When we left Australia a little over two years ago, we left behind many friends. One of them imparted a piece of wisdom I’ve come back over and over:
Don’t worry about our friendship. Friendship is not about intensity, but rather consistency.
His point was that friendships are less about the grand gestures and more about staying in touch. Even if it is just once a year for a birthday note. A quick photo to share an experience or a message to share a thought.
This turned out to be not just excellent advice on friendship, but also life in general. The more I thought about it, the more instances I found where this simple rule applies:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day, every day is way more effective than being extra diligent only the week before the dentist appointment.
- Spending time with your children every day will build a stronger relationship than neglecting your children throughout the week and then trying to make up for it for an afternoon of quality time over the weekend.
- Exercising and eating healthy throughout the year on a regular basis will leave you healthier than looking for the fastest way to loose weight and the best program to build muscle just before your beach vacation.
The list can go on and on. James Clear and Angela Duckworth have written whole books around the concept. The general thesis is: Rather than doing something with great intensity, but inconsistently, try to form a habit and do something with great consistency. It is very simple – just not easy.