"Top performers in every field--athletes, musicians, CEOs, artists--are all more consistent than their peers," writes James Clear, an author and speaker who studies the habits of successful people. "They show up and deliver day after day while everyone else gets bogged down with the urgencies of daily life and fights a constant battle between procrastination and motivation."
And I can guarantee that every one of us here have been bogged down with the urgencies of daily life and neglected our parenting responsibilities for a little bit. I’ve spoke about how I’ve seen it at sports practices, I’ve wrote about how I find myself zoning out when my kids recites what he ate for lunch to me – of which I packed for him.
So why do I keep bringing up habits, and the slow path to parenting success instead of parenting hacks?
Well, I’m saying it’s hard. And that’s precisely why I keep bringing it up. Doing the hard things matter. And doing them more consistently, makes you a superstar.
The hard thing here is showing up, day after day. Reading to your child is a good example. My wife and I have made it a habit since they were tiny to read to them at bedtime. The main benefit here is the consistency and it’s only enabled because that’s just what we do. Not because we’re motivated to read children’s books each night.
And does it pay off? Well, it can pay off in ways that you may not even know right now.
I remember a story that Carson Daly told on air one time. He told about how he would hear his step-father get up for work at 5am every morning and get ready and leave the house and not return until late. And this consistent drive and desire to provide for his family instilled a work ethic in Carson that I’m going to assume exists to this day. You don’t get to stay in Hollywood by being slacker or one hit wonder then fall behind.
I’m sure there are other angles to this story – and some that could be negative. We all feel some amount of guilt about being away from our kids, but the point is that the consistency of what you do will affect what you teach your children. Your actions speak louder than your words. So decide what to be, and go be it, and then do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next.