Possibly the most underrated quality in today’s world is faithfulness. We tend to under-appreciate those who remain most consistent, simply for virtue of the fact that they are always there.

They’re the people who rock up when no one else does.

They’re the people who you don’t have to chase. They’re the people who you just get used to relying on. They’re low maintenance, frequently high capacity with a lot to offer and often go unnoticed.

On the flip side, those who attract drama tend to grab all of the attention of those around them. Your world and your workplace is full of them.

They require constant input, affirmation and are a little volatile.

When they’re good, they’re the life and soul of the party, but when the drama is kicking off, they easily drain your life force.

It looks like this is all about personality and gifting on the face of it but when you dig deeper, it seems that this is more of a character issue. Some people are just low maintenance people. They don’t feel the need to draw attention to themselves and they just get on with the job at hand.

One thing is for certain; the world needs more low maintenance people.

Why does this matter? Because consistency is a superpower, not just in your relational world but in everything you do. Those who learn how to do well in the everyday tend to perform better all round.

When you take ownership of the small things, you become more responsible and attract more responsibility. Not into responsibility?

Well the things we generally esteem for such as influence, power, resource etc all require responsibility.

It’s very necessary for living a meaningful life.

Here are seven thoughts, both fun and serious, that I’ve been having about creating consistency recently.

1) Water your plants

This is just therapeutic for me right now. As I write this, I glance over at a Yucca plant that I neglected to water for a few weeks and is still recovering. Plants require water on a regular basis.

It’s no good to drown them from time to time to make up for lost time but it’s the regular intake that makes them healthy.

This thought extrapolates to so many areas of our home from maintenance, cleanliness and organisation.

Your home tends to reflect what’s going on in your soul. It is under your duty of care and is often missed.

2) Move your body

I was recently feeling a little guilty about my lack of present exercise but then I realised that my commute includes a two mile walk each week day.

We often feel like personal fitness has to be of the greatest intensity and so we try and hit the gym for an extended session with overarching enthusiasm until we become too busy again.

But it’s much better to simply move every day.

Do something small and start to build habits whether press ups at lunch or including more walking in your day. Similarly with diet, don’t try to make crazy changes but small, lasting adjustments.

3) Drop some encouragement

Although we don’t treat people as commodities, it’s also true that every person has a relational bank. Invest in the bank of friendship with kindness, quality time, generosity and so on and you’ll find there is a significant deposit to withdraw upon in times of need.

We often think about friendship most when we need it but what about building a habit of nurturing healthy relationships by creating meaningful interactions in your everyday.

How much effort does it really take to message 2-3 people each day to thank them for something they did, celebrate a quality in them or let them know you are praying for them (make sure you are).

Invest in people and you’ll find yourself surrounded by a healthy network of growing relationships.

Isolation comes all too easily thanks to a culture that tells us to focus on self by pursuing our dreams and advancing our career. These are all things I’m interested in of course but not at the expense of strong relational investment.

4) Share on social media

I came to realise a number of months ago that I was consuming social media without doing much creation.

Scrolling is the new smoking they say and it’s often the path of least resistance to endlessly inhale the thoughts of others.

Thus began a journey; a decision to create over consume.

But we human beings are so precious about what we create. The fear of others and the need for validation can stop us from doing anything.

But then what’s the point? You have something unique to share with the world.

Not everyone is supposed to be a social media guru. But equally, no one is supposed just to be a consumer.

There’s something healthy about sharing – it becomes life giving in itself as the focus changes from self to others.

5) Nourish your soul

It wouldn’t be quite right to write this post without some mention of the importance of spiritual community. For those on the search for truth, being surrounded and rubbing shoulders with others on that journey is crucial.

I don’t buy into this idea of a private faith or belief system. If we have discovered truth or meaning then surely we have a responsibility to share it with the world.

Church for me is that opportunity for me to lift others but also be lifted by others.

For followers of Christ, those disconnected from the church are doing so in risk of their soul. Because all of us need spiritual community.

6) Master the follow up

This one is more practical. Perhaps it’s an intrinsically British quality but in the world of work, deadlines and responsibilities we have a leaning towards the passive aggressive.

That is, if someone lets us down in some way or doesn’t get back to us then we tend to dwell upon it furiously instead of initiating any actual engagement with the person.

I’m learning more and more that we simply live in a busy world where people are juggling multiple hats. Looking at my own life feels exactly like that and I know that sometimes it’s difficult to switch gears.

The follow up is all about gently reconnecting and restarting that conversation. But don’t leave it for months at a time.

Practice the art of regularly reaching out to those who don’t get back to you. They’ll actually appreciate it if done kindly.

7) Declutter your heart

Life is busy and full of dramas that would like to clog up our hearts. Offence is taken, disappointment happens and errors occur.

Without any deliberation, these things begin to weigh upon us and gradually restrict us.

Cynicism, bitterness, unforgiveness and self-pity are all awful conditions but they begin as small wounds that were never properly cleaned.

The regular decluttering and processing of emotion and experience is necessary to a healthy heart and life of freedom.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I’d love to hear what areas you’re focusing on in your life. Drop a comment below.

You may also like these posts

Happiness makes for a cruel master

Comfort has become something of a secular god in recent times. Its perhaps better marketed twin, happiness, is frequently stated (by people who I often admire) as the ultimate goal in life. Find your passion, find what makes you happy and go make your dreams happen etc.

But I do find this line of thinking to be somewhat limiting. Because all of us know deep down that happiness is forever fleeting and is so often here one moment and gone in the next.

Read More

The problem with big data

Today the world is full of statistics, trends, analyses and conclusions. Now more than ever we are being bombarded with data around the current health crisis such as infections, death rates, economic impact and recession.

One thing has become clear though, that even accurate data can be bent out of shape through the context it is given. It’s not just what is being presented but what is not being presented that taints the claims of truth being made.

Read More

The hidden dangers of living for likes

If you’ve ever used social media then you’ll be all too familiar with the sense of awesomeness that comes when you absolutely boss an Instagram post and the likes come flooding in. Maybe it’s just me but even the best of us find it hard to totally disconnect the appreciation and approval of others to the hardwiring of our soul.

Read More