Two-time USA Memory Champion, Ron White would like to share with you some lessons on consistency learned from former US Navy SEAL, TC Cummings:
Navy SEALs are professional athletes that donâ€™t have an off-season. One way they are able to maintain this level of athleticism is because they are consistently changing the routine. Just as one group of exercises works one group of muscles, and another set works another group, they constantly are switching off in order to maintain overall balance and complete physical fitness. They canâ€™t become weak in any area. Even though they are switching off â€“ from running to swimming to calisthenics, etc. they are consistent in the fact that they are continuing to DO an activity.
My friend T.C. Cummings, a former U.S. Navy SEAL, tells me that if a SEAL takes three consecutive days off from training he will almost go into a depression because he is used to the routine of exercise. When they find themselves taking a vacation, the first day may be enjoyable, but by the third day they are ready to run back. They have a set expectation of themselves and, as T.C. says, â€˜The GEM for a SEAL is consistently â€˜Doing the DOâ€™ and not changing the momentum.
When you get up each morning and make your bed itâ€™s not a difficult thing to do. Itâ€™s not an effort when we are consistent. You become disciplined to make your bed because itâ€™s part of your routine, and momentum. If making your bed is a chore you dislike, and you push yourself to do it in the morning, after a few days it becomes consistent â€“ and you donâ€™t think of it as a chore. The more often you do something the easier it is to do.
Consistency is adherence to the same principles, course of action, or pattern of behavior. It is a harmony of conduct. If you are lacking in consistently in your life, donâ€™t look at it as something you donâ€™t like to do, just do it until it becomes easy to do on a regular basis.
As a salesman I really dislike to make cold calls. I have found that doing the first call is the hardest, and each call I make after that first call becomes easier and easier. Once you get yourself into a consistent routine, and your realize that after the first call in the morning it gets easier, eventually you realize that you look forward to getting that first call out of the way so things will go uphill after that.
Consistency has sometimes been called the â€˜hallmark of ethics.â€™ It is free of contradictions. If our basic way of life is contradictory, and lacks consistency, we will find ourselves as to what we ought to do, and unsure of how we ought to live.
A good example is in the disciplining of children. If we tell our children they can NOT have a sugary treat before dinner, and they go to your spouse who gives it to them, any child will take advantage of the situation, but will be confused as to what is ok and what is not. Is having a treat before dinner really a good thing? They already know the spouse is the soft touch. If you and your spouse were on the same page there would be a consistency in the way you handle situations, and although the children may not be happy they canâ€™t get their treat before dinner they are not confused about what is right. When dealing with children, consistency is extremely important!
If you were to examine your life you would find many inconsistencies. By modifying your behavior you will find that consistency is important for moral development and discipline. A Navy SEAL is consistent in his behavior, and in turn his moral compass.
This an other lessons about discipline and leadership are available in the â€œMind of a Navy Seal” training CDs and workshops.
Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL workshop
Merriam Webster Dictionary â€“ Consistency: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consistency
Santa Clara University â€“ Consistency and Ethics: http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/consistency.html