Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Thoughts on Consistency
1. Agreement or logical coherence among things or parts.
2. Reliability or uniformity of successive results or events.
synonyms: agreement, harmony, correspondence, accordance, regularity, coherence, compatibility, uniformity, constancy, steadiness, steadfastness, evenness, congruity
1. Steadfastness, as in purpose or affection; faithfulness.
2. The condition or quality of being constant; changelessness.
Consider the value of consistency / constancy in our lives. Frankly, I think it is an immensely under-valued and over-looked asset by many who just don't realize the value of the trait in themselves or in other people.
Here's a good question: if you could be either brilliant or consistent, which would you choose to be?
Now, I am not trying to insinuate that people are either/or. Plenty of us are both. Plenty of us are neither. (You can file me away into that latter category, by the way.)
It's just that, all too often, it seems that Society values brilliance and ignores consistency.
Take for example, the words of Oscar Wilde: "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative." OUCH! Dang, Oscar, no wonder you're a Grouch!
I wonder if Mr. Wilde was just a little jealous....
Then there are those who've begrudgingly given token kudos to consistency, such as Aldous Huxley, and I quote: "The only completely consistent people are the dead."
True that, Aldous...but what's the point for the Living? To always be clever, no matter what?
Not that being consistent is the right thing to do all the time. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best, I think: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."
Yes, it is the wise consistencies in people which are the golden gems. They make the world work. And they make it safer, more predictable, more reliable. And, that frees us up to do better things.
That's what I'm talkin' 'bout, Willis!
Take RAIN, for example. All the drops are the same. We know what to expect. What if we had to dodge a bunch of different and unpredictable water bombs every time it rained?
And the athletes we love to watch. Tiger Woods nailed it when he said, "Consistency is the key to repeating success."
True but odd fact: I was a member of my college bowling team for a year. Even had a scholarship. My average was 151... not brilliant, but my performance was amazingly consistent, and that was enough to help my team win again and again.
Yes, consistency is a cookie-cutter kind of thing. It produces an assembly-line of reliable results. I like that in a person. My husband aka Hubs is one of the most consistent people I know. When I think back to why I grew to love him and why I decided to marry him, his consistent manner was a definite deal-maker. I lacked it and he had it, and what was important to him was that I valued it in him when past loves had called it "boring" and "predictable".
Funny how those things work, huh?
I was thinking the other day about my cyber-friend Linda, and I realized that among her many attributes is a marvelous consistency that I in awe of when I think about it. I'm guessing here, but I believe she makes it a priority in her life, to be consistent for her family, her crafting, her blogging, her friendships.
Kudos to you, Linda. You have a rare gift, a talent for consistency, that flourishes by virtue of hard work, discipline and commitment. It just shines through. I want you to know that it shines on me and warms my soul, dear friend.
This year I hope to explore stuff like this, stuff that doesn't often get examined. To me, it's part of re-assessing. And what better way to do that than to discover the little gems of gold that already lay before me in my own life!
What little gems lay before you on your path? I'd love to know!