Consistency before quality

I only know of one superpower, but it applies to everything: consistency. Do anything consistently for a long time (meaning multiple years), and you’ll be good at it.

Don’t worry about quality until you’ve mastered consistency. Worrying about quality is an insidious flavor of productivity porn; you get the warm fuzzies of making progress even though no progress is being made.

If you’ve ever researched workout routines for weeks without ever working out, or spent more time picking out your next book than reading it, you know what I mean.

10 minutes of pushups, pullups, and squats every day beats the heck out of a well rounded free weights routine that you only do twice a month. Writing something crappy every day beats the heck out of writing once every few months when you have a brilliant insight.

I’m not saying quality doesn’t matter. I’m saying quantity needs to come first. It’s not “quantity over quality.” It’s “quantity, then quality.” Consistency builds excellence, not the other way around.

So the trick is figuring out what you are willing to do consistently. Mark Manson has a great quote about this:

What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Because we all get served one eventually. And your favorite shit sandwich is your competitive advantage. By definition, anything that you’re willing to do (that you enjoy doing) that most people are not willing to do gives you a huge leg-up.

Mark Manson

What are you willing to do consistently? Why aren’t you doing it?

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