So how does everything we’ve covered so far get accomplished? Self-discipline. Self-discipline means being the boss, the boss over yourself. Are you a good boss? A good manager?
It is easy to tell others what to do because they, not you, are burdened with the work and follow through. As a boss, you tell your worker what you want, how you want it, and when you want it, and, theoretically, the order is executed accordingly. If the worker fails to meet the boss’ demands, the worker risks getting canned.
How are you as a boss over yourself? When you tell yourself to do something, do you do it timely and appropriately? Or do you get to a task when you whenever you feel like it (“manana, manana.”)? Really, the only person you have to accommodate and impress is you. So what if you don’t do what you tell yourself to do?
As with motivation and energy, self-discipline is fortified by immersing yourself in a nurturing environment, which in this case is an environment of determination and persistence, and by creating a routine – a pattern – of repetitive behavior and activities – like a training schedule.
Self-discipline, more than anything, requires outside influences: a coach, a teammate, a friend. Self-discipline is the key, the fulcrum, and the capstone of personal power. When we sacrifice it for the “easy way” or the “sure thing” we render ourselves powerless. This is so obvious, but it is a point lost on all those who continue to fail.
If you ask any successful athlete, businessperson, or professional whatever, they will tell you that their success developed from a pattern of persistence and determination (i.e., self discipline). The real “secret” to success – if there is indeed any real “secret” – is how the successful were disciplined to remain focused and intent on their goals.
The behavior pattern of self-discipline comes from inside, and failing that, it is borrowed from outside influences. I’ll admit it, my will is as strong as wilted lettuce, but my desire and passion are massive. Wanting to succeed (desire) is substantially unique from the will to succeed (discipline); therefore, I have to “borrow” discipline from others. I tell people about my goals and progress, thereby tapping into peer pressure. I seek the advice of coaches and friends who motivate me to persist. I tap into the countless reserves of motivation the we listed above that inspire me, excite me, and remind me of the importance of success.
Outside influences help keep me focused when I fail to maintain concentration myself.
So I’ll state it once more: play the odds in your favor. Game the system. Do whatever it takes for you to overcome your obstacles by surrounding yourself with success and establishing behavior patterns of success.