Friday, November 23, 2012

The Key to Success

Discipline (Photo credit: tom.tziros)
by Meri Har-Gil

Have you ever wondered why some people are more successful than others?

Sometimes people who seem very well equipped for success never quite make it, while others who have few advantages and no resources can become extremely successful.

What is the key?

Let me prepare you for the answer:
• It's not glamorous.
• It's not easy.
• It's not attractive.

The answer is self-discipline.

I told you it wasn't glamorous, easy, or attractive. But, hey, that's probably why so few people recognize this as the key to success! If it was glamorous, easy, and attractive, everyone would be scrambling to have it. Since self-discipline can be mundane and difficult, most people think about it and then move on to other options, concluding, "There must be a quicker way than this."

There isn't. Trust me.

We all know people who are naturally talented. They can effortlessly do things like play sports, paint, speak to crowds, or cook. For some reason we think that this natural talent should be enough to propel us to success. French author La Rochefoucauld said, "It is not enough to have great qualities; We should also have the management of them."

No matter how talented you are, if you don't discipline yourself, you won't progress. I know first-hand that a person can have a natural talent for karate, but without the self-discipline required to show up at every practice, repetitively perform each action until it is right, and focus the mind on the routine at hand, it is impossible to stick with it and move up through the ranks.

No matter how talented you are, you need self-discipline to turn your talent into a career.

One of my favorite thinkers, Jim Rohn, said, "Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment." So many people feel like their goals are out of reach, far across a great divide with no way to get to them. No matter how difficult it is to walk across, the only bridge that gets you to the other side is self-discipline.

Many people think of discipline as a negative word. Discipline means that we can't do whatever we want whenever we want to do it. True discipline means we must do what we should do whenever we should do it. Because it impinges on our freedom, we don't like discipline much.

While discipline may never be your friend, it gets results - and it can provide you with freedom (financial or personal) down the road.

Jim Rohn also said, "We must suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment." Either you bear down and discipline yourself (which can be temporarily unpleasant) or you must live with the long-term unpleasantness of never reaching your goals.

I encourage you to embrace self-discipline today! Stick to your short-term goals. Meet deadlines. Do what you say you're going to do. Do what you know you need to do. When you live a self-disciplined lifestyle, you not only attain your goals, you also earn your own self-respect.

To your unstoppable success, Meri.

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