I never mistook Disneyland for the real world. Nigerian kids who grew up at home seldom do. By the way, home is what we call this country that housed our ancestors and all those within the circumference of the white man’s ill-drawn hexagon called “Nigeria”. Here, we threw lost teeth unto roofs, knowing better than to keep them under pillows waiting for non-existent tooth fairies to swap them for what now? 50 kobo coins – half the price of Banana Bubblegum in my time.
However, realism did not take from me the longing to experience the excitement and exhilaration other kids who had gone may have felt in Disneyland. Imagine my disappointment when my sister and I had been taken to the amusement park in Port Harcourt at the time and I couldn’t reach the pedals of the go-cart because I was too little. It was such a cumbersome ride. A few years down the line, I was excited to explore the rides at Wonderland Park at Abuja. Best believe I made up for this lost piece of my childhood that day. The roller coasters, wheels and water rides were the highlights for me. But even then, I never thought about any of the rides in the manner I’m about to articulate them until I sought an analogy to embody the theme of this post – CONSISTENCY.
The harmony of the feelings of excitement, fear, triumph, distrust and wonder that come alive and rage in you when the Ferris wheel spins are a product of how consistently the wheel spins for a period. The reactions – squeaks, laughter, wide-hanging jaws and eyes popping in wonder – are the intended outcomes underlining the essence for which the Ferris wheel was set in motion.
To optimally produce an intended outcome, consistency must be ensured.
If the wheel spun at 45°and hung or went a full 360° and stopped, it would only elicit a ‘’what the hell is this” type of reaction from people because it would not have given them enough of an experience to be satisfied with. In like manner, once you start a process or assignment, you have to put in efforts at such a consistent rate that the intended outcome is maximized. The onus lies on you at the preparatory stage to ensure that certain resources, plans and systems have been laid out. As soon as you confirm that it is a “go’, you are saddled with the responsibility of following through on your commitment.
This was a crucial lesson that I learned the hard way at the end of last year. While taking stock of the year, I realized that I had begun a lot of projects and endeavors here and there without the prerequisite projection and provision of certain resources to follow through. I had to work, write exams for a professional certification, run an online business course, execute writing engagements and a coaching program, run my blog and a budding interview series and work on prospective collaborations. My plate was full. This were going on before having set-up beforehand a workable system that would cater to all these commitments. Talk about a recipe for disaster.
I noticed as the year unfurled, that I was beginning to accumulate unfinished/abandoned projects. The most painful being the online business program and the most embarrassing being four truncated appointments with two prospective interviewees and clients respectively. Unfortunately, I was in a mentally paralyzed state when I realized this and did little or nothing to remedy the situations. It was from all of this that the most crucial lesson that I learned regarding consistency emerged.
Consistency is directly linked with credibility; your degree of consistency in a field is directly proportional to the measure of credibility you will amass in that field.
On realizing this, I simply halted all attempts to get new interviewees or clients until I would be ready to respond with full attention.
Credibility is the life of your business and personal brands and you must strive to enhance these. The more efforts others can see you put in, the more trust they will have in your competence and the more you can build your confidence. These C’s are vita; to the perception of your personal and business brands which are what set you apart from competition and peers.
Consistency fosters specialization. Frustration is born by lack of competence in the endeavors you dream of or indulge in.
The more you work at it, all things being equal, the better you get at it. This is where competence comes in and it is at this point that we relate to quality of product and service, brand positioning, customer retention etc. These are elements that ensure the continuity of your business as well as its positioning in the industry. Of course, these elements are not independently fool-proof but the beauty of consistency is that the continuous friction exposes one to deeper dimensions that call for reinvention and exploration of those aspects.
The year is young and while some may already have dumped some New Year resolutions, it is those that have made well thought-out strategic decisions and made provisions that will enable them to constantly stay committed that will have great outcomes.
Whether it’s two, ten or twenty people on board, the Ferris wheel spins. On a sunny or cloudy day, the Ferris wheel spins. Whether or not it feels right, the Ferris wheel spins. We look forward to getting on the ride because we trust that the Ferris wheel will spin…enough for us to scream and face our fear for heights while looking from above at the earth that carries us on its back. The Ferris wheel is the Ferris wheel because it spins.
Between goals and achievement are discipline and consistency. – Denzel Washington
Will you spin like this too?