So far we’ve had A is for Attitude and B is for Behaviour and now I would like to share what I would consider to be an equally critical element of success, C is for Consistency.

A question that I often like to ask is who would you rather be, Dexy’s Midnight Runners or the Beatles?  Who are Dexy’s Midnight Runners?  They are the one hit wonders who gave us the classic song, “Come on Eileen.”  If you’re still none the wiser, look them up on YouTube, it’s one of the most memorable songs of all time with one of the dodgiest videos ever. 

Of course, you’ve all heard of the Beatles and their fame is renowned because they were able so sustain their achievements over a period of time, not just once.

If you want to be successful in life, you need to find a way to ensure that you can sustain your mind-set and a set of actions over a long period of time.

What are some of the keys to maintaining a consistent level of performance? 

Resilience:  You can pretty much guarantee that at some stage, something will go wrong that will have the potential to trip you up from meeting your goals.  One of the keys to success is to build up sufficient resilience to ensure that your response to such events is in proportion to the obstacle that has been placed in your path.

I love this quote from Warren Buffet about how he responds to set-backs, “You learn that a temporary defeat is not a permanent one. In the end, it can be an opportunity.”

If a genuine tragedy occurs in your life, then it is appropriate to take time out to get through the challenge in a healthy way.  In fact I’m suspicious of people who experience bona fide tragedies and don’t work through their grief. 

However, there are times when people respond excessively to minute problems, side-tracking them from their target.  It’s almost as if they are waiting for an excuse to give up on their dreams.

When Lance Armstrong was told that he had cancer, he took time out to get his health right, then set about becoming the greatest long distance cyclist of all time, winning seven Tours de France.  He could have used his predicament as an excuse for mediocrity, but instead he resolved himself to become a success.

Persistence:  One of the key essences of greatness is not the absence of difficulty, but the ability to work through difficult times.  

When Thomas Edison was working trying to invent the light bulb, he was told by his (not very inspirational) friends that he had failed 900 times.  His response? “No, I’ve just found 900 ways not to invent the light bulb.” 

He knew that success only comes through persistence.  If you feel like giving up, just stop and think.  Perhaps you are on the brink of a breakthrough.  If something is worth doing, then it’s probably going to be hard.  Don’t be put off by this, work through it and get the success that you deserve.

Focus: People aren’t successful because of one event, they are successful because they can maintain focus on their goals over the long haul.  People like Nelson Mandela, Michael Jordan, Mother Teresa and Elton John were able to find a way to consistently keep going and not rest on the laurels of their past successes. 

We’ve seen that having the right attitude and making sure that you set meaningful goals to act on are essential to being successful, but it’s also critical to your success that you can sustain such efforts over the long haul.  Aim for consistency in your efforts and you dramatically increase your chances of success.

This ABC of Success is no guarantee of fame and fortune.  Life is much too complicated for that, but if you apply these principles in any aspect of your life, your career, relationships, parenting or anything else that’s important to you, then you will be maximising your opportunity to be successful.

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