come to believe that when you’re trying to increase your effectiveness, you need to start with the weaknesses that make you least effective or ineffective.

If you have a weakness or weaknesses that are consistently getting in the way of your goals, those are the things you need to fix. Immediately. Figure out which skills in your life are consistently your weakest, and have caused your biggest setbacks – then work on mastering your best skills, or learning a new skill.

Think back to the 4 or 5 biggest setbacks you’ve faced – ones where by your own lack of skill, you didn’t get the result you wanted. Chances are, you have a few skills that didn’t just fail you in the moment, but leave you in the bottom 25% of that skill compared to others. While your best skills and virtues are something to be proud of, those skills in the bottom 25% are going to hold you back as long as you don’t work on them.

Maybe you have an amazing and fashionable wardrobe, but also have the worst stage fright in the world – work on mastering your emotions before becoming a fashion icon.

Maybe you’re an amazing chef, but can’t keep track of your bills – master running your household before running a kitchen.

Maybe math is the easiest thing in the world for you, but you barely passed your English classes – start a small reading habit to improve your reading (even Paul ErdÅ‘s needed to read!) before trying to win the Fields Medal.

Your medals are great – but if you don’t plug a few of your gaps, it’ll be harder to earn more.

This isn’t advice to become a jack of all trades, master of none. You don’t have to master your weaknesses, just make these areas good enough that they don’t interfere with your goals.

Fix your weaknesses first.