Norton: Finding consistency in a world of inconsistency
“I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and lows,” — Drew Barrymore.
There have been some very famous people who have provided us with quotes about consistency. Some will argue that consistency will compromise creativity, while others believe that consistency plays a vital role in the achievement of success for individuals and teams alike.
For those seeking a little more peace and normalcy, it would be nice to experience the soft currents of the ocean. This is in direct opposition to the desire for constant turbulent seas and thunderous crashing of the waves. And with the ever-present tumult of life coming at us from every direction, like Drew Barrymore, I believe more and more of us are in search of consistency as opposed to the extreme and often volatile highs and lows.
Trying to keep pace in an often-chaotic race can be exhausting as we often hear contradictory statements and see inconsistent actions from those in a leadership role or position of trust. As we try and make sense of what we hear and see, what to do and how to do it, or what we can do and what we can’t do, it all leaves us longing for some level of consistency in the messaging we receive.
Although we cannot control the consistency of anyone else, we do have complete control over our own ability to be consistent in all that we do, say and share. We can and should make new decisions and take different courses of action based on receiving new and accurate information. If we are consistent in our diligence and in seeking the truth, changing our mind after thoroughly understanding the facts, we can confidently change our mind or form a new opinion.
One of the things that made Zig Ziglar such a motivational icon and inspirational influencer was what he referred to as “persistent consistency.” Before Ziglar would share anything in a book, from the stage or on a recording, he would validate the information historically, physiologically, psychologically and theologically so that he would be more than reasonably assured that the information that he was about to share with others was accurate. Ziglar was absolutely resolute when it came to persistent consistency, so much so that it became part of his signature, brand, character and reputation.
Even if we enjoy watching a stormy ocean filled with crashing waves from time to time, most of us would not be able to swim in such a strong current or undertow. And we certainly wouldn’t encourage our children or friends to jump into such a dangerous situation. If this is true, why would we be encouraged ourselves or encourage others to jump into, or react to, discussions that are inconsistent or formed by the opinions and the ever-changing thoughts of those trying to feed the undertow and create more chaos? When we do that, we are seeking consistency from inconsistent sources.
The good news is that regardless of the lens that we read or see things through, or the ears we use to hear what is being shared, is that we can be consistent ourselves in the way we respond instead of reacting to any, and all information we receive. If not, we increase the likelihood of furthering the spread of inconsistent and potentially wrong or even harmful information. We can be consistent and filter everything we see, read or hear through our own belief system, not through the words, thoughts or actions of others.
Do you have your trusted sources of information and are you persistently consistent in seeking and validating the truth before reacting or responding? Have you realized that trying to keep the pace in a chaotic race leads to exhaustion? I would love to hear your story of persistent consistency at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we can be consistent in a world that seems so inconsistent, it really will be a better than good year.