In a world full of competition and a surplus of ideas that are often unoriginal, it is difficult to stand out from the crowd and define yourself as unique. It often seems like “it’s been done before” is an inevitability that plagues entrepreneurs, dreamers, or idealists. Especially since social media has made everyone a makeshift photographer, a trendsetter, a blogger, an influencer, and a muse, it is tough to have your own brand.
So, what can potentially set you apart from others? How can you rise above the noise and be seen? Be your own brand – unapologetically?
This is what will make you the last one standing.
What today’s world lacks is focus, discipline, consistency – drive. While many influencers are trying out different passions and are full of creative ideas that could reach the stars, what can potentially set you apart from the oversaturation of dreamers is not only to simply do. But to keep doing. No matter the circumstances or if different trends pick up. Stay consistent.
Want to write a novel? Stay consistent. Rather than writing 100 pages one day, and then skipping a week because you’re burnt out – write ten pages a day. Or five. Or one. Some writers say to just write a single word a day – set the bar low but be consistent.
Want to run a marathon? Stay consistent in your training. Start by running a few meters, then half a mile, then a mile. But run every single day.
Want to run a business? Stay consistent. Taking your idea to the next level means staying true to its course from beginning to end, without skipping a beat. Without listening to the noise of “but” and “if” and “how comes” that come your way through opinions from well-wishers, critics, or self-doubt. Ignore the noise, and stay consistent.
And you will be the last one standing.
At the beginning of every dream, there are many people with you at the start. As you keep running and keep going your course, the people in your journey will lessen and lessen and lessen. It is one thing to dream – it is another thing to stick to the course, no matter the storms. Keep running – don’t lose heart or motivation. Keep running – and you will be the last one standing. The one to beat the odds. That, my friend, is what will set you apart.
Meet Saeid Hussai from Egypt. He is a prime example of consistency. He has been making beautiful handmade tiles in Egypt for over 50 years – and is the last one standing. While many of his competitors moved on to other tiles and modern art forms, Saeid has been consistent in his tile-making – though it takes time and requires a lot of patience. He does not want the art of tile-making to die down, which is why he intends to make it a tradition that he will keep alive for generations to come through his apprenticeship program.
Motivated to begin your road to staying consistent but don’t know how? Don’t sweat it. Here are some great tips for you:
- Keep your eyes on your “why?”
Realize why exactly you’re pursuing your dream. And don’t let it go – especially those moments that you want to quit. If you’re saving and are consistent in saving – have a vision as to why you’re saving. Is there a house at the end of the road? A new car? Your kids’ tuition paid off? If you’re trying to stay consistent in working out every day – what is your why? Is it to build muscle? Lose weight? Be healthy? Whatever it is – don’t lose sight of the why.
- Pick your battle.
Choose ONE battle to fight at a time rather than trying to conquer many battles at once. We aren’t built to overstretch ourselves and use the majority of our energy in different projects at once. That is a recipe for getting burnt out and eventually quitting. Stick to ONE project. But stick to it.
- Scheduling, scheduling, scheduling
“Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities.” Stephen Covey
Build your life around your priorities, rather than building your priorities around your life.
- Recognize small gains and losses.
In your journey, there will be many small accomplishments. Celebrate them. And there will be small losses. Note them, reflect on them. And use the ups and downs as motivation to keep going.
- Ignore your inner doubts
You will absolutely hear yourself say “I don’t feel like it today” many, many times during your journey. Ignore it. Wipe it out. Keep going – that is what will make you the last one standing.
- Get back up
If you missed a day or two in your journey, do not beat yourself up. Do not give up. Rise back up. Keep going. Don’t lose sight of your goal – keep running.
Consistency is about making yourself a priority. Going back to the basics and sticking with what you know works will help make you rise above the rest. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead but go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Be a trailblazer, a trendsetter, a dreamer. But most importantly, be a doer. Stay consistent in your dreams and you can achieve anything.
Commit yourself to yourself. And you will do wonders.