Jim Rohn said, “Success is a few simple disciplines repeated every day and failure is a few simple errors in judgment repeated every day.” He went on to say “discipline weighs ounces and regret weighs tons.” These phrases sank deep early in my career and I decided to discipline myself towards helping people live fulfilled and impactful lives over the pursuit of money, fame, and prestige. Now, let me be clear, I also had the desire for money, fame, and prestige. I just wasn’t willing to compromise those over helping others. It hasn’t always been easy, and I’ve made many mistakes, but I haven’t compromised.
Aristotle said, “You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” To have the life we want, we must do the things no one else does. What are the things most no one else does?
- Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals/action plans
Harvard shows that 83% of do not have goals, and only 3 out of 100 people have written goals. Yet, the statistics show that those with clear, defined, and written goals are 50% more productive than those who don’t. If you aren’t setting goals, start by setting daily goals and do it for one week. At the end of the week look back at how much you accomplished, then set goals for the following week. After you do this for a few weeks it will become a habit and you will produce far beyond what you could ask or think. Additionally, you won’t look back and think, “What did I get done this week?” You will have a recorded log of all your completed activities which will help you feel in control and powerful.
2. Remind yourself of your vision, mission, and values
This can be done individually as well as organizationally. Your vision is your preferred future. It’s bigger than your goals. It’s what your life will look like in 3, 5, and 10 years after you’ve disciplined yourself to achieving short term goals. Your mission is your greater purpose for why you are achieving goals. My mission is to help people live fulfilled and impactful lives. So, I always ask myself two questions while setting goals. First, how is this activity going to help someone live a fulfilled and impactful life? Second, how is this activity going to profit the company so we can help more people live fulfilled and impactful lives? These two questions will ensure you don’t compromise your mission or your company’s sustainability. Your values are your foundation. They are your basis for how you make decisions, interact with others, and set goals. You never, ever, ever want to compromise your values. At Mainstream, we have 3—Connection, Compassion, and Transformation. We remind ourselves daily of these and make sure we are accountable to them.
3. Encourage 5 people daily
An ancient proverb says, “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Statistics have shown the average person only receives one (1) encouraging word per week. One of the quickest ways to get in and/or stay in the state of appreciation is to encourage others. The problem? Most people do not make it a habit and forget. Life comes at us fast. It is too easy to get wrapped up in what we’re doing, where we’re going, and how we’re thinking, then to encourage others on what they’re doing, where they’re going, and how they’re thinking. However, people with the greatest levels of satisfaction and happiness are encouragers. Discipline yourself to encourage 5 people daily. Make a game of it. Write down people’s names at the beginning of the week and do this daily. If you struggle with fear, doubt or worry, you will see those dissipate as you encourage others.
Discipline can sound like a heavy word, but it’s not. A king once said, “He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but he who ignores it leads others astray.” Discipline is the way to a fulfilled and impactful life and the way to show others a fulfilled and impactful life. Let’s pursue the ounces of discipline and leave behind the tons of regret.