Importance of Daily Practice
Be Consistent In Something
I used to get this feeling that I am not really doing anything in life. I’m just passing my days. Have you also felt like this sometime? At one point, I realised how important it is to have a daily practice of something. I asked myself: is there anything in my life which I do everyday to be a better version of myself? One thing? I found, I’ve none!
I’ve tried to learn guitar, but didn’t keep up with it. I tried to wake up early in the morning, but I lost streak. I tried to meditate every day, or do some chanting or Pranayam everyday. But I’m still not a regular. Although, I do make sure that I do all these every other day, even for as little as five minutes. It’s better to do some than to skip it altogether, isn’t it?
I think we all have some experiences like this: we tried to be consistent in something, but lost patience again and again. But I’m learning. And now, I can happily say, at least there is one thing now that I do everyday to enhance myself. And that is writing.
It’s been 56 days in a row now that I’m writing. And the very fact that I’ve not missed a single day is a matter of confidence to me—that I can be consistent. And this has taught me a very important lesson in self-improvement:
Be consistent in your endeavours!
Most people don’t have any regular practice. For most people, it’s an on and off kind of situation. But growth only happens when we give consistent effort. A tree doesn’t grow in a few days! It takes years to have that level of growth. Similarly, if we want to be the best version of our dreams, the level of transformation is huge. It’s not going to happen in a few days. No matter how intensely we do something, if we’re not consistent, we cannot achieve excellence, a level of perfection. It is true in any field. Even in spiritual sadhana. Day in and day out we have to give our all if we want to touch the very peaks of our consciousness. See any Olympic level athlete, how much time and effort they invest in their respective sports.
I’ve realised that consistency is absolutely non-negotiable if we want to see any kind of substantial change. Otherwise, everything is just a dream. It will not become a reality.
There are some extra rewards you get when you become consistent in something. Whatever it is, the results are quite the same.
• Patience: Patience is one of the core virtues of a strong life. If you have patience, you can face every difficulty of life with a calm face. Consistency develops this great virtue in us.
• Self-restraint: You learn to hold yourself. It’s tremendously important to be able to hold ourselves, because it’s very easy to get distracted and carried away by this world. When you consistently practice something, you develop an inner strength which helps you to be firm and deny the world’s temptations. It’s a great strength: that the world is incapable to sweep you away. Only 2hen you have a strong footing, can you determine your own path and create your destiny. So, consistency helps you develop that inner strength.
• Skill: You become good at your practice. As you do something consistently, you start to become more and more skilful in your craft. You become more competent. And if you’re competent in your work, you’ll be less anxious and insecure about your career or job, because you know you can make a living—you have that competence. Real confidence comes out of competence, not from blind belief. And it’s tremendously important to be skilled. While knowledge is absolutely necessary, knowledge can’t do everything for us, we need skill too. Consistency makes us skilled.
• Productivity: You become more productive. It’s obvious, isn’t it? If you are consistent in your work, you produce more. So, at the end of the day, you can say to yourself: “I did so much valuable work today!” Isn’t that a great feeling?—To do something of value. This gives us inspiration. When we see our work is adding value and joy in others’ lives every day, we get more boost to carry on our good work. And that’s why, personally, I get the inspiration to write everyday. When I see so many of you get touched, even in small ways, it gives me a further boost to spread some more light, some more joy and inspiration. Consistency makes us productive.
• A Sense of Achievement: What’s more, consistency gives us this sense of achievement that we really can do so much if we are really determined. When we get this sense of achievement, we become happy, isn’t it? To accomplish something of value everyday, no matter how small the project is, gives us happiness. It may be simply to wake up early everyday, or exercise regularly, or to read something everyday.
I have a personal practice of reading at least one book in a month. I decided I’ll at least finish 12 books in a year. And while I could only finish 10 books in the last year, this year I’m still on. Recently this month, in just four days,I finished The Rainmaker: Miracles and Healing Stories of Om Swami. It was truly an engrossing read. November is ending today, and I’m happy that I’ve already finished one book this month. Actually now I’m reading three books simultaneously. So, it’s been a productive reading month for me.
Small small achievements are better than one-off victories. Those big dreams will take time. But along the way, we can accomplish so much. We just have to be a little determined.
No matter what your interest is—singing, dancing, painting, reading, writing, spiritual practices, or simply going on morning walks everyday or exercising regularly—be consistent in that. If you’re already consistent, you’ll see the points I mentioned above will tally with your experience. Having said that, you don’t have to regret either if you miss your practice on some days. As long as you get back to your practice, you gain benefits. And slowly your life will start to get transformed.