Consistency and intensity are both important determinants of success in all fields, but before we dive right in, let's look at a particular day in Tony's life. Tony is a young adult in his 30's who has been exposed to much information about physical health. He's quite obese but willing to change his health condition for the better.
This willingness drove him to read many articles and watch many videos about burning calories, reducing weight, etc. Eventually, he decided to put in to practice what he learned.
He did this by subscribing to a gym. Before this fateful weekend, Tony told himself he would have the best healthy-day anyone could ever have. He went to the gym, he exercised for a couple of hours, he outworked everybody that came to the gym that day. He ate proteins and vegetables. He stayed off carbs the entire day.
He also drank enough water and took the time to rest. However, when Tony woke up from sleep the next day, he discovered nothing changed with his body. Apart from the little strain as a result of working out for the first time, everything was the same. He felt worse. Tony was both surprised and sad. He thought that dedicating one day to his health would make that visible change. Well, he was wrong, but there was a change, though it wasn't just visible. The one-day intensity didn't produce the desired result. Would consistency have produced the result?
The Best Definitions Of Intensity And Consistency
Intensity describes the degree of strength, energy, and force at which something is done, it is often towards the extreme. Consistency, on the other hand, describes a string of similar actions done periodically to reach a singular goal. As much as this seems like a debate between consistency and intensity, it's still vital to know that both are determinants of success and are characteristics that should be cherished.
What You Can Do With Intensity And Consistency
You can achieve almost anything in this world with these two attributes. Intensity gives you the grit you need to face the obstacle. Intensity often comes very handily when you're about to miss deadlines or for students preparing for exams. It is not the right condition, but it happens that you're not fully prepared for an exam. You tend to stay up through the night reading to beat failure. This is intensity, and it might help you achieve your goal. You can also view intensity as the short term player while consistency as the long time player.
Consistency is breaking the big chuck into smaller ones. Let's go back to our previous story about Tony, who wanted to achieve that good health, to reduce his weight and stay stronger. He was intense in his approach but it was just for a day. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a professional bodybuilder recommends just 40 minutes of exercise per day to experience good health. Many things can never be achieved by a one time input (intensity), for example, you can't brush your teeth just once in your lifetime and expect to have glowing teeth the rest of your life. You have to keep the routine daily to get the results.
Why You Should Choose Consistency Over Intensity
Some of the greatest Olympians of all time had shared their work ethic, and one common thing among all of them is that they have unbreakable routines that are targeted towards a bigger goal. You can't get into shape by working out in a gym for 20 hours straight, you will strain yourself and might even end up dead. This can be achieved by working out, say 30 minutes per day for about three months. You'd be amazed at the changes that will occur.
Besides these, there's a way consistency builds your mental capacity while intensity destroys it. Intensity is about instant gratification, and nothing, intending to last long can be built this way. It makes you always think short term and results in giving up easily. Intensity often results in weak professionals who lack experience in their field. You need to spend about 10,000 hours to be good at something, doing it over and over till you are perfect. Consistency applies to all other important virtues of success: patience, hard work. As vital as the result, so also is the process.
How To Build Consistency Over Time
Consistency is as simple as staying with your mapped out routine until you get your desired result. Here are a few tips that can help achieve it:
Research wide about whatever you want: The more you know about your goals, the more you want to achieve them. People that want to get things done will research it, mentor under it and also meditate on it.
Be very clear about what you want to achieve: Researching alone might make you want many things which can lead to a crisis of desire. Having a singular goal does magic.
Write out in detail the periodic approach to your goal: Don't just have it on your mind, put it in written form for you to see every day. There should also be a checklist, like a to-do list so you can tick them as you do them.
Celebrate your milestones: When you do this, your piggy bank will become your piggy bank. Let every little milestone be important to you and ensure to celebrate them. Achievements birth more achievements.