“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, it’s what we do consistently”
Consistency = “evenness, steadiness, stability, constancy, regularity, uniformity, equilibrium, unity, orderliness, lack of change, lack of deviation” according to Google’s dictionary. Hardly words that inspire or excite. Being consistent sounds much like being predictable and being predictable sounds quite frankly boring when compared to the dynamic, adventurous life that apparently awaits us, out there, somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for adventure but when we consider the implications of a lack of consistency perhaps we understand more about how consistency enables us to live out our adventurous life.
We celebrate achievements, we celebrate one off acts of kindness and generosity, we celebrate those that push boundaries and make radical statements that lead to radical action. But rarely do we stop to think about the role of consistency in nurturing the soil that these noteworthy actions are rooted in. Or to consider the sustainability of what has been initiated.
These actions are like the beginnings of plant life sprouting out from the dull brown earth, bringing life to what seems lifeless and potential to that which seemed barren. But for those shoots to thrive there are conditions that need to be stable and steady. There needs to be a consistent supply of sunlight, nutrients, water to nurture and sustain the new life and growth that is occurring.
We live in a celebrity culture, where fame and notoriety are almost professions in their own right and everyone can recreate their own image any number of times thanks to a variety of apps and online tools. But authenticity is making a comeback and consistency is integral to authenticity.
When I look back at the role of consistency in my life I appreciate the people who have loved me when I’ve shown them the best and the worst of myself, the people who have trusted me with the best and worst of themselves and the people who have cared for me and guided me and been living examples of how powerful consistency can be.
This challenges me to think about our role in being consistent with the young people we work with at WAM. They are often inconsistent and that can sometimes seem an easy excuse to not be consistent ourselves. But we are here to be that example, to consistently support and encourage and show up, even when it doesn’t feel exciting or ground breaking or worthy of news, because in doing so we are creating an environment where those green shoots of potential can emerge and grow and thrive. We just might not ourselves see the full bloom that results.