1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
There is typically a lot of excitement at the beginning of a journey.
The anticipation of the adventure, the possibilities of the significance and change it will
bring. The completion of the journey always brings intense feelings; jubilation for winning a championship, meeting a goal, getting a bonus at work, mourning the passing of a loved one.
Yet the middle rarely yields excitement or a sense of accomplishment. Maybe that is why there are so many cliches to inspire someone to trudge through. Put one foot in front of the other, one step at a time, just keep swimming, you have to grind it out, repetition-repetition-repetition, put in the work, and enjoy the journey. They are all encouraging us to be consistent. To show up, do the thing that seems to be unpleasant or arduous.
While consistency isn’t a sexy topic it is arguably the most important part of making an impact on the outcome of the journey. Often motivation can push one forward which is why there are so many cliches’. But waiting to be inspired will become a grind itself, or delay and ultimately stop the journey altogether. So how does one find the ability to show up consistently and grind through the journey?
To show up consistently a mind shift needs to take place.
“It’s difficult to remain engaged in anything if you have not found a way to value and appreciate the process” John Maxwell in The 15 Laws: The Law of Consistency. Move from willing yourself to complete a task to being driven by what completing the task achieves.
I have hated doing the dishes most of my life. But it recently occurred to me that having clean dishes honors the dishes. For they provided a means for me to have substance. As I clean the dishes I see the remnants of the wonderful food that was prepared in them. It brings thoughts of joy for the one who cared enough for our family to make the food we would enjoy. It brings anticipation for what will soon fill the dish again. I have found value and appreciation for cleaning dishes.
A way to find value and appreciation for the journey is to use a vision statement.
A statement about who you are and what you value. Put it in a place it will be seen often and recite it several times throughout the day. Make it the first thing you think about when you wake up. Reflect on it at times when there are redundant tasks. You will begin to live the vision. Choices will become autonomous because you will be driven to fulfill your vision for your life.
Currently, I have my vision statement on my phone's lock screen. “I am a beloved son of God, I am a royal prince, I have been given the power and ability to change the world around me. I will live a Christ-centered life. I will lead my family, and influence men to rise up and do the same.” Every time I go to use my phone I have to see it. I pause and read it before I unlock my phone. It is very hard to zone out and just go through the motions of life when consistently reminded of what you value and appreciate.
Go, and outlive your limits!