People either love it or they hate it.
Oscar Wilde once said, “Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” Robert Owen stated, “Without consistency there is no moral strength.” Then there’s the old cliche (not sure who said it originally), “The only consistent thing in life is change.”
Me, I’m big on consistency. In all areas of my life. And I don’t claim to maintain it 100% of the time – nor should anybody – but I do make it a priority. And I think wearing a nametag 24-7 (today is day 2,049, by the way) has ingrained this idea of consistency into my brain. So, I always seem to notice little inconsistencies wherever I go.
For example, the other day I was relaxing in the hot tub after swimming laps at the Y. Two young kids splahed each other next to me. The lifeguard came over and asked, “Hey, how old are you guys?”
They didn’t say a word.
“Well, our policy is: you have to be 16 to use the hot tub. Get out.”
As the kids frustratingly dragged themselves out of the hot tub, I noticed a sign on the wall right above the lifeguard’s head which read:
“Nobody under the age of 14 is allowed in the hot tub.”
Hmmm. That’s weird.
I couldn’t let it go. The consistency bug started ticking. So when I dried off, I stopped by the lifeguard stand and asked, “Doesn’t the sign say you need to be 14 to use the hot tub?”
“Um, does it really say that?” the teenager replied.
“Yeah, look – it’s right there.”
“Oh, well, uh, I was told it’s 16.”
“Oh, ok. Well, that’s cool. I was just curious.”
Maybe it’s no big deal. But in my humble opinion, the Y’s pool area either needs to change their sign or change their policy. Because where does it stop? Who’s to say that a small inconsistency like this won’t lead to something bigger?
Another example: I once called a fellow author/speaker to introduce myself and praise her work. I also emailed the same message, just to make sure she got it.
She never called me back. No message. No email. Nada.
You know what the best part was? She was an “expert” on customer service.
Now, it’s possible the email never went through. Or maybe she never got my voicemail. But check THIS out: I know several other people who had the same problem contacting this person.
LESSON LEARNED: consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What was the last inconsistency you noticed?
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Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag