As I sat outside enjoying my morning coffee and reading the news, the calm and normalcy of my day was interrupted by several people walking in my direction. They were easy enough to notice, as they were wearing hats showing who they supported, and they had big buttons pinned to their jacket making it very clear whose side they were on. And if that wasn’t enough, they marched down the street shouting at all those who they believed were against them.
Thinking that the commotion would pass, and I could get on with a quiet cup of coffee and some reading time, things only became more interesting. Coming from the opposite direction was another group of people wearing hats and buttons, even carrying flags and pennants that made it clear that they were in complete opposition of the first group.
As I sized up the situation, it became abundantly clear that their paths would collide right in front of me. A few people seated at the other tables on the patio became a little anxious. Some seemed ready to jump in and pick a side. Looking at what both groups represented, I realized that I didn’t support either one. I didn’t have a dog in this hunt, as some might say.
As one group drew closer from my right, I could hear the taunting getting louder. As the other group approached from my left, the name-calling started. It appeared that things were going to get ugly and get ugly fast. Those that were a little anxious made the move back inside the coffee shop. And those customers who just a few minutes earlier were sitting quietly sipping on coffee began getting fired up and moved closer to the oncoming fray. With limited options, I was forced to decide. I secured my coffee with one hand, pocketed my phone with the other, and prepared to escape…
“I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and lows.”Drew Barrymore
There have been some very famous people who have provided us with quotes about consistency. Some will argue that consistency will compromise creativity, while others believe that consistency plays a vital role in the achievement of success for individuals and teams alike.
For those seeking a little more peace and normalcy, it would be nice to experience the soft currents of the ocean. This is in direct opposition to the desire for constant turbulent seas and thunderous crashing of the waves. And with the ever-present tumult of life coming at us from every direction, like Drew Barrymore, I believe more and more of us are in search of consistency as opposed to the extreme and often volatile highs and lows.
Trying to keep pace in an often chaotic race can be exhausting as we often hear contradictory statements and see inconsistent actions from those in a leadership role or position of trust. As we try and make sense of what we hear and see, what to do and how to do it, or what we can do and what we can’t do, it all leaves us longing for some level of consistency in the messaging we receive…