Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Consistency is the Ultimate Shortcut

Why do I wear a nametag everyday?

Because I’m obsessed with consistency.

It’s just how I’m wired.

Since I was young, routine and symmetry and structure have been the organizing principles of my life. For me, if repetition and continuity aren’t the answers, I rephrase the question.

But like most things in life, our temperament is both an asset and a liability.

What we’re good at, we’re bad at.

On one hand, I’m hypersensitive about anything that offends my sense of order. I’m compulsive about looking for recurring cycles of activity in my surroundings. I’m regimented about deepening my pattern reserves on a daily basis. And I’m relentless about twisting myself into a psychological pretzel trying to compartmentalize the world around me.

Naturally, this frustrates the people in my life. Myself included.

But, it’s who I am. It’s how I work. And we can’t fight natural inclination. We can only be who we already are.

On the positive side, my obsession with consistency has fortified my ability to detect, document and exploit patterns. And in the realm of business and innovation and art, patterning is everything.

It’s where original thought is born.
It’s where edge comes from.
It’s where success hides out.

And it’s the shortest distance to the finish line.

Are you a hunter and gatherer of patterns?