Hardest Part of the Game
Greatness in life comes through grit, focus and consistency. Reaching the top requires sacrifice, it requires dedication to the craft, day in and day out, no matter what. Equally important is rest and recovery. In the pursuit of our goals, we cannot let ourselves be burnt out. A healthy and well-rested mind and body plays a huge role in managing our energy for working towards our goals and gaining mastery over our craft.
Amidst the balance of working relentlessly and being well-rested, the hardest challenge that crops up is not the practice itself or energy and focus required but consistency. Unlike the tell-tale signs of giving up practice or not resting enough, inconsistency is silent and camouflages well with resting and recovery. People, in the name of taking care of themselves, may end up breaking a consistent streak of practice and the most challenging aspect about a habit is, unlike the hardness it is to form a new habit, it only takes a little inconsistency to lose a habit forever.
Inconsistency can be in the form of a small thought like, “I’ve been practicing everyday, let’s skip it today”, or, most dangerous yet, giving no serious consideration to breaking a consistent streak at something under the pretext of making it up the next day or it’s just one day. The nature of consistency with something is such an integral part of that practice that it makes the practice seem no tougher than speaking or eating. And that’s the power as well as the trap of consistency. It makes things so easy that people start taking consistency for granted (or ignoring it) and placing the factor of mastery over another aspect like love of the craft, knowledge about the craft etc.
The champions are masters of consistency. And someone rightly said that “Without discipline, you cannot start something but without consistency you cannot finish it”. And the journey towards mastery starts with discipline and focus. As such, to reach the end goal, what we require is consistency.
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