This morning I went to the barbershop in for my weekly haircut. Over the last four years, my barber Matt and I have organically grown a relationship which transcends that of customer-vendor. While we aren’t pals, since 2013 we have spent upwards of 50 hours discussing family, friendship, football, faith, and business. Matt develops deep relationships with his customers, and I would guess he sees upward of 60 – 70 people like me even week.
This morning we discussed football, and the discipline demanded by Nick Saban, coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide of his players. Matt said something that was genius in it’s simplicity:
“Discipline isn’t pretty but the results are so worth it.” ~ Matt The Barber
Often mundane, incremental activities provide no immediate results. We want immediate gratification, and when it does not come, we quit. Dieting, exercise, prospecting, sales calls, writing, building relationships; all of these provide exceptional long-term benefits and measurable results. The only problem we face is doing them long-term!
However, when we commit, and stick with it, the execution of small, achievable activities, pointless things done over and over provide meaningful, sometimes life-changing results. Long-term, metrics provide evidence of the worth of our efforts, and justification for our persistence and patience. But the daily grind, the chipping away, saw-sharpening, and relentless pressure to perform make pressing on difficult at best. What provides the necessary drive to stick with the ordinary and tedious daily activities and disciplines long enough to see meaningful results?
Keys to Self-Discipline:
Principles – Most people find choices of activities provide good results when based upon principles. Principles act as our personal and professional compass, helping us to make responsible decisions in the midst of stress or emotion. Principles are fundamental, primary, or general laws or truths.
Passion – Passion releases significant energy we can direct toward goal achievement. Passion creates enthusiasm, and a willingness to do whatever needs to be done to achieve a goal. It allows you to confidently step forward into the next big thing. Passion fuels persistence and perseverance.
Purpose – Humans are, to the best of our knowledge, the only species which contemplates purpose. Purpose means having a goal, objective, or situation for which you strive. Purpose rises above instinct. Purpose says if we have a strong enough why we can figure out the how. It doesn’t happen; Purpose, by definition, is intentional.
The pain of discipline is temporary. The pain of regret lasts forever. Matt was right; discipline isn’t pretty but today’s discipline gets you to tomorrow, and repeated daily ultimately get you to where you want to go!
Work Hard & Have Fun!™