This summer, I taught my son to use the lawn mower and cut our grass. I thought it was going to be the happiest day of my life since I despise doing it myself, but it actually created more problems than it solved.
Finally, while going over it for what seemed like the thousandth time, I made the point that the straighter he could mow, the straighter he could mow. If he could just get his first line straight and then stay consistent, every line thereafter would be straight. This turned out to be true, the straighter he mowed, the straighter he mowed.
I have found this to be tremendously true in trying to learn or accomplish anything new. If I can learn the correct way of doing something and then stay consistent with it, eventually, I can do it well.
The problem, it seems, comes in the consistent part. Just as it’s hard to consistently push the mower against the straight line Jack just cut, it’s hard to show up and consistently do the important jobs and small things that make for a great career.
This blog is a great example of that. Some days I have a lot of great things to say and I feel like what I’m writing is really adding value. Other times, it feels like I’m forcing it and might be stretching the value a little too thin. In those moments, I write anyway. I do it because I know two things. 1. If I waited until it came easily, I would have about two posts to be really proud of, and 2. Consistency will trump talent because it’s the showing up and putting in the work that builds the skill.
That’s why I know that every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I’m going to post to this blog. I know that every Tuesday, a video will go up and a newsletter and LinkedIn post will go out on Thursday. Not every piece of content is great, but by being consistent, and actually caring about what it is that I’m putting out, I’m building the skill that will allow me to do it great eventually.
Consistency will trump talent because it’s the showing up and putting in the work that builds the skill.
By the end of the summer, my lawn looked as if a professional was doing it. Jack had figured out that getting the whole yard to look right was nothing more than one consistent cut after another. He kept showing up and he got really good at it.
If there’s a skill or a subject that you’re trying to master, I’d suggest you give it a try and just show up and do the work, because eventually, the straighter you mow, the straighter you’ll mow.