We all have different talents, skills and capabilities that allow us to tap into different paths in our lives. Nevertheless, we all need strong motivation to surf them. John C. Maxwell his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, believes that motivation can get us going, but discipline is what keeps you growing. This principle is addressed under what he The Law of Consistency.
Previously, I summarized the first four laws in this book as the following:
This post summarizes the fifth law; The Law of Consistency.
How to become more consistent and disciplined in your growth
In order to fully understand what it takes to have a consistency in your growth and your performance, Maxwell suggested asking four questions as the following:
First Question: Do You Know What You Need to Improve?
Having the ambition to succeed is only half the way. We need to know which direction is needed so we can have a consistent and a focused progress. The need for that clarity is better understood by what Maxwell illustrated as “the more tuned in you are to your purpose, and the more dedicated you are to grow toward it, the better your chances of reaching your potential, expanding your possibilities, and doing something significant“.
Second Question: Do You Know How You Are Supposed to Improve?
Once you figured out what are the areas that you need to improve, you need to understand how to improve them. Maxwell suggested four actions to get started:
- Firstly, match your motivation to your personality type: regardless of which personality test that you prefer to run, it is important to recognize your personality type. Personality type determines your strength so you can select a motivation strategy that matches those strengths. Within this context, Maxwell presented the four personality types that are taught by Florence Littauer as the following.
- Secondly, start with the simple stuff: never attempt to improve too many things too soon. Maxwell advised that “small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time”.
- Thirdly, be patient: as Persian poet Saadi: “have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy”.
- Fourthly, value the process: enjoy the process of growth and always adopt a small victories’ approach to improve incrementally.
Question 3: Do You Know Why You Want to Keep Improving?
After finding out “what to improve” and “how”, figuring out “why” is what will keep you going. Not even any why! Maxwell suggested that “you have to give yourself more and bigger whys so you can keep wanting to put in the effort to grow”.
Question 4: Do You Know When You Are Supposed to Improve?
The answer to this question is simple: right now! Maxwell reminded us that “you will never change your life until you change something you do daily. That means developing great habits. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments, and that bridge must be crossed every day. Over time that daily crossing becomes a habit”.
“You can visualize tomorrow using it as motivation to grow, but if you want to actually grow, your focus needs to be on today. If you value today and find a way to enjoy it, you will invest in today. And the small steps you take today will lead to the bigger steps you take someday”.