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  • Foto del escritorJuanpablo Barrantes

The paradigm of consistency

It seems to me how interesting it is to reflect on the remarkable existing gap between successful people and the rest of the crowd. Such crowd, which may be seen as “the rest of the people” does not necessarily is limited to those who struggle in life (or may be facing some kind of failure), but also includes those who are stuck in the same spot where they always have been in life. Let’s face it this way, if we measure the people’s degree of success in an average community, starting from those who extremely fail (people who live in misery, for example as a homeless), following with those who commonly struggle to survive (anyone who is not comfortable with his/her life circumstances and socioeconomic status), going then to those who experience growth in their lives (transitioning from failure or status quo to success) and finally getting to those who enjoy a life of abundance (anyone who’s living with fulfillment, not only material but also physical and spiritual). Hence, we can certainly affirm without a doubt that there is an approximate out of 100 people: - 2 people experiencing extreme failure; - 14 people experiencing mediocrity; - 68 people experiencing stagnation; - 14 people experiencing growth; - 2 people experiencing abundance. In a similar way, it also happens in different instances of life, for example, in people’s job related situations. When we measure people at their jobs, based on their performance and passion towards what they do, we know that we will find a very similar distribution for that population. Of every ten people at job: - 2 people are lagging, either prompt to resignation or termination; - 6 people are “keeping up” as average performers, they are not shining but they are necessary at their current roles; - 2 are out-performers, they are shining and prompted to next opportunities or a promotion thanks to his/her high performance and engagement. The following figure illustrates the well-known "Bell Gaussian curve”, or a statistically normal population’s graph, for a typical workplace reality, regarding performance and engagement of their workforce.

Now, why is there such an astounding minority who experience success and greatness in their lives? Why do the vast majority of people is set to struggle in life to get ahead? Why are they even destined to a life of stagnation or failure? The Paradigm of Consistency. Darren Hardy, author of the book "The Compound Effect", describes in an extremely accurate way what happens naturally (attention, this is a natural law!) with the destiny that each person is forged, which is directly and entirely related to the decisions that each one makes, being consciously or being unconsciously throughout life: “Everything in your life exists because you first made a choice about something. Choices are at the root of every one of your results. Each choice starts a behavior that over time becomes a habit. Choose poorly, and you just might find yourself back at the drawing board, forced to make new, often harder choices. Don’t choose at all, and you’ve made the choice to be the passive receiver of whatever comes your way.” So, if you have not come to your senses up to this point... we are the result of our decisions! Everything we do consistently either consciously or unconsciously over time, that is, how we behave generates habits, and these habits forge our character; finally it is our character that forges our destiny. Let's see how tricky it is to understand the paradigm of consistency: - People who’s not prospering neither worsening their standard of life, it is because stagnation is boldly present in their lives, and it is largely due to the fact that they live consistently without making any decision, neither for good nor for bad. The problem with this way of living is that sooner or later someone else will make those decisions they should have made about their future.

- People who worsen their standard of living, although they may not realize it, begin by making not-so-good decisions, which may seem harmless (watching TV for hours a day, eating junk food very often, saying one thing and doing another, among other similar poor or easy choices). These actions over time turn into habits, which inevitably while consistently practiced they become into vices.

- People who strive for improving their standard of life make over time the right choices, -which by the way are the most boring, difficult and hard to undertake-, positive actions, that whenever practiced with consistency become into good habits and finally, into virtues. So what is the secret of success? Deciding on the most difficult path, where certainly it’s way struggling to consistently make the right choices. Over persistence, good choices become into virtues. Another key aspect of success is to understand that fullness is achieved over time through many very small good or positive acts that sometimes may seem so insignificant to us, but by deciding and acting on them with consistency, eventually will take us to the next level of growth and fulfillment in life. There is no magic recipe for success. For a long time ago we have been bombarded with false advertising, which seduces us with success, fullness, happiness and abundance around the corner. Life does not work like that! There’s no miracle-pill for making you lose those extra pounds in record time. The hard truth is, you decided to overweight some time back with your messy eating habits... Change your lifestyle, start changing your eating habits and exercise regularly. It sounds easy to say but I know it isn’t easy to do and consistently sustain good eating habits and regular exercise. Bad habits are so easy to adopt but so hard to live with... Good habits are so hard to adopt but so easy to live with! Let’s get into reason: greatness in life is reached only by those very few people that statistics finds out along the far right of the graph because they have understood "the name of the game"! They have learned to use the paradigm of consistency in their favor, they followed the most difficult path, the path that at first almost no one follows, it’s very hard at first because it demands discipline, focus and effort. They decided for patience over immediacy, they decided for discipline over procrastination, they decided for personal growth over mediocrity. In which stage of the paradigm do you find yourself today? By: Juan Pablo Barrantes

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