“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards or sideways.”
This quote from H. Jackson Brown Jr. illustrates the fact that discipline is not something you have but something you do.
We are not born with self-discipline. It is a choice we make every minute and every hour of the day.
The Greek word for self-discipline comes from a root word meaning “to grip” or “take hold of.” Being self-disciplined means you have a grip on, and take control of, areas that bring you success.
Disciplining others shows our muscle, but disciplining ourselves is the backbone of success. If we don’t master ourselves, others will do it for us.
All great leaders understand this concept. If they could not lead themselves, they could not lead others.
No matter how conscientiously you have created your professional plan, you cannot hope to reach your goals unless you follow that plan.
That takes discipline, which is crucial to achieving success and essential to enhancing your professional effectiveness.
Professionally, self-discipline is a matter of breaking habits that break your business and building habits that build your business. In time, your ability to accomplish your goals will run on automatic pilot without the need to resort to excuses for inaction.
Here are some facts that will help you zero in on the power of self-discipline:
• Discipline is the process of getting organized and managing your time.
• Discipline is the ability to stay focused on your chosen action path without detour, distraction or interruption.
• Discipline is the ability to keep all agreements with yourself and with others, without blame, excuses or caving in to obstacles.
• Discipline is the ability to show up on time, every time.
• Discipline is the ability to complete important personal or business projects on schedule, even on budget.
• Discipline is character driven, not emotion driven.
• Discipline is the power to keep going forward when everything around you seems to be pulling you back.
• Discipline is being responsible for who you are, what you can do and for what you have received.
Self-discipline generates trust and confidence in yourself, and attracts trust and confidence from others. The constant act of self-discipline magnifies your power to accomplish your personal and professional goals.
It has been said that you can either play now and pay later or pay now and play later. In other words, when you do the things you ought to do today, the day will come when you can do the things you want to do.
Remember, having it all doesn’t mean having it all at once. It takes time. Start small and concentrate on today.
You’ll be surprised at how developing self-discipline in a small way today will pay off in a big way tomorrow.
Brad Larsen is a life coach and corporate consultant from Northern Utah. He can be reached at email@example.com.