In his seminal book The One Thing, Gary Keller states that success is the result of narrowing your concentration on one thing. Success is the result of discipline, and discipline is created by consistently doing what needs to be done.
My 70-year old neighbour is in the swimming pool by 5am, swimming 14 rounds every single day. After that, he goes walking for his 10000 steps a day. He was never a top athlete, neither does he intend to participate in competitive sport any time soon. But his main mission is staying fit and healthy and feeling good in his body as he enters the eighth decennium of his life. And he has decided that consistently swimming and walking these numbers is what he needs to do in order to achieve his goals.
Team sportsmen and sportswomen who desire long professional careers, are usually the first to come to the training ground, and the last ones to leave. While many of their colleagues are enjoying their summer holidays, they spend hours in the gym improving their strength and stamina and working on the areas they know they need to improve or maintain in order to keep going.
Successful authors write one or more pages every single day, whether they are motivated or not, whether they feel they are creating quality or not. They understand that to keep doing what needs to be done, is more important than worrying about quality.
Coaches and therapists who have managed long careers, practice their skills every single day. They hold individual and group sessions with existing clients, engage in conversations with potential clients, discuss techniques with colleagues or work on their self-development by attending seminars, courses and reading relevant books. All of the above helps them to maintain their skills, entice new clients and stay relevant and at the top of their game in an ever changing world.
My mum has been running a beauty business for over 30 years, but after a long working day she regularly surfs the web looking for new techniques to improve her skills, researches the effects of skincare products and follows the technological advancements in her industry. This has helped her to become a recognized expert in her area.
What all of the above professionals and non-professionals have in common, is clarity about their one thing: they have figured out what is important in their lives right now and what they need to do in order to achieve it. Therefore, they are doing it consistently and relentlessly every single day. It’s not always fun and they are not always motivated; but once they have figured out what needs to be done, they know that repetition is key to continue delivering the performance that is needed to get the results they want.
They understood that in order to become good at what they want, they need to become what they want. A writer writes every single day. A footballer kicks a ball about every single day. The act of consistently writing makes someone a writer, and the act of consistently kicking a ball around makes someone a footballer.
How about you? What is your one thing? Have you figured out what needs to be done, and are you doing it consistently every single day?