In the previous part, I related the word “consistent” to “consist”, which refers to what something is made of or the content of something. Therefore, we could say that consistency means the regularity in which a particular content occurs. In this part, we will be going a little bit further to learn about these contents.
In the previous part, I also pointed out the most important contents relevant to the topic of consistency; Habits, Attitude, Character. We will be taking a look at them one after the other.
A habit is anything you do often and regularly, sometimes without even knowing or realising that you are doing it. It is more like your routine, something you have gotten used to so much, it has become a part of you. When you wake up in the morning and you look into the mirror, are you surprised at the image you see? Except in very rare cases where you see a ghost, there is really nothing that spectacular about the image you see in the morning. Sometimes, you are already accustomed to what you would see that you do not need a mirror to know what you look like. This is because you are part of you. This is the same way habits work. When something becomes a habit, it is no more an uphill task to perform, there is nothing so spectacular about it. It has become a part of you. In fact, the difficulty comes in trying to stop such a habit. Ask Bill Gates how hard it is to read 5 hours every day or ask Usain Bolt how much of a struggle it is for him to run miles every day. Note, I am not saying that it will not be a little stressful and all. But the struggle every other person faces to perform that same task is always evident. Try competing with “The Rock” in a press-up challenge. So here is the question; what have you gotten used to? Or what are you getting used to?
Please note this, your habit has to correspond with your goals or objective. Meaning, the fact that you have made something your habit does not mean you can achieve anything. It only means you will achieve what that habit drives you to achieve.
Never stop reading The Book of the Law he gave you. Day and night you must think about what it says. If you obey it completely, you and Israel will be able to take this land.
Notice this; for every habit, there is a resulting effect in the long run. A bad habit will yield bad results, a good habit yields good results. Think of it as a train on its track; as long as the train remains on that track, it is destined to reach a particular destination. As soon as it leaves the track, its destination is automatically changed. And note, a train does not change its direction like a car would naturally swerve or turn depending on the person on the wheels. So we see the importance of habits. It is important to develop habits, not just any habit but habits that are in line, on track to the destination you have in mind.
Habits are very powerful because as soon as they become a part of you, they are almost impossible to break or stop.
How do you develop a habit? Do something without fail on a regular basis and it gradually becomes a part of you.
Attitude is basically how you react to what you feel about something or someone. Notice that it begins from your disposition towards something or someone and leads to an action or an expression which is in other words you would refer to as your attitude.
One very important lesson I have been learning is; “watch how you react to things”.
Now, pay very close attention to this; “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”. In this context, out of the abundance of the heart, the body reacts or expresses itself. In other words, no matter how you wish you had reacted in certain situations, you will always be largely influenced by your heart, what you feel.
From this, we can come to a safe conclusion that the problem is not really about how you respond but how you feel about that person or that particular thing. Some people have been able to control themselves to react in the opposite way to how they feel. Sounds like an achievement but does it in any way change how they feel? There is really no need being a hypocrite or trying to pretend that it is fine. Trust me, you might lose control someday and it will not look nice at all.
So how do you feel about people around you and things around you especially when they intentionally hurt you?
After being beaten and given the punishment of a hardened criminal for an offence he knew nothing about, Jesus said; “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing“.
This was not just a vague expression, it was exactly how He felt about what they were doing to him. Of course, it sounds impossible. How could he ignore the pain he so badly felt? It sure was really painful, but pain was not exactly what he felt. Pain was just the natural result of what they had done to him. What he truly felt was LOVE. Please go over that again, this time take it a little slower. If I slapped you right now, what would you feel? Think about it again… You will feel anger, sometimes bitterness, maybe confusion. The pain you think you felt was just a reaction to what was done to you. What you actually feel will determine your next course of action.
Consistency in attitude is very important because it gives people a way to assess your personality. Often times, because we cover up our feelings, by the time it gets exposed, we are made to look like hypocrites, pretenders. So stop trying to respond the way you think people expect you to respond, deal with how you feel about certain things that put you over the edge.
Characters are sets of qualities that make you different from every other person. They are your unique attributes, your selling point. Have you ever asked yourself; “what makes me different from every other person”? This is where you recognize your strengths and your weaknesses. Those things that need to be worked on and those things that need to be reshaped. Always learn to maximize your strengths and improve on your weaknesses.
The definition of imbalance in this case is; focusing on one and neglecting the other because you think one is more important than the other. I do not believe one is more important than the other. Each one has its role to play. Do not claim to be good enough in a certain area and stop working on it just to improve on the weak areas. Do not also ignore your weak points just to give your all to your strong points. Sooner or later, they will eventually catch up with you and you will not be smiling then.
One of the most important qualities of nature is “balance”. When this balance is disrupted, chaos is bound to happen. It is the same with our lives. If you do not learn to live a balanced life, you are bound to live a chaotic one.
Consistency in habits, attitude and character build up to the realization of dreams and fulfilment of purpose.
“What are you known for?” has all three embedded in it. You are known by your habits (secret and public), you are known by your attitude and by your character. If people are not beginning to see you in the light of what you want to become, you may never become it. This is because, it has not become a part of you or rather, it has not become you yet.
You do not need to wait to become the you you want to see in the next 20 years when you can start becoming that you from now.
What you cannot be right now will be extremely difficult – most likely impossible – to be in the future.
You Are Never Alone.