"Great things are not done by impulse, but a series of small things brought together." – Vincent Van Gogh
I remember attempting to get into shape for my college basketball season the week before conditioning started. I played a lot of basketball and lifted weights, but never did any running like I knew we were about to do.
So on Monday, the week before basketball started, I would go to the indoor track and run a mile as fast as I could. I remember it being slow, boring and dreadful. As a change of direction athlete my entire life, there was nothing worse to me than running in a circle or straight line for anything over 4 seconds.
Tuesday, I would repeat the dread and Wednesday I would be on the treadmill attempting to run as far as I could for 20 minutes. Thursday, I was done. My teammates, who didn't even try to get in shape said to me, "You're not going to get in shape in a week, you need to save all the energy you have for next week."
They were right. You can't get in shape for college-level basketball conditioning in one week. Just like you can't go to the gym 5 hours and change your body or read one book and become an expert.
There is a difference between intensity and consistency. Simon Sinek said, "Intensity is like going to the dentist twice a year, but if that's what you do all your teeth will fall out. You have to brush your teeth for 2 minutes in the morning and 2 minutes in the evening every single day. Now the question is, what does brushing your teeth for two minutes actually do? The answer is nothing! Unless you do it every morning and evening of every day. And it's much harder to measure, Right? But we no 100% that it matters and it works. I know 100% if you workout every day it works. I know 100% if you eat healthy every day you'll be a healthier person. The problem is I don't know when!"
We easily get caught up in acts of intensity. They're fun, exciting; they give us hope that we're going to accomplish a goal. But what matters is consistency.
Whatever goal you are trying to accomplish, discover the ways to act with consistency. Throw a bout of intensity in every now and then to keep things fresh and measure progress. But remember, it's the little things that by themselves, actually do nothing that makes the greatest differences.