This morning I woke up and I went for a run. And, at the end of it, the Nike application that I use to track all of my distance running showed me my standings. I, with 9+ miles so far this month, am currently in second place out of my nearly 120 friends that I run with/against. But guess who is ahead of me with 18.5 miles? My 40+-year-old frat brother. And you know what I realized? Bro. Aikens is not killing me because of distance run but because of consistency. If I got out there and did 4 miles a day (which isn’t asking much), I would be leading for the month. But instead, I do just enough to get by. And that’s fine because too much running, though I enjoy it, is counterproductive for my goals. But I, being the Alpha man that I am (double entendre), am naturally competitive and so I can’t help but think about how I could be number one if I wanted to. All it takes is getting out there every day and doing it.
That was my first workout of the day and it was the one that showed me how critical consistency is to being number one. My second workout showed me how critical consistency is in achieving your goals (which may not always be being number one but sometimes is to just hit a benchmark). Every day during my lunch break, I go to the gym beside my office building and the consistency has finally paid off measurably. Today, with no spotter, I put 185 on the bench press bar, hoping to get it up one time. I did it with ease. So then I tossed 205 on and easily pushed that weight off of my chest. Finally, I put 215 and had no problem benching that. I was doing repetitions of 225 in 2011 when I was at my strongest and that was the goal I had set for myself when I started working out again in July. Today, I proved to myself that I can do that with ease (and would have but I decided not to push myself too hard until I had a spotter).
The same applies to work and entrepreneurship. You don’t have to write a book every week but, guess what? If you do a page a day, by the end of a year, you will have written a 365-page book. You don’t have to do an entire project by the end of the work day but if you stretch it out from the time you find out about it to the time it’s due, you won’t be as stressed.
I say all of that to say this: There is no secret to success. It’s all about hard work and consistency. If you have those two things, you cannot fail because, the only true failure, is found in giving up. That is true in all endeavors, from business to love to spiritual growth. Keep working at it. Even the rain, when it beats at the mountain long enough, erodes it piece by piece.
And, just so you all know, a lot of the time, these topics I write on are issues that I have or am having as a young professional. This is advice for me and you. Professional development is a journey, not a destination and we are all always growing. So, if you’re reading something (an article, a book, a paper) that is helping you grow, feel free to share it with me and I’ll make sure I tweet it from @DanielsDailyReader and @DeryleDanielsJr.
Make professional development a priority.