“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”― E. James Rohn
For success in business and every aspect of our life, we talk about doing many things.
We read about and listen to virtually the same nuggets of information over and over again. Such as:
We need to be learning new things by taking classes, reading books, and listening to webinars. We have to set goals, be willing to change, and adapt to every situation.
We should be aware of what is going on around us, be able to present ourselves in a certain way, and be able to read and understand body language.
We should not fear competition and use it as a challenge to do better. We need to believe in ourselves and we should find support, such as a mentor, family members, and friends.
We should always keep trying, and if we fail, we need to look at what did not work, make some changes, and try again. We can use failure as a challenge to do better.
We should value diversity, not be afraid of what might appear different, be willing to change to be better, and respect the ideas of others.
We should always live in the moment, not dwell on the past, or focus on the future; focus on today.
We should set goals and maintain a schedule.
These are all exactly what we should be doing. Most of do these things or attempt to on some level. What brings them together, and what helps us to be successful is consistency.
Consistency is like the glue that holds everything together. When we practice being consistent, we can develop a routine and build momentum. Being consistent develops new habits.
That is where I think we let ourselves down; we do not follow through. We set goals, and we have our schedules, and we may do them for a while, but then we stop.
We all have goals that we do not follow through on. Mine is exercise. I have no excuse, I have the time, but I always push it off to do something else; like writing. I will get on my treadmill a couple of times a week; better than nothing, but far from enough.
“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”― Anthony Robbins
Is there a magic pill that will help you be consistent? No, but I did read about something this morning that makes perfect sense. I’m not sure it will work for you or me, but it is worth a try.
It is called the paper clip strategy. I found this article this morning published in Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/the-paper-clip-strategy-2015-4
It tells the story of a 23-year-old stockbroker who was successful because of a strategy he used. Each morning he would place two jars on his desk. He filled one jar with 120 paper clips and the other was empty. He would make business phone calls, and each time he completed a call, he would transfer one paper clip to the other jar. He continued making calls, doing no other tasks, until all the paper clips had been transferred into the other jar.
The use of the paper clips or any other object you might choose gives you a visual cue. Being able to transfer all the paper clips each day consistently will form a habit, and it is an easy way for each of us to keep motivated and feel successful.
So how am I going to incorporate this technique? There are some suggestions in the Business Insider article that resonated with me because I need to do them. I need to drink more water, and I am not good at doing it; I focus on it for a day or two, and then I conveniently forget. Of course, there is the treadmill that sits right around the corner from where I am writing. I could also set a goal for the number of words to write each day or the number of stories.
I am going to give it a try. How about you? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.Robert Collier
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a paper clip day!