The Law of Consistent Effort is not famous. This is the first time most people will hear about it!
However, examples of the Law in action abound. Take, for instance, the case of bodybuilders. All of them start as regular-sized humans. Due to consistent, intense training, they eventually get so big they leave humanity behind.
If, at any point, they quit their training, results would decline. Do you think other human activities are any different? No world-class athlete can stay at the top of the game without consistent effort. Once their spirit buckles or their desire fades, they could backslide.
Achieving consistency in your efforts takes discipline and strategy. Athletes often follow a tested and true training path. For others, it may require carving out your unique survival skills. Indeed, the people who do a “little bit” every day eventually get there.
Breaking things down into smaller steps is how big goals become reachable. You may have an idea in mind for your life that seems overwhelming. However, when you keep chipping away, you get closer. Jacob Riis hit the nail on the head with his “stonecutter” quote. Most people can’t split a rock with one blow.
Consistent Effort Gets You To The Tipping Point
Even if you’re not a top stonecutter, you still get your chance to succeed. All you have to do is chop away until the exact time when your efforts reach the “tipping point,” as Malcolm Gladwell calls it. Gladwell referred to significant societal changes, but the term applies well to the moment in people’s lives when things improve. Skilled guitarists reach a day when they suddenly feel great at picking! It happens to people in every walk of life.
That’s why you should never fear taking steps, even small ones. Each one is a progression on your path. Each step brings you nearer and nearer to the Eureka moment. There’s no more incredible feeling than getting something you work hard to receive!
When Jacob Reiss wrote this quote, “When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow, it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before,” he was well aware of the subject.
Riis overcame poverty to become a champion of social justice. He understood what it took for others to do the same. Jacob Riis spent his life defending human rights. Had he given up early, he would be forgotten today.
Developing The Art of Consistent Effort
The concept of applying consistent effort works for everyone, not just those with grand athletic ambitions or those seeking to leave an indelible mark on society. Its beauty lies in its usefulness in everyday life, everyone and every goal – no matter how small or big.
Take, for example, learning how to ride a bike. Initial attempts to find balance and get the wheels moving are challenging. There might be a fall or two! Each effort, however insignificant it seemed then, brought us closer to that joyful moment when we finally managed to balance and ride unassisted. Consistent effort is the secret ingredient that turned our dream of riding a bike into a reality.
Bringing Consistency into Your Life
You don’t have to move mountains to become more consistent. Instead, take small steps every day to meet your goals. For example, let’s say a student wants to improve their grades. Instead of cramming the night before the test, a more steadfast approach would be daily study. Even if only 20 minutes each day, that unchanging effort to study adds up over time – it could be the difference between passing the course or excelling.
Similarly, in the professional world, the consistent effort pays off. Salespeople don’t hit their targets by making one big sale a month. Calls, follow-ups, and conferences add up over time, leading to favorable results and meeting objectives. With invariable effort, a good salesperson can transform into a great one.
Don’t Overlook the Role of Patience
Patience is critical when making consistent efforts. You won’t see the fruits of your labor overnight, just as a bodybuilder doesn’t “get ripped” after a single intense workout or a musician doesn’t master an instrument with one practice session.
Instead, these processes can take months, even years. It’s the patience to keep chipping away and pushing when you can’t yet see results that eventually bring success.
Consider the process of making a sculpture. An artist starts with a large, unremarkable block of stone or wood. The sculpture comes to life slowly, not formed after a single day of carving. Instead, the artist makes careful, deliberate cuts, slowly chipping away excess material over time.
Days, weeks, or months may pass with little apparent progress to an untrained eye. But the artist knows that every minor chisel stroke gradually reveals the masterpiece within his vision. Just as a sculpture emerges slowly from a block of raw material, your goals and dreams materialize through consistent effort and patience. It is not a journey of instant transformation but a path of steady progress until completing the piece.
Staying Motivated Through the Journey
Motivation is the fuel that keeps the fire of consistent effort burning. Tracking your progress is one practical way to stay motivated.
A progress log helps you chronicle your journey, track your efforts, and chronicle how far you’ve come. Whether it’s as straightforward as marking off the days you’ve stuck to a habit on a calendar, using an app to stay accountable, or keeping a journal of your thoughts and achievements, having a record of your transformation is a powerful reminder and a great motivator to keep going.
Another strategy is to surround yourself with positive influences—people who encourage your efforts, support your endeavors, and believe in your potential. If you lack this, the beauty of human connection is that it’s never too late to build one. Start by identifying your interests and values, then seek out like-minded individuals.
These could be people you meet in community groups, classes, workshops, online forums, or even social networking sites dedicated to your field of interest. Attend events and join organizations where you can connect with others with similar enthusiasm, goals, and ambitions. Be proactive in making connections, but be genuine.
Authentic relationships share mutual trust and respect. Work to establish meaningful connections, support others when possible, and cultivate an environment of mutual growth and success. Building a supportive network from scratch may seem daunting, but with consistent effort, you’ll slowly see your circle grow – a clear example of the law of concerted effort at work.
Be Your Own Cheerleader!
Lastly, remember to celebrate small wins along the way. Did you manage to stick to your exercise routine for a whole week? Celebrate that. Did you manage to save a small portion of your salary this month? Celebrate that too. Each small win is a step towards your larger goal and deserves recognition.
From personal goals like learning a new skill or getting in shape to professional goals like career advancement or starting a business, consistent effort pays off. It is the secret sauce that turns dreams into reality.
Embrace, practice, and witness the transformation in your journey toward success. Committing and following through consistently helps us get to where we want to go.