The word consistency has come up again and again over the last few weeks. In discussions with clients, with athletes and also with my teacher, Karaj. In every conversation there was talk of obstacles impeding progress – either the capricious nature of certain people who are always moving the goalposts, or our own thoughts threatening to affect our performance or journey. Everyday hindrances which so easily distract us, taking our focus away from whatever we are striving for.
The conclusion of each of the conversations I had was that, regardless of what is going on around us or inside our own heads, it is important we remain consistent in our approach to our work, our life, and to the people with whom we interact.
Whether the people around us keep changing their minds, or whether we feel weighed down by fantasies of what may or may not happen, we should always remember our goals. If our goal is to serve people the best way we can (a more commonplace endeavour than one might think); or to live a life of physical fitness; or to practice purity of thought; or even just to be more favourable in our judgements and assessments of ourselves and others, then that is where our focus needs to be. Every time we trip up, we take a deep breath and return to our purpose. Refocus and move forward inch by inch.
It’s not easy. Nobody ever said it is easy. There are distractions everywhere. Many of them are inviting. But my point is that it’s not just the good stuff which distracts us; we are also distracted by the obstacles which stand in our way. Karaj once explained to me how we spend so much time focusing on the obstacles instead of keeping our eye on the goal that, eventually, avoiding the obstacles becomes the goal. At that point the distraction is complete.
It takes practice, discipline and patience even just to realise we are distracted, then to realign ourselves and manually return to our original path. But every day is a chance to practice. So each time you come across an obstacle of any kind just remember what you set out to do and, at the very least, practise consistency.