With it average people can achieve the extraordinary. Without it you will never reach your potential. How do you define discipline? I like the definition to the right. Discipline takes effort. It takes giving up something. It takes getting out of your comfort zone. It can be painful.
Most people are not disciplined. They say they are going to do something and they allow something to get in the way. Has this ever happened to you?
“Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.” -Jim Rohn
Discipline begins with a choice. What are you not doing consistently, that if you did, would have a profound, positive impact on your life? As you choose, let’s look at three considerations: time frame, type of discipline, and staying the course.
1. Time frame.
- Daily. Disciplines like reading, prayer, and meditation are best if done everyday. I recommend a minimum of 30 consecutive days for your daily disciplines, then reevaluate.
- Weekly. Some of my business disciplines are limited to five days a week (prospecting calls, for example). I have maintained the discipline of exercising a minimum of five days/week for over two years now. You might choose a once or twice a week discipline like church or volunteer work. Six weeks is a good minimum start here.
- Short-term. This is usually a structured, more intense discipline for less than 30 days. Going “unplugged” for a week and the 21 day cleanse are both examples of this. (We are starting a cleanse on August 6th with some of our members. Email me at email@example.com if you are interested in joining us).
- Addition. What are you going to take on? What are you going to do differently?
- Elimination. My good friend Peter Montoya and I met and began working together in 1994. As road warriors we promoted several seminars together before starting our individual companies. While rooming together in Charlotte, I shared with Peter some of the “addition” disciplines I was taking on for our nine week cycle. They included exercise, prospecting calls, and personal development projects. He said. “That’s great Doug, what are you giving up?” Some of the most powerful (and painful) disciplines require you to let go of habits, substances, people, and/or possessions.
- Limitation. Minimizing TV, social media, or certain foods could fall into this category.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. -Hebrews 12:11
3. Staying the course. There will inevitably be times when you simply don’t want to be disciplined. Expect it. Prepare for it. Embrace it. Here are some thoughts on maintaining discipline when you don’t want to:
- Make commitments to others and ask them to hold you accountable.
- Develop structures for fulfillment: schedule time on your calendar for your calls, exercise, reading and other disciplines. Go out of your way to be around disciplined people.
- Focus on why you are engaging in a particular discipline.
- Do it anyway.
“It ain’t always pretty, it ain’t always fun.” –The (unofficial) Tough Mudder Song
Check out irunurun. It is a powerful way to keep track of your daily and weekly disciplines. I use it myself and have found it very helpful.
“One discipline always leads to another discipline.” -Jim Rohn
Discipline creates a ripple effect. What began as a 30-day commitment to exercise led to breakthroughs in every significant area of my life. Pay attention to what is happening in your life when you consistently engage in the disciplines you choose.
Please, leave a comment- I really want to hear from you.