To put it mildly, the New York Yankees are not my favorite baseball team. My dislike for them goes back to the days that the Milwaukee Brewers were members with them of the American League. Their dominance, buy-a-championship ways, and cockiness have only fueled my fire.
I was certainly not the first to stand up and cheer when Derek Jeter recently reached the 3000 hit milestone. But I was intrigued by an article in the Wall Street Journal that shared a secret of his hitting success.
It came out of the mouth of Tampa Bay Rays manager, Joe Maddon. What he saw in Derek Jeter over all these years was:
“Guys always want to change guys, or if they struggle a little bit, they say, ‘Let’s change his stance, let’s try this, let’s try that.’ The really good guys look the same out of high school as they do 15 years later. And that’s pretty cool,” the Rays manager said.
Apparently Jeter’s stance looks the same now as it did when he was scouted by Major League scouts when he was in high school. Already then he was building a foundational swing that, with consistency, would make him a hall of fame hitter. Though there was temptation all along the way to tweak and change his stance or his swing, Jeter always went back with consistency to the foundation he had built.
Even in creativity, there is something to be said for consistency. Certain talents, traits, and God-given gifts build the foundation for art and creativity that is distinct and unique only to you. Step too far outside your own box or comfort zone and you may be wasting precious time and material.
Creativity demands trying something new, something different, something that may be viewed as inconsistent. But an approach to creativity that includes the consistency of practice, or a certain talent, or a specific routine, could make you a hall of fame creative.
Start with a firm foundation, a great stance, or a sweet swing, and fantastic art will flow from it in every direction. Consistency matters.
Where do you see consistency helping your creative life?