Brush Daily


We all want progress.

Well, maybe not all of us. Let’s edit that to majority of those of us who are sane enough to abhor stagnation. Growth, success, excellence and mostly achieving our goals in life is what most of us live for. So yes, we feel dejected when we find that life isn’t moving as fast as we fathomed. Generally, most people want to move faster through the different phases of life. We’d like to be paupers today and overnight billionaires tomorrow-if wishes were horses, that is. And it is even worse in the times we live in; we want the quick, fast and easy way to success. Today we are looking to make it and if we find a shortcut, we take it without a second thought.

But in this ‘quick-fast’ conditioned mindset, we have completely forgotten the old adage that ‘nothing comes easy’. Golden values such as hard work, excellence, process, trust, loyalty and diligence have been shoved out of the window. In fact, you are more likely to end up a poor despondent person if you still uphold these values. People get shocked when they find someone who won’t cut corners or try to swindle them off their money. It is expected that people will take the easy way out instead of paying the price to become successful.

I had a conversation sometime ago with a friend who noted, quite rightly, that our generation lacks two values that our parents had-patience and loyalty. “These 20 something year olds have no patience for anything,” he said “they’ll graduate today, then sit in an interview tomorrow and ask for a salary of 100k a month.” I had a fresh graduate, zero experience at some point tell me that they can’t work for anything less than 150k because ‘they know their value and worth’. But even when you give them that job and pay then that 150k a month, they aren’t loyal to anything. They’ll leave you for the next big gig in a heartbeat and not feel a thing. They don’t commit to anything leave alone a work place. Not a relationship, family or a marriage. They’ll hop from one situationship to another and call it love. Back in the day, our fathers worked for 30 or 40 years for one company. Those days are long gone-good luck if you can hold on to an employee for one year. Loyalty is archaic-who needs it?

A value largely underrated today is consistency. Let me write about it today because I think we all need a little dose of this. See, there cannot be success without a certain level of consistency. You can be gifted, educated and well resourced but if you lack the discipline of consistency, you won’t be able to hit certain crescendos of success. Here’s something that we should all understand; true success is build slowly and overtime. Anything that comes to you fast will leave you faster. That’s a principle of life and principles, no matter how spiritual, educated or wealthy you are, cannot be manipulated or changed.

There are certain creatures that understand the value of consistency better than humans. Take for example the ant. Have you ever watched ants closely and seen how they diligently work, consistently gathering tiny bits of food and storing them up for future use. They do this painstakingly without deviating for long periods of time and won’t change their pattern for anything. How do they even do that yet they don’t have the same kind of God given intelligence that humans have?

Have you seen how bees work? The way they are constantly getting in and out of the beehive systematically bringing in different kinds of supplies as they work to manufacture honey? It is a level of diligence and consistency that humans will probably never understand. The most ludicrous thing is that, humans enjoy the honey made by bees yet they do not understand the work that goes into making it. If a section of the bees felt lazy on one of the days or decided to sleep in, would we get the end product? You tell me.

So when I thought of consistency, I remembered a story I either heard or read, I am not sure which one it is. It compared consistency with how we brush our teeth daily for two minutes before we go to bed. I hope we all do that. We don’t think that brushing teeth for two minutes is a major thing and it is certainly not if it is done once a week. But what is it that causes it to make a difference? It is not the two minutes it is the two-minutes-daily. We don’t say that we will brush our teeth for an hour once a month to cover for the daily brushing. No, if we did that we would get cavity, our teeth would start falling off before we get to brush for an hour and the one-hour a month wouldn’t make sense.

What changes anything that we do, the ‘x’ factor, if you like, is not the duration of time or the intensity applied. No, it is the consistency. Whatever it is, whether it is exercise, prayer, reading, healthy eating, a skill we are trying to learn, whatever it is becomes better and has a greater impact if we become deliberate and consistent with it. You’ll never be physically fit if you only hit the gym once a month. You’ll never be a great singer or musician if you practice once a week. You’ll never gain tangible knowledge and be a great speaker if you only read once a month. You’ll never be a good teacher of the word if you read your bible once a week. Heck, you can’t even physically grow if you eat once a month. It is the small intentional bits of consistency that will cause you to become a master of what you do.

I read a book by Malcolm Gladwell titled “Outliers” some time ago. In chapter two of this book he writes about “the 10,000- hour rule”. Malcolm says that anyone who would ever want to master a skill has to develop and practice that skill for at least 10,000 hours before they can be considered “perfect” in it. In one example about violinists, Malcolm says “the students who would end up the best in their class began to practice more than everyone else: six hours a week by age nine, eight hours a week by age twelve, sixteen hours a week by age fourteen, and up and up, until by the age of twenty they were practicing –that is purposefully and single-mindedly playing their instruments with the intent to get better-well over thirty hours a week.” The merely good students totaled about eight thousand hours while future teachers would do just about four thousand hours. The best students totaled at least ten thousand hours. Take a pause and imagine that!

The reason why you are not the best at what you do isn’t because you aren’t gifted enough, it is because you lack consistency- plain and simple. If you take you skill, however lowly it might be, and consistently and deliberately work on it, it’ll become better and you’ll out rightly become a master of it. And what’s sad is that if people who are average decide to become consistent and diligent with the same skills set you have, they’ll become better than you.

I don’t know what your take home from this write up today is but here’s mine: I will consistently write and post a story every week. Sometimes it’ll be short and sweet, sometimes it’ll be long, sometimes it’ll be longer than usual but bottom line, I will post. Why? Consistency! Doesn’t matter whether we read or not-I hope you read though, I will still post. Why don’t you do the same? Find your skill, take charge, hone your craft and consistently work on it. Let’s see how far it gets us ama namna gani my friends?

  1. CONSISTENCY! this word and it’s derivative has been mentioned 17times in this piece if my math is ‘mathing’! That’s the emphasis and my take home.I wish this was an injection for all people especially Gen Zs to receive.

  2. The power of Consistency has being over emphasized.If we only stick to what we knew best.The best would come out of us .we are living in a generation that needs to get a quick fix .we are not patient.I am changed this morning.

  3. True currently patience is something most of us don’t have . we just want things to work fast and dont want to sweat for it yet we aren’t even perfect at what we claim we are “good at” we need to have consistency.

  4. My take home is that I can’t manipulate principles and I need to be consistent.
    I promise to “brush daily”

  5. A great read, great insights. My take home – persistence and loyalty to a given purpose = consistency = success

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