I had a life changing epiphany the other day, and I thought I would share…
I was out running sprints on the beach, mostly just trying not to injure myself. It had been a while since I’d done any real rigorous exercise, so a lot of huffing and puffing, side cramps, and right knee throbbing ensued.
I thought to myself… this is torture. But if I can be consistent, if I can keep it up, keep doing this four or five days a week for…well…forever (okay, at least a month), I’ll be in amazing shape. Not only will I get stronger, my heart happier, my energy higher, my vitality at record levels; I’ll also be able to run further, faster, and for a longer duration.
I just have to be consistent.
Consistency in All Things
My mind started to wander, as usual. It dawned on me how consistency is a common theme with regard to success at pretty much anything, from the simplest of things to the most complex.
As a copywriter and online marketer by day, one of the big things we propagate is consistent blogging. We say something like, “If you (the business owner) don’t publish a blog post at least once a week, your readers will disappear.” Consistent blogging easily becomes monotonous and tiresome, with slow, almost imperceptible return. But if you don’t do it, your online audience will disappear, which means your potential online customers will disappear. And your business will miss out on a world of opportunity.
If you’re consistent, however, no worries.
I then thought about earning money. You have a job, you get paid. So it goes. Most of us have bills to pay and mouths to feed, so most of us have to work. I work most days to pay rent and afford groceries, and I earn a paycheck every two weeks. To keep that paycheck coming is a very simple equation: I do my job…
Next, my mind wandered to my boyfriend. He got his M.D. this year in May. What did it take for him to become a doctor? You would be appalled if you knew. And if you do know, then you share my flabbergastedness. Medical school is an insane commitment requiring thousands upon thousands of hours (by my calculations, well over 10,000 hours, for those familiar with Malcolm Gladwell). But he trudged through it, like a sleep-deprived zombie. And in the end, he was rewarded with an M.D. …He is incredibly intelligent, ambitious, and Type A.
But if not for his consistency, he would not be a doctor.
Consistency and Screenwriting Success
So how does this relate to screenwriting? Or any other pie in the sky dream, be it writing, acting, directing, singing, producing, etc?
The BIG SECRET is that these dreams may not be so pie in the sky after all if you simply apply consistency.
But here’s the rub—this is easier said than done. Failure happens, times get tough.
It’s so hard to persist and so easy to give up on our dreams that we often let go of them prematurely. Before we’ve allowed ourselves to grow stronger, go further, and get there faster. We allow the monotony to distract us and the demands of rent to derail us before we ever put in the thousands upon thousands of hours required for a dream to reach fruition.
All endeavors require consistency to reach a favorable outcome. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got talent, if you’re a genius, or if you wrote the most amazing screenplay that one time. Us lay folk who lack the fortunes of nepotism MUST BE CONSISTENT.
Consistently pursuing your dream may be painful and torturous at times, but it ultimately delivers strength, happiness, and vitality.
It certainly becomes tiresome, often with slow, nearly imperceptible returns. But eventually, the returns do come. And they open up a world of opportunity.
There may be days when you despise the job your dream has become and you’re too sleep deprived to put in even one more hour. But keep the simple equation in mind:
Consistency = Reward.
“Follow your dream” sounds flighty and cliché, but it becomes a very real, very tangible thing when you apply consistency. The pursuit is uphill almost the entire way, but the simplest, plainest, hardest truth of all is that you must keep climbing in order to reach the top. You must consistently follow your dream.