This has got to be one of the most pretentious titles I’ve ever written. Whatever.
In a previous post, I talked about what it means to conquer life and the basic mindset you need to do that. In this one, you’ll learn the two things need day-to-day to actually start living the life you want to live:
No One is Born Consistent
I used to struggle with consistency a lot. I would be great at starting things, but I’d be horrible at finishing them. In fact, I’d had that problem even as a little kid.
I can’t tell you how many LEGO structures, art projects, and drawings used to be left unfinished, lying around our house. I’ve probably started (and stopped) 2-3 blogs before I stuck with this one that I started in 2014. And even with this blog, I wasn’t sure if I could keep writing and blogging. There were definitely a lot of fits and starts.
My turning point in my journey to consistency came when I started working on my social skills.
I knew that I had to talk to at least one person each day to get better, so I did that. Just one person; it didn’t matter if they were the barista at Starbucks or someone on the train. If they walked on two legs and looked non-sketchy, I talked to them and ticked that to-do off my list.
Just. One. Person.
Slowly, my social skills got better, and I started talking to more people and being more comfortable around others. On one hand, I learned to become a more outgoing person. On the other hand, I also learned the benefits of becoming just 1% better each day.
Honestly, success is simply about showing up each day and doing the work. That’s how you get better.
Be Consistent: What It Really Means to “Hustle”
The word “hustle” is kinda overused these days, which means that it’s a lot more vague than “be consistent” or “do the work.” I guess “hustle” sounds a lot more exciting, a lot sexier than either of those two definitions. There’s no use beating a dead horse so we’ll focus on the non-sexy, less-talked-about version: being consistent.
Being consistent means that you perform and do what you need to do, day in and day out, whether you feel like it or not.
Simply put, if you want to be a BOSS and just crush it in life, you have to be consistent. Remember when we talked about maturity and how that’s the foundation for what it means to conquer life? Being consistent is what you work on after that.
OK, before I keep going, let’s clear one thing up: Contrary to all the Instagram motivational quotes you see, you don’t need to feel motivated to perform like someone who is. The secret is to build systems that will force you to stay consistent, whether you feel like it or not. Motivation is sexy, but it’s the daily, totally unsexy grind of consistency that actually gets the job done.
Motivation is sexy, but it’s the daily grind of consistency that actually gets the job done.
Be Adaptable: Don’t Marry A Dumbass Bum
When Henry Ford built his Model T car, people were still driving around in horse-drawn buggies. Most of the buggy manufacturers probably thought that their markets were secure for years and years to come; what they didn’t see was the mechanical tsunami that was about to come and sweep them away.
For us, it might not be about technology; sometimes it’s our circumstances that change.
- What if something happens to your parents and you suddenly had to live on your own and raise your siblings?
- What if you graduated, got your first job, took out a mortgage and a loan for a car… Only to get laid off a year later when the economy plunges?
- What if you married someone who couldn’t do any housework and can’t hold a full-time job?
That last one is an example my mom has drilled into my head from day one.
She’s taught me (or forced me, whichever way you look at it) to learn everything I need to do to around the house. In case I marry a dumbass jerk who can’t even wash the dishes, I’ll still be able to survive. (In the first place, you should be smart enough not to marry a dumbass, but that’s for a separate blog post altogether. Email me if that’s something you want to read about.)
To be adaptable means that if your plans get screwed over or if your worst-case scenario happens, you can still roll with all of the punches thrown your way. Even if you’ve sworn that you wouldn’t leave him till debt death do you part.
Putting the Two Together: What Life Would Be Like
Now, let’s do some imagining together. What it would look like if you were consistent and adaptable?
- You would wake up every morning ready to crush your day. And then you do.
- When something unexpected comes up, no biggie. You shrug, switch up your schedule a bit, and get on with your day.
- You work on your big essay, chunk by chunk. You sit through every class and try to absorb as much as you can.
- When exams come, you don’t sweat it because you’ve been doing work every day and you know the lessons by heart. No more cramming. You just flip through your notes, do a practice test, and roll into your exam.
Living like this may look like a dream for you. And maybe right now, it is. But just as Rome wasn’t built in a day (or 763 days, if you’re James Corden), you can’t expect immediate results. What you can do is start today.
Be consistent with just one thing, be it a morning routine, meditating, or taking a 5-minute walk in the morning. Start being 1% better than you were yesterday and you’ll look back one day realize, “Man, I do have my life together.”