Question 4: Do You Know When You Are Supposed to Improve?

The final piece of the puzzle is the question of when. When do you need to improve? The answer is today: right now. Author and education professor Leo Buscaglia noted, “Life lived for tomorrow will always be just a day away from being realized.”

John stated, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily … Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments, and that bridge must be crossed every day. Over time that daily crossing becomes a habit.”

Focuses on a destination Focuses on the journey
Motivates you and others Matures you and others
Seasonal Lifelong
Challenges you Changes
Stops when a goal is reached Keeps you growing beyond the goal

Question #3 – Do You Know Why You Want to Keep Improving?

From the book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John wrote:

Knowing what to improve and how to improve are critical to consistency in personal growth. But so is knowing why. The how and the what will only take you so far. The why is what keeps you motivated long after that first rush of energy and enthusiasm wears off. It can carry you through when willpower isn’t enough. Think of it as why-power.

He shared the story of a salesman who looked out the window of the hotel restaurant at a blinding snowstorm. He asked his waiter, “Do you think the roads will be clear enough in the morning to travel?”

The waiter replied, “Depends on if you’re on salary or commission.”

John continued, “Having a strong why will help you to keep going when the discipline of learning becomes difficult, discouraging, or tedious. If your growth is connected to your values, dreams, and purpose, you will know why you’re doing it. And you will be more likely to follow through.”

I have my niece, Windy, who is part of Life Spark Mentoring. She joins us from New Jersey. To me and many other people who know well, she is a great example of strength of character, perseverance, consistency, and why-power.  

Few years ago, Windy decided to go back to school to work on her masters. She did it as a single mother and a full-time employee.  She spent many long nights doing homework. She remained focused on her goal even when she faced unfavorable circumstances. I suspect, at time, it would have been easy for her to quit. Given the situation, quitting would have been a justifiable reason. But she didn’t. Neither did she neglect the care of her son and her duty as a school teacher while she was working on her goal. Why didn’t she quit? It’s simply because her why was stronger than her what and how. Based on the conversation Windy and I had during her graduation ceremony, to recall it only in part, she wanted to do it for herself to begin with. She also wanted to be an example to her son. The example of a grandmother who had a relentless drive for continuous improvement also played a role in her why. She wanted to do it so she could add more values to her students. There were many other reasons. In short her why was connected to her values, dreams, and purpose. It started with her and grew to include others.

If you find yourself struggling with consistency in your personal growth, I can almost guarantee you that the problem is not with your what and how. It’s with your why. When your why is strong enough, the what and how will come. By the way, these two are already there. They might be in your blindside. Last month I was looking for a Spanish book. I knew I had at least 2 or 3 in the house. I could not find any. After I returned from Dominican Republic with a stronger desire to improve my Spanish, I looked for the book again. It seemed that the book jumped out of the shelf so I could find it.

Now, one more thought about consistency. Consistency is not perfection. My good friend and mentor, John puts it this way, and I am laughing, “Only a dead person is perfectly consistent.” You will fumble here and there. That’s okay. Just pick up the ball and start running again because you are still in the game of life. You are an important player. Your teammates, coaches, and fans need you to keep on going. Remember The Law of the Mirror. “You must see value in yourself to add value to yourself.” You are your own MVP.

My friend, let me close this post by saying that I am grateful for your support in my personal and professional growth. I thank you for that. We are building a strong movement called Life Spark Mentoring where people like you and me can work together to help each other grow and to add value to others.

May you have a fabulous growing day!

Question #2 – Do You Know How You Are Supposed to Improve?

To grow, most people need knowledge, experience, and coaching. You may not be able to do all 3 right now. But you can start with one or two. I shared with you before the decision I made to have a personal fitness trainer and to participate in a fitness group training. With that trainer, I am getting all 3. I did not know there were so many ways to have meaningful workout sessions. I meet with the trainer once a week for only 30 minutes -thanks goodness it’s only 30 minutes. I get so much done in 30 minutes than I could have accomplished on my own in one hour or two hours.

I used to go to the gym by myself. During those times, I only used few machines and worked out only the same “couple of muscles”. With my trainer, I am now using almost every muscle. Another benefit of having a trainer is that I have an accountability partner. Having a coach or trainer (or accountability partner) does not mean you have to hire someone. It does help to have someone who cares enough about you to help you grow. You need someone who has the strength and expertise that you are looking for.

Consistency: You see, this post is coming to you at the eleventh hour. It is because I did not assign a specific time to the task. But I could not go to bed without sending it.

The Law of Consistency – 4 Questions in 4 Days

Happy Memorial Day!

As we are taking the time today to remember the men and women who have given all so we can enjoy this great freedom, I hope that all of us we will continue to do our part in making the necessary sacrifices so tomorrow can be a better day for the people in our circle of influence.

In regard to The Law of Consistency as the fifth of the 15 laws of growth that John Maxwell has developed, I’m going to review with you, in four consistent days, four questions that will help you grow in consistency.

Day 1 – Monday May 27, 2019

Do you know what you need to improve?

Journalist and author George Lorimer remarked, “You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” You can’t master anything else if you can’t master yourself.  John stated in the book, “Your future is dependent upon your personal growth. Improving yourself daily guarantees you a future filled with possibilities.”

How and where to start?  Start with the first law; The Law of Intentionality. Decide today that you are going to work on growing yourself. Next, move to The Law of Awareness which states, “You must know yourself to grow yourself.”  Use members of your family and close friends to help you in this area. Recently few people have pointed out some areas that I needed to improve. They were brutally honest with me. These people care about me.

I was in Dominican Republic few days ago. Many people from different regions in the country told me clearly, that “I need to be fluent in Spanish.” It seemed they had a meeting to talk about how they could encourage me to improve my Spanish. I have been going there since 2006. They can’t wait to see me being able to converse freely with them in their native tongue. While the feedback was direct and poignant, it left me with a sense of urgency to achieve that goal. Another business friend told me last week that I must spend more times developing my marketing skills so I can let people know how I can help them in their personal lives and businesses.

These two feedbacks were not the things that were easy for me to hear. But they were exactly what I needed to hear because they spoke to the core of 2 areas I needed to improve. Why are they important to me?  It is because I value people and I want to add value to people. I am now working on the rule of 20 hours. I am devoting 20 hours of consistent and intensive effort every day to each task (six days a week, 30 minutes a day) working on my Spanish and learning new things about marketing. I also developed a process to do that.

E. M. Gray said, “The successful person has the habit of doing the things that failures don’t like to do. The successful person doesn’t like doing them either, but his dislike is subordinated to the strength of his purpose.” John added, “The more tuned you are to your purpose, and the more dedicated you are to growing toward it, the better your chances of reaching your potential, expanding your possibilities, and doing something significant.”

Consistency Requires Sacrifices

Personal Example: This past weekend, I made an attempt to post pictures on Instagram and Pinterest. I realized again that I am not good at doing these tasks. I don’t even like to do them. The dislike makes it more difficult to want to improve in these areas. The above quote speaks to me. I must change if I am to find ways to help these children in that orphanage.

I just got back from the DR. I have beautiful pictures I could share, not to brag about myself, but to show the impact the excursionists that went with me had on the people they served. I must develop a plan and dedicate time (part of the 20 hours on marketing) to take a course on Instagram and Pinterest for dummies.

Do you know what you need to improve? Decide today that you’re going to be intentional about finding out what you need to improve. Listen to feedback that your friends, customers, vendors and others are giving you. Identify one or two areas you need to improve. Make a plan. Start small. Apply consistent and intensified effort for a very specific time. Do that until you see the growth you are looking for. Be patient while being consistent. Remember that, “Growth doesn’t happen automatically.” “Motivation gets you going—Discipline keeps you growing.”

The Law of Reflection and the Law of Consistency

The Law of Reflection: Learning to pause allows growth to catch up with you.

The Law of Consistency: Motivation gets you going—Discipline keeps you growing.

“The hallmark of excellence, the test of greatness, is consistency.” Jim Tressel     

Of the first 5 laws of growth we have reviewed together, the Law of Consistency is the most difficult for me. What about you?

Dr John C. Maxwell shares this wisdom and reveals a secret about how we can be more consistent. He says, “It’s difficult to remain engaged in anything if you have not found a way to value and appreciate the process. Make a list of everything you like about personal growth. If your list is very short, really work at it. Anything you can find as motivation will help you to develop better growth habits.”  The wisdom is having a process. The secret is found in the first law which is the Law of Intentionality.

Share with us some examples where you find yourself doing something consistently. Share also one thing that you know you need to do consistently, but you struggle to remain consistent. What would be the payoff if you were able to do that task on a consistent basis?