A couple of weeks ago, I had talked about the five things that made me a better learner on a podcast with Mr. Umes Shrestha. I had also written about it on my blog, as a reflection of the podcast.
So I was looking back at the things I said on the podcast and it got me thinking. It turns out that I had missed an important point. I will be discussing the sixth thing that made me a better learner in this article.
The sixth thing is consistency.
The Power of Consistency
“If you can learn to do something consistently, you’ll tap into a much greater superpower than the habit itself: the belief that you’re completely capable of changing your behavior.”
I stole this line from an article I had recently read. This line says a lot about the power of consistency.
Consistency plays a big role not just in learning but in living the life that you want to live and becoming the person you want to become. Doing something every day will make that thing your habit. And not stopping it even after it has become a habit will make it your identity.
If you want to start a new habit or learn a new skill, the best way is to be consistent.
Success is certain if you are consistent. If you want to learn a new skill, practice it consistently. Do it every day. For instance, if you want to learn how to play the piano, you have to play it every day. You will never be good at it if you play it for a week and then stop.
There’s a saying that every professional was once a beginner. If you ask a professional how she became so, the answer will most certainly be because of consistency. She was persistent and she did not give up. It reminds me of this story of Picasso:
A lady once approached Picasso and told him that she was a big fan. She requested him to draw something for her. Picasso quickly drew something on a napkin. He gave it to her and said, “That will be one million dollars.”
“But Mr. Picasso,” the woman said. “It only took you thirty seconds to draw this little masterpiece.”
“My good woman,” Picasso said, “It took me thirty years to draw that masterpiece in thirty seconds.”
“Consistency” in Learning
When I started my blog, I used to write and publish 3-4 articles a month. My writing was not consistent. I used to write whenever I felt inspired or whenever I had a good topic in mind. Even though my writing had improved to some extent, I wasn’t seeing the result I wanted. My progress became horizontal at one point.
In December 2020, I decided that I would start writing more. I wrote and published 2-3 articles a week. My writing was getting better again. Since January 2021, I have been writing every day. It was a big challenge for me, but I knew I had to take the challenge if I wanted to improve my writing. To my surprise, things started getting better and better. Writing was not just a hobby anymore, it became a habit. And as I continued with it, it became my identity. I no longer have to remind myself to write every day. It comes naturally. From January 10 to January 20, I was able to publish 12 articles in two of my blogs.
Currently, I am also doing a 30-days-writing-challenge on Linkedin and Twitter. I have been writing a short inspiring post every day for 30 days. I started this challenge for two reasons. Number one, I wanted to push myself to write more. Number two, I wanted to see whether I would be able to come up with 30 different ideas in 30 days. Today is day 23 and it is going pretty well so far.
Writing every day has also improved my ability to think. I no longer have to struggle for ideas and topics to write about. They come naturally. Writer’s block used to be one of my biggest weaknesses. I used to struggle coming up with words. It rarely happens now.
I have understood that writing is a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. It is like lifting weights. When you lift weights every day the muscles in your body become stronger. I have also become more disciplined. I follow a strict routine every day just to write.
Being consistent has made me a better learner. It has changed who I am as a person.
Do Less But Be Consistent
Doing something consistently does not mean you have to do more. Sometimes, doing more can have a negative impact. For example, if you want to build a habit of meditation, you should start with simple breathing exercises for 5-10 minutes a day. If you try to meditate for one hour on the very first day, you will hate it. Build your progress slowly.
Let’s take another example. Suppose you want to start waking up early in the morning. Don’t aim for 1-2 hours early. Instead, start by waking up 15 minutes early and slowly increasing your waking-up time.
The results will compound if you are consistent. Your progress might seem insignificant today, but its effect compounded over time will show you incredible results. Aim to become one step better every day.
Consistency is the key to success. Learning becomes effective if you are consistent. If you want to change not just your habit, but your identity, you have to be consistent. Being consistent will make you a better learner.
- Want to learn how to play the piano? Play it every day.
- Want to have that dream body? Exercise every day.
- Want to start the habit of meditation? Meditate for 5 minutes every day.
- Want to start reading more books? Read 5 pages every day.
Remember, don’t aim too big too fast. Start slow. Make small changes but stick to them. Eventually, you will be successful.