Everyone loves consistency. Being on time every day at the office, closing a sale every day, always on time for meetings and appointments, and always being home at a certain time for family and friends—this shows consistency. These are a few ways you are measured by others—it’s your consistent behavior. When you lead yourself first, you set an example—and the example here is consistency.
Did you know that eight productive hours of work each day make a successful day, five productive days make a successful week, four productive weeks make a successful month and twelve productive months make a successful year? Now the logic behind this is simple, yet too many intelligent people do not understand the basic process that intelligent work carried out daily, and I mean every day, will result in a successful week, month, year, career and life.
You have to think about your daily activity and the time you spend working. Do not fool yourself by substituting activity for real, productive work that creates results. Are you working all the time when you should be working? It is a simple question to answer and most of us would answer: “Not always.” Every day we fall into traps--traps with phone calls that are not work related, unexpected guests popping into the office, chit chat with coworkers, vendors or others who do little for out business improvement and career advancement.
Remember the little words of cause and effect--you reap what you sow. There is no simpler truth than this. Do you reap much at the office by chit-chatting about the big game last Sunday? No. When at work, do your work—and do more than your work. If you want to advance in any organization, you’ll have to do more than what is simply expected of you. Do more, and in time, you will receive more. And that’s guaranteed. That is the natural law of cause and effect, it is real and evident in every part of your life. Successful men and women the world over do not just wake up successful. They work at it hour after hour, day in and day out, year after year, decade after decade. They understand the more they put in the more they’ll get out. This is a natural law of order--the laws of cause and effect.
The great statesman, inventor and businessman Benjamin Franklin said it best in His Autobiography:
“I spent no time in taverns, games, or frolicks of any kind; and my industry in my business continu’d as indefatigable as it was necessary. I was indebted for my printing-house; I had a young family coming on to be educated, and I had to contend with for business two printers, who were established in the place before me. My circumstances, however, grew daily easier. My original habits of frugality continuing, and my father having, among his instructions to me when a boy, frequently repeated a proverb of Solomon:
“Seest thou a man diligent in his calling, he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men.”
I from thence considered industry as a means of obtaining wealth and distinction, which encouraged me, tho’ I did not think that I should ever literally stand before kings, which, however, has since happened; stood before five, and even had the honor of sitting down with one, the King of Denmark, to dinner.”
Ben Franklin knew what he had to do. Do you?
I was asked one evening at an event, “How did you write fifteen books in three years? My response was, “It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t hard either. All I had to do was be consistent; five pages a day, six days a week—sometimes seven days a week.” There is no mystery behind productively that isn’t the result of diligence and consistency. All great achievement is born by these two words, by these two actions.
Many years ago had the privilege to hear Dr. John C. Maxwell give a sermon at Christ Fellowship Church, in West Palm Beach, Florida. In a couple to the sermons he spoke briefly about how he had written so many books. “One word at a time. Every day I read, I write, I file, I think; every day I read, I write, I file, I think; every day I read, I write, I file, I think--every day, every day, everyday.” Doing the right things every day, doing the things you know you should do every day, might appear mundane or boring, but when you have a passion, a deeply rooted desire of joy in doing the tough things, knowing exactly what the end result is going to be, then the good work you do day after day after day is not boring or mundane. It is interesting. It is learning. It is constant learning--discovering new ideas and developing inner joy through consistent daily effort. Find what gives you joy. Find your greatest passion and pursue that passion every day.
* * *
To lead yourself first, to succeed in any venture, you’ll have to focus on your work. Working diligently and consistently is the true way to lead yourself in the direction you want to go—the right direction