I've learned the secret to achieving everything you've ever wanted...

And “going with the flow” isn’t it. Flow is good in hair, yoga, and waterways but it will not help you to have success in life. And I’m sure you might be saying “but Alex, we have to be able to change course and be flexible in order to be successful”. Hear me out. 

There’s different definitions of the word “flow”. In positive psychology it is described as moments in time when you are completely absorbed in a challenging but doable task. (Me as I’m writing this email.) It is also described as the action of moving along in a steady stream. But the advice of “just go with the flow” often implies a lack of control, or a sense of complacency.   

So if “go with the flow” isn't it, then what is the key? 
I’m warning you now. . .you might not want to hear this. . .
The key is CONSISTENCY. 
Please don’t roll your eyes at me. I told you you weren’t going to like it. I would have loved to tell you that the key to life is having fun and doing whatever the *bleep* you want. Trust me, that's right up my alley.
But the proof is in the pudding. Do you want to be super fit? Exercise consistently (and stop eating pudding). Do you want to run a successful business? Find the courage to execute your big ideas, which won't happen overnight, so you'll have to find the courage many days in a row. You don’t want cavities? Brush your teeth and floss everyday, twice a day. 
Tedious, I know. 
From the little things to the big things, consistency will get you where you want to go.
You don’t have to be perfect. You are going to make mistakes, have bad days, feel like you’re failing. If you can find a way to show up consistently, your efforts will pay off. (Me to myself, as I’m flossing).
One thing that I have realized about myself over the years is that when I have a really good reason to do something, consistency becomes less of a stumbling block.

I’m able to find a lot of reasons to do hard sh*t by paying attention to the little things. I work out so I can pick my kids up, literally, for as long as they’ll let me (I'm running out of time with my oldest, *cue sobbing*). I clean the kitchen so I can have the “ahhh” feeling of coming home to a clean space. I am consistent (mostly) in enforcing our house rules with my kids so that they understand limits and responsibilities creating less conflict, which leaves more room for the fun stuff. And lastly, I clean out the freezer often enough so we have more room for a variety of popsicles (we all know that having a cold popsicle on a hot day is the bees knees and the ultimate moment of peace).

Finding moments of peace is something that I have worked on a lot. It’s not as easy as it sounds on some days. Our lives are so busy that when little things happen that have ‘moment of peace’ potential, often we move right along without even noticing them. Finding joy and pleasure in the in-betweens requires consistency. If you want to see these moments, you have to open your eyes, look for them, and bring them into the light.

So next time you have to do something that is hard, something that takes consistency to achieve, think about your moments of peace that are made possible by putting in the work. 
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