Stress and Consistency

The image displays the words “Without Stress Tips” in white against a blue background along a gold lotus blossom.

Being consistent can reduce stress levels.

“Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” This quote, attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, is a very odd thought to put to print. Did Emerson actually write this? After all, he did write the classic essay entitled, “Self-Reliance.”

When you look around, it is rather obvious that, quite contrary to what Emerson seems to have suggested, consistency is a hallmark of logic and efficiency. What, then, could a man of Emerson’s caliber have meant when he attributed consistency to that of a small mind?

If we go back to the original source of the statement in his essay, we find the problem. Emerson actually wrote,

FOOLISH consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

For some obscure reason, the complete message has been lost as the years passed and has eroded the accurate version of the statement to mean something entirely different and, upon close inspection, entirely silly.

Tip: Misquotations abound, checking sources is wise, and being consistent increases efficiency and can reduce stress.