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Keep it Up! How to Stay on Top of Things

Being consistent in what you do.

Sometimes in life the easy part is actually achieving whatever you wanted. This could the academic qualification you have been aiming for, the job that you always dreamed about, the personal ambition you always wanted to achieve. The challenge lies not in the achievement of these goals and visions that you've set for yourself but whether you are able to maintain this once you've achieved them. Henry Hoskins said: "Enthusiasm finds the opportunities, and energy makes the most of them." To achieve your ambitions, dreams and your wants you need an enthusiastic drive. However once you've achieved them you need energy to keep this going for you. To do this you need to achieve a sense of consistency in what you are doing and stay tune to the rapidly changing environment.

If you buy yourself a brand new car, you will know that it will serve you well. At least a while! However, if you want the car to serve you well for a long time, you have to maintain the car. This would involve regular servicing, changing the battery, maintaining the paintwork etc. If you choose just to drive the car from one point to another and fill it up with petrol when required the car will perform until the parts start breaking down one by one. Then you will have to spend considerable money to rectify the problem. There is this statement which goes "If it ain't broke, don't break it". However, it is important that you understand that it may not be broken but it certainly will break down sooner or later and perhaps at a time you least expect. The only way you can be assured that this does not happen is to be consistent in your maintenance so that you can see a long term benefit.

Likewise, when you achieve a sense of consistency in your life you will realise that you can always be on top of things and able to strive through the uncertainties and challenges that will consistently be thrown at you.

There are several ways you can achieve this.

1. Initiate what you want to do and keep at it

Lots of time people just talk about doing something they always wanted to do. When asked why they have not started or at least commenced the usual flurry of replies includes, "it is not the right time"; "I'm not ready yet"; "I'm not quite sure I can do it although I would love to do it" etc. There is only one truth to achieve whatever you want and that is to initiate the process and just keeping at it. You've probably heard of the expression "One day at a time." This should be your guiding principle. As each day passes and you keep on doing and improving whatever you intended you will see the rewards eventually.

A good analogy is like planting an apple seed. It is hard to imagine that such an inconspicuous seed contains all the genetic code to grow into an apple tree that can bear fruits. However, planting that seed is just the initiation process. You have to tend to it and nurture its growth. This will take time and effort but you do know that eventually with the right environment, nutrients and constant care you will have the apple tree that bears the fruits of your consistency.

2. Develop a sense of self-discipline

True personal freedom comes with great self-discipline. When you exercise self-discipline in whatever you do you will find that you will gravitate towards success. This may seem paradoxical at first, but think about it for a moment. The problems that you are daily confronted with come from your lack of self-discipline. As humans we sometimes have a habit to over-indulge. An example: If you like chocolate you might enjoy the first bar that you eat. However, if you continue to indulge more and more you will realise that it will affect you negatively. You will not get the same kind of pleasure you had when you had the first bar. In economics there is a statement which can describe this effect. It is called "the law of diminishing return."

If you want to keep up what you are doing you have to exercise self-discipline. This will meant that you might have to delay your personal gratification if you want to achieve your ultimate goals. By exercising self-discipline you will also come to realize that you can enjoy whatever you want more effectively and this will make you a confident and self-reliant individual.

3. Learn to see things from different perspectives

When you do certain things consistently and regularly there is a tendency that it becomes a chore and boredom starts setting in. In your job, depending how long you've been working the original enthusiasm that you had for the job might start to wane. This is when some people might want to look for a career change or a new relationship or basically some thing different to do. This might not be all that bad. However, before you decide to take the plunge into the new unknown, ask yourself are you doing this because there is nothing else new for you to do in your current station in life or is it because whatever you are doing has simply become plain mundane. If your answer is yes to both questions what makes you so sure that whatever new venture that you seek is going to give you the kind of motivation and inspiration that you seek? Could it be possible that you might just be jumping into a bigger fire?

When you learn to look at things from different perspective you might see new possibilities that you never knew existed. Consider this as some sort of re-packaging. The product is the same, but sometimes the re-packaging might give it a new lease of life and new possibilities. That is what you need to do in your life. Whether it is your work or personal life, make it a habit to see what else you can do to make it more interesting. You might have heard of the expression "there is nothing new under the sun". There is some truth in this. It is all about how you want to view your life.

You can learn to see things in new perspective by looking beyond what you are doing. Always keep asking yourself questions like what else can I do with what I am doing already? Are there other areas that I can exploit? Can I make what I'm already doing more interesting? You will be amaze when you start asking these questions how new ideas with pop into your head and give you new perspectives. Take the cue from Charles F. Kettering who said: "The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress".

4. Learn, Unlearn and Relearn

There is an ancient Indian saying: "What you learn is handful, what you never learnt is as large as the universe." Being consistent and keeping it up is one thing, it is quite another if you are holding on to obsolete knowledge when the world has moved on. This does not mean that you compromise your principles or values. What you need to do is to take stock of what you already know and see what else you need to know and improve your knowledge base. This will require of you to engage yourself to active learning. You need to create an environment such that you could spend part of your life learning something new. This is only part of the equation. Remember to bring in new knowledge you need to unlearn the old knowledge. This is when you renew yourself and maintain your level of motivation.

5. Manage your Future

Peter Drucker said: "Manage your Future or someone else will." You are in-charge. Period. If you do not take your future into your own hand than you will become obsolete and disappear. To be consistent in your life and maintain your level of personal success would mean that you learn to manage your future. Naturally no one knows what the future beholds. You may be facing a greater challenge than you ever anticipated. Unforeseen events and catastrophe might strike you. Rather than worrying about it you should keep a powerful vision of what you want your future to be and when these eventualities does come you will learn to ride the waves of uncertainty and keep it up.

About the Author: Daniel Theyagu has been a training consultant for 20 years and has designed and conducted training for more than 200 companies in different industries both locally and internationally. He runs his own consultancy firm Lateral Solutions Consultancy and is an adjunct trainer with Nanyang Technological University - Centre for Continuing Education. To engage his services he can be contacted via email at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit his webpage at: Dr Daniel Theyagu is a corporate trainer and seminar leader who has designed and conducted competency-based training for more than 150 organizations. He is based in Singapore. Article Source:

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