As the incredible, and highly successful, Walter Bond says “if you’re going to be around me, infect me with some of your knowledge.”
…and the way to do that? Come to the table with some information and the discipline it takes to acquire it. Oh, you don’t have discipline? Ok, then. Let us teach you a few tricks to get it. Are you ready? Don’t lie.
It really all starts with a plan. This is sort of a “no duh” perspective, but it’s the truth. How many of you actually live your life on a daily plan? One where you have your day actually calendared out? I imagine not many of you. To be fair, I never used to have a plan for my day. I lived my life one day at a time, and typically flew by the seat of my pants. I knew I was so consistently positive that I would accomplish something worthwhile on a daily basis, so I never bothered to be effective. The problem was I wasn’t really growing, both personally and professionally. I was overworking to accomplish very little. i was ineffective. Basically, I was a meanderer. (Is that a word?)
Yes, I meandered. Meanwhile, some of my peers blasted by me on their way to the promised land.
Quoting Mr. Bond in his book All Buts Stink, “Discipline deals with your belief system. If you believe that a certain activity can produce a certain result, your discipline is based on faith….. the root word of discipline is Disciple, which means ‘to be a follower of.’ So what are you following?…. The good news about discipline is that you only have to do it one day at a time. Once you do [something] 365 days, the results can be incredible, but it all starts with being a disciple of a plan based on the information you possess for one day and linking those days together.”
My own personal failure to discipline myself lied more in my past successes and the assumption that it would continue. Not that I thought I was infallible, but I did believe I was exceptional and that would be enough. Granted, having that sort of passion and confidence does get you miles, but without a systematic approach, it’s incomplete. Inevitably, that sort of thinking collapses on itself. Mine did, and so will yours without a system and the discipline to work it every day.
Without making this blog a “me” blog, my story was forged at a very early age. I had very hard working parents that instilled that same sense into me. At the same time, I was born with a few talents that took me very far in the world, yet only to a point when all was said and done. I started playing music at the age of 4. At the time, I was seen as a bit of a child prodigy. As we moved from town to town, I gained acceptance based on my skills and became popular as a result. This formed my mind at a very early age that I was special and that the natural gift I had was valuable and made things easy for me to be loved, accepted, and even a bit (locally) famous. Cut to age 19 and my peers had caught up to my skillset. I was still developing, but not to the degree I did as a much younger boy. I wasn’t “special” anymore. What a shock that was. I had assumed, wrongly, that my success and skills would carry me through the rest of my life without having to work harder. Part of what happened to me I attribute to youthful inexperience, but I still should have known better, especially when I carried that assumption into adulthood. That mindset continued with me through the military and into my 30’s. It wasn’t until I was 37 that I discovered that systems work, and that although I was my own person and moderately successful, there really wasn’t anything extraordinary about me.
Most problems can be traced back to a lack of information or discipline. Our ignorance kills us. Recently, I read a scripture in the Bible and it made me think about one thing more than anything else: You cannot claim ignorance. You know what’s what. You just have to choose to learn, humble yourself, be diligent about your daily choices, choose wisely who you partner and network with, and take your life off of autopilot.
Discipline yourself today. Don’t wait to start tomorrow….and when you do, you’ll achieve what you desire. I promise.