Today’s post is the featured article from the July 2009 issue of The Front Porch Newsletter. If you would like to automatically receive The Front Porch e-newsletter on the last Thursday of each month just click here to sign-up for your complimentary subscription.
Over the last few years, I distinctly remember having shared with hundreds of audience participants the fact we were in “slow-motion” compared to where we are headed. Like the participants in my audience, I found it unimaginable with all of us drowning in emails and the speed of life. But I believed it to be true … more likely to be inevitable. The dawning of “social media” may very well prove to be the fuel igniting that exponential increase in speed.
Speed is not our enemy. But it can drive a random, sporadic nature within us … and random is the enemy of consistency. Random is appropriate for some things … for the things that bring a fresh sense of spontaneity to our life. But consistency is the core which drives meaningful discipline around the important things in our life.
How often have people rolled their eyes at another organizational change knowing the new “call-to-action” was just the next “flavor-of-the-month” initiative? Rapid organizational change is sometimes needed to respond to drastic changes in technology or market conditions … but needless change can undermine the rhythm of progress. Consistency in organizations might be a welcomed change!
The consistency, however, I am referring to is at a much more micro and personal level … the kind on which we ultimately have control. I am talking about the kind that creates meaningful rhythm on the priorities in our work and in our life.
The back cover of my new book, GOOD to the CORE, features the quote of Johann Von Goethe:
“Things which matter most should never be at the mercy of the things which matter least.”
This quote has hit a chord with many GOOD to the CORE readers who are striving to build value by identifying and living their own core values. It should also hit a chord with those who are trying to get addicted to the consistency of discipline around the activities which matter most in their life. After all, in the end, it is our actions that ultimately communicate our values.
We certainly don’t seem to have a problem establishing consistency for the negative addictions in our life. The challenge becomes being able to establish an addiction to the positive things in our life.
My long-time business coach and friend, Mark LeBlanc, will tell you most marketing initiatives fail because they lack consistency … or because we give-up too early on the consistency we did establish. He regularly reminds me, “consistency will always outpace commitment!”
Organizations aren’t the only ones initiating “flavors-of-the-month.” As technology increases the speed and reach of our life, I wonder how many of us are individually initiating “flavors-of-the-day” … around the things which matter least.
When I wrote Silent Alarm, I desperately hoped it would become a vehicle of awareness for us to individually recognize the teachable moments of the subtle lessons in our life. We can choose to wake-up or “hit the snooze’ at the risk of our own peril.
But waking-up to those lessons is not enough. It is beyond waking-up … it is about action!
And when it comes to the things which matter most … it is about our addiction to the consistency of the actions we choose to take to get us to what we need to accomplish or who we want to be. In the end, we will ultimately be consistent … even if that consistency is randomness.
It is the same truth dictating the fact that ultimately organizations will have a culture … regardless of whether the organization chooses it or the unintentional culture chooses the organization. The same is true for our values. It is virtually impossible to have no values. We will have values … it is just a question of whether we intentionally choose them or if we unintentionally let them choose us.
Addiction to the consistency of our actions is our only hope of being who we truly intend to be … and to achieving what we ultimately want to achieve.
I know you are probably thinking, so what’s new about that? Absolutely nothing. It always has been and always will be. But if you are anything like me … for some reason, I need to be consistently reminded!
So what needs to be your new addiction? Maybe they are the actions driving a marketing plan. It may be steps toward a life-long dream. It may be showing up in a meaningful way in a key relationship. And yes, it may very well be figuring out how social media can be used more effectively.
Whatever it is … I hope you find the place within you which allows you to get consistently addicted!