My first post in 2 years is about consistency (rather, inconsistency). How appropriate.
I've been noticing how many people are inconsistent. Not in the sense of being unpredictable, but in the sense of words not matching behavior. People say things all the time that they simply have no intention of honoring. I think of it as a version of lying, where everyone's in on the game.
It's no accident that Don Miguel Ruiz in his famous book, the Four Agreements, made Rule #1, "be impeccable with your word." So frequently is there incongruency between our words and actions. Some selected examples, for your consideration:
Your friend says he'll meet you at 8pm, and shows up at 8:45pm. You're not surprised - it happens ALWAYS.
A business contact offers, unprompted, to make an big introduction for you, and then doesn't. You send a 2nd follow up email, feeling like you're asking for a favor.
Your date from last week says she had a great time, and then stops returning your texts/calls. You play through, more than a few times, in your mind what might have gone wrong.
That commitment you make to yourself (to get fit, or eat healthier, or to take a vacation) -- what happened to it?? Oh, it got pushed because... Life.
Can you see it? Inconsistency is rampant. But that's not even my insight. What's crazy to me is inconsistency is so pervasive that society has normalized it. Fueled by excuses. Every inconsistent act has a dozen justifications. It's a skill we picked up in childhood - to rationalize why we don't do the things we said we would do. Who taught us to do that?? And now we've come to expect it of our friends, lovers, colleagues. We've come accept it from ourselves.
I say, stop normalizing inconsistency... starting from within. If you care about self-actualization (becoming a highest version of yourself), you simply can't afford to live with it. It'll block your development as a person, and as a soul. You can't say things that you don't mean, or that you don't intend to honor, and evolve. If you want to grow, you have to hold yourself accountable.
The good news is that we can all grow in consistency. As with all habits, it takes first 'a noticing' and then continued effort to develop. From what I've learned, we should be gentle with ourselves, and not place outlandish expectations that 'today is the day' I change. That doesn't happen. It's the ongoing noticing and gently course corrections that will move us along. At some (perhaps imperceptible) moment, who you say you are clicks into who you are. What you say, clicks into what you do. The gap between inner and outer world disappears.
The best version of yourself is consistent. Consistency is character. Consistency is spiritual. Your inconsistency, however, has a beautiful purpose to play. If you're willing to face it, it will show you how much room you have to grow.