By Toby Moore
For Capital Region Independent Media
When you ask schoolchildren what they aspire to be when they grow up, their minds dart to specific professions.
One might dream of being a police officer, while another envisions standing at the head of a classroom as a teacher. Some might look to the skies and wish to become pilots, while others see themselves as successful businesspeople.
It’s a natural inclination to visualize a career path at that age. Yet, imagine the surprise if, instead of a job title, one child earnestly declared, “When I grow up, I want to be consistent!”
Habits wield significant influence over our lives. From a young age, sports and physical activity were my passion, from being on the swim team to chasing balls on the soccer field to mastering forms in karate. My love for exercise saw me through triathlons and marathons well into my post-collegiate years.
Even today, if I don’t exercise, it makes me feel off. I at least need to go for a long walk.
My consistency in exercise inadvertently gave birth to a misconception about nutrition. While my dedication to physical activity was commendable and built positive reinforcement loops, my dietary habits developed in the opposite direction, negating the positive effects of my workouts.
Years of reinforcing this belief built a narrative that exercise could compensate for any dietary choices. I theorized that the hours spent in the gym granted me a free pass in the kitchen. “I’ve earned this,” I’d tell myself, making post-workout detours to get a bucket of ice cream.
It began to catch up with me. As the saying goes, “You can’t outrun the fork!”
Consistency is a curious force. Whether applied positively or negatively, its effects compound, slowly solidifying our beliefs, habits and, ultimately, our identities.
I love to encourage people to follow their dreams and live the life they’ve always dreamed of living. If you follow your dreams and stay consistent, you will accomplish them.
John Maxwell, a renowned leadership expert, underscores the profound influence of consistency through an anecdote about his father. His father once said, “John, the beauty of aging is that I find myself loving people more and more!” John candidly responded, “Dad, that’s not necessarily true. There are many who, with age, grow more cynical and distant from others.”
His father’s increasing love for people wasn’t merely a byproduct of age; it was a culmination of a lifetime habit. From his youth, his father deliberately chose to love and connect with people. And like a muscle trained over the years, this habit of love only grew more robust and more pronounced.
In professional pursuits, it’s not uncommon to find ourselves so fixated on our goals that we sometimes forget the importance of supporting and uplifting others by helping them get what they want out of life.
Writer and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar was fond of saying, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want.”
Similarly, as I allowed unhealthy eating habits despite my fitness dedication, professionals can sometimes become so engrossed in their goals that they overlook aiding others, sometimes overshadowing their overall success.
Ziglar emphasized a broader view of success, suggesting that some dreams might go unrealized if you aren’t helping others accomplish their goals. As Ziglar hinted, true success isn’t just about achieving our goals, it’s about extending a hand and lifting others as we climb.
Rarely will someone reach their goals without the help of others, and just as you need the help of others to accomplish your vision, they need your help to accomplish theirs.
In the realm of professional growth, consistency is critical. However, the fusion of consistent effort and consistency in helping others crafts a legacy.
Work hard, stay consistent and remain focused; you’ll pave the way to your aspirations. Incorporate the consistency of aiding others in achieving their desires, and you’ll elevate your journey and leave a trail of shared successes and mutual triumphs.
After all, a journey shared with others, where we not only chase our dreams but also facilitate the dreams of those around us, is the most rewarding pursuit of all.
Toby Moore is a columnist, the star of Emmy-nominated “A Separate Peace,” and the CEO of Cubestream Inc.