Stick to the task

How to maintain your course in turbulent waters

(photo: stetre76)


A consistent and determined effort is more effective and important than spurts of intermittent energy.

If a student comes up to me and asks how he or she can attain the side leg splits, I will simply tell them to stretch.  If the student returns and asks me the same question, I will respond with the same answer and tell them again to stretch.

If they return a third time, I might ask if they really (seeking out their motivation) want to achieve the splits?  If the answer is “yes,” then I tell them to stretch.  And I will keep telling them to stretch until they meet their goals. This often requires a solid level of patience.

You see, if we keep stretching, eventually we will meet our goals.  Stretching isn’t just about being physically flexible; it is about going a little further.  Every step toward your goals counts.

Be consistent and stick to the task

Have you ever gone on a “diet” or begun an exercise program, or perhaps you embarked upon an exciting new hobby or business challenge, and then you just stopped at some point and jumped off the rainbow before you were close enough to actually see any of the gold?

Do you get caught up in the cycle of life and forget about the goal you were working toward?  Then something happens to remind you of the goal you set so many months or years back.  Looking back, you wish you had stuck with it when you first started; you regret your decision to abandon your goal.

“If I had stuck with it,” you lament, I would have achieved my goal by now.”

I believe that our intelligence is fairly on target when we make New Year’s resolutions.  The first day of a New Year is the ideal time to begin anew, to set new goals, and to make real, substantial changes in our lives.  But if we are not consistent and persistent, we won’t achieve the results we’re looking for.  To be consistent, you have to remind yourself on a regular basis what your plan of action is.  You need daily visible focus on your goals.  Out of sight, out of mind.

This “reminder” system might be a calendar with pop-up messages on your computer (electronic nagging).  It might be sticky notes on your fridge (some people who are trying to lose weight find it helpful to take a picture of themselves and put it on the fridge; this often discourages snacking).  Or perhaps you will respond well to listening to motivational tapes while in the car or falling asleep at night.  We all think differently and learn differently, so find what works for you.  The bottom line is that if your target goal gets lost in the clutter of your daily life and chores, it will disappear from view and the chances diminish for its accomplishment.

When you eat, you don’t just eat one meal and say, “Well that should keep me for a few days,” unless, of course, you had some food poisoning.  Even if you did have one bad meal that made you sick, you will only stop eating for a few days.  But do you stop eating altogether?  No, and you also shouldn’t stop going after your goals either, just because you lost focus and failed to accomplish one goal.

We are creatures of habit, programmed for survival

In order for you to live a normal, healthy life, you need to consistently feed your body, right?  You don’t have to write yourself a reminder note that says “Eat something today.”  You just do it because you must in order to survive.

Think of some other things you’re consistent with. You will notice we are all very consistent doing the things (eating, drinking and breathing) that we require to stay alive.  So in spite of what you may think, you are very good at being consistent.  You most likely just don’t believe reaching your goals is as important as say eating or breathing.  But if your number one goal is to feel good, then it is entirely logical that feeling good is very much related to working toward and achieving your goals.

If you take one martial arts class, you are not going to come out of it saying, “I am ready for a full contact fight.”  You have to go to a lot more classes before you are ready for the competitive martial arts world.  It takes consistency – attending many classes, stretching yourself,  repetitious exercises – to reach the highest levels of the sport.

What exactly is consistency, you ask?  Sunlight seems to be a good example of consistency.  Is one day of sunlight going to be enough to hold us over for a year?  No, we need that big ball of fire in the sky to appear each and every day, or things are going to get very cold, very fast.  We need 100% consistency from the sun; anything less is unacceptable.  Why do we settle for less from ourselves?

Most people will live out their lives expending about 10% of their true potential. Are you willing to go through your life ignoring 90% of what you could be?  If you are inconsistent with building confidence, setting goals, stabilizing motivation, and improving the Self-Image, it will be a challenge to rise above that small percentage.

Commitment to stretching yourself and expanding your boundaries each and every day of each and every year is important for long term benefits.  Of course you will have many mountains to climb and rivers to cross.  And of course there will be setbacks and disappointments.  The meaning of life is life itself, right? So stick with it, work out the problems, climb back up on the rainbow, and stay committed.  There is a pot of “goals” at the end of the rainbow.

Consistent Effort = Success

It’s a simple and straightforward equation:  Successful people stand head and shoulders above the population simply because they remained consistent.  They did not get on and off the rainbow.  They did not stop and start.  They were not half-hearted in their efforts.

Successful people make it a rule to achieve a goal daily. It is just as important to set short-term (interim) goals as it is to set long-term goals.  Every day they get one step closer, instead of trying to make one big leap.  They pay the toll, so they get to cross the bridge.  Even when things look bleak, are hard to see, or the path is riddled with challenges, if you keep moving toward the light (your dreams) you will get a lot closer than just sitting down or falling asleep at the wheel.

Winjitsu Work Out

Write this little motivational poem down and stick it on your bathroom mirror (or your computer monitor):

Stick to the task until the task sticks to you-

Beginners are many but enders are few.

Honor, power, place and praise-

Always comes to the one who stays.

About the Author RICK TEW

I will do the splits for you too. I provide edutainment events that help you to be a Ninja in what you do. I offer Martial Arts Therapy Retreats on Samui Island in Thailand. My unique Winjitsu Mind-Body system of coaching inspires you to BE more fulfilled and to DO more to KickStart your ideas.

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