In life, no attribute, trait or ability is more critical in accomplishing anything than personal discipline. A broad sweep of history and the modern era reveals that the most accomplished in every field had one thing in common: discipline. Whether you’re looking at the most renowned philosophers, scientists, politicians, and sportsmen, from Aristotle, Einstein, George Washington, to Babe Ruth, the one thing they had in common was discipline, sometimes called self-mastery.
No matter what you know, if you do not exercise the discipline to do, execute or implement what you do know, you’ll accomplish very little. Here are some of the things that discipline can help you accomplish:
Holding yourself accountable:
Holding yourself accountable means knowing and understanding that your destiny is in your own hands. You can decide to blame the government, you can decide to blame the unfair system, you can decide to blame everything under the sun, but ultimately, the capacity to surmount all the odds and triumph requires holding yourself accountable. Babe Ruth once said, “you just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”
Focus means pursuing your dream, vision, and passion until it becomes mission accomplished. Only discipline can help you do that. Without discipline, you look for excuses to give up at the slightest setback. Les Brown said “it’s not over until you win.”
Being ethical is at the centre of our character and integrity. It’s about what you do when no one is watching. It’s about being true to yourself. Needless to say, without discipline, it’s near impossible to follow the straight and narrow path for overcoming temptations.
Whether you are looking at being faithful to a cause, or being faithful to your marital vows, nothing in the world prepares you more than self-discipline.
As a leader, you’re assailed by all manners of temptation. You’re tempted to be partial, you’re tempted to cut corners, you’re tempted to reap where you didn’t sow. But with iron clad discipline, you can overcome and leave a legacy worthy of emulation.
Learning new things:
Whether you’re looking at learning a new language, whether you’re learning to start afresh after a massive setback or learning something as mundane as operating a personal computer, you require discipline.
Reading a book:
Charlie “Tremendous” Jones is quoted as saying, “The two things that will have the greatest impact on your life are the books you read and the people you meet.” When you read a book, you mastermind with hundreds of people, if not thousands. Imagine reading three books in a month, in a year you would have read 36 books and in ten years three hundred and sixty. While reading may not necessarily make you richer, it will certainly make you wiser.
Time is the essence of life. The most accomplished in life are those that manage their time well and channel their efforts towards worthwhile endeavours. Managing time is not something abstract but it’s the one discipline that separates those who came, saw, and conquered, from all others.
There you are. First you suffer the pain and after you enjoy the gain of discipline. Archimedes said, “give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” Only self-discipline can lead to the accomplishment of such tall orders. If you want to stand out from the crowd, if you want to leave your footprints on the sands of time, discipline yourself, discipline your mind and with the self-mastery, you’ll gain the world.