Sep 17, 2019

Ep 82: Succeed at Anything By Understanding the Importance of Discipline

Show Notes


I have a lot of feelings—even my feelings have feelings. The worst part is, my feelings can easily drive my actions. But you know what I’ve learned? If you build your business, your life, your dreams, or your goals based on feelings, you’re going to be on one heck of a roller-coaster ride. One day you’ll be up (excited, motivated and charging forward) and another day you’ll be down (tired, disappointed and on the brink of quitting).

That’s why I think it’s so important to talk about a skill that will help you create stability (something feelings don’t have) as you reach for your goals and chase your dream. What’s that skill? Discipline.

I know, discipline is not an exciting topic. In fact, the word itself can have a negative connotation. You might think of the word in terms of disciplining your children or being disciplined in school or at work. But that’s not the kind of discipline we’re talking about. We’re talking about being a disciplined person.

Why is discipline important? Because discipline will help you be successful no matter what dream you’re chasing—it’s that simple.

Related: Ep 58: Perseverance in Your Business: How to Keep Going When You Want to Give Up

What Is Discipline?

Like so many qualities I teach about, discipline is not a gene only some people are born with.

Discipline is a choice and a skill you can learn. You can actually cultivate discipline in your own life, even if you don’t feel like it comes naturally to you.

The author Stephen King is a great example of this. He’s written countless bestselling books— many of which have become box office hits. He says there is one reason behind his success. You guessed it: discipline. In fact, he doesn’t even believe in writer’s block. He says it’s just an excuse writers use when they don’t have any motivation to write. Talk about some tough love.

Stephen King writes 10 pages a day, even on birthdays and holidays. While you definitely won’t find me working on Thanksgiving or Christmas, I love the emphasis he places on the importance of discipline in making your dream a reality.

I believe your success is not dependent upon your situation, your feelings, or how nice the weather is. It’s dependent upon your level of discipline. I love how my friend Christine Caine puts it: Vision will inspire you, but discipline will get you there.

What Does Daily Discipline Look Like?

When you break it down, discipline in your day-to-day life is pretty straightforward. It looks like:

  • Following through on what you said you were going to do, even when you don’t want to
  • Holding yourself accountable, even when no one is watching
  • Honoring your word, even when your heart’s not in it
  • Sticking to the plan, even when you’re not motivated
  • Keeping promises you made to yourself, even when you’re exhausted
  • Getting back up and dusting yourself off, even when you’ve failed
  • Choosing to be the person you want to be over the person you feel like being, even when you’re in a tough situation

That sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Related: Ep 79: Take Control of Your Life With the Power of Personal Responsibility

Y’all, it is possible to be this kind of person. That’s why I want to give you three practical ways you can become more disciplined in your daily life. 

How to Become More Disciplined

1. Take the first step.

When someone isn’t motivated to do something they want to do, I always encourage them to find the lowest-hanging fruit or the quickest win. Starting with big goals can be overwhelming—and feeling overwhelmed before you start is enough to make you not even try.

Related: Ep 78: How to Be Successful at Anything by Starting Small

That’s why I want you to set small, realistic goals. For example, instead of saying you’re going to clean the entire house today (which would overwhelm anyone!), just start by putting away the laundry.

What’s amazing about taking one, small step is that once you start, you gain momentum. And that momentum propels you to take the second step. Once you put the laundry away, you’ll have enough momentum to tackle the dirty dishes. And after the dishes, you’ll naturally start cleaning the counters. Eventually, you’ll do more than you originally set out to do! Sometimes the tiniest step in a new direction is all you need to gain incredible momentum.

2. Set yourself up to win.

This is really key for anyone who wants to be successful. Oftentimes, we set a goal or talk about a dream, but then we put ourselves in situations where we’re bound to fail. If you have a goal to eat fewer sweets, you probably shouldn’t keep mint Oreos in your pantry.

If you need to work on your business more often, you should probably create an organized environment that gets you excited to work. If you want to exercise more often, maybe you oughta sleep in your workout clothes or set them out the night before. When you set yourself up to win, you make it possible to be a disciplined person.

3. Find accountability.

Having accountability goes hand in hand with setting yourself up to win. If you want to work out more, join a workout group. If you want to become a better writer, join a writers meet-up. If you want accountability to read more, join a book club.

So, what are your goals? What are your plans? In what area are you trying to become more disciplined? Surround yourself with people who have those same dreams and goals and who will support you, provide accountability, and cheer you on.

The bottom line is this: Discipline is a decision you make. It’s not a feeling or a gene. And it’s not something negative that will make you miserable. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Discipline is a tool and a skill that will truly get you to where you want to be.

Cultivating Discipline With Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey My guest today is a living example of the importance of discipline. Dave Ramsey is a New York Times bestselling author, host of The Dave Ramsey Show, CEO of Ramsey Solutions, and an unbelievable mentor and leader to me and so many others.

Discipline is foundational to just about everything Dave teaches. Because, at the end of the day, discipline is what it takes to win at anything in life. On this episode, Dave and I talk about:

  • How different personality styles relate to discipline
  • How to stay motivated when what you’re doing isn’t impressive or exciting
  • What discipline looks like tactically and practically
  • Why it’s important to believe in yourself when cultivating discipline

Challenge: Giving Credit as a Discipline

Let’s talk about a trend I keep seeing all over social media. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been scrolling through Instagram or Twitter and noticed a catchy graphic, great quote or some other form of memorable content.

Later in the day (or even a few days later), I’ll be scrolling again and see that same piece of content reposted by someone else without giving credit to the person they copied it from. The post will have the same design, the same graphic, and even the same words.

Now, here’s the thing: I know when you see something on social media that really catches your eye, it’s tempting to want to share it with your followers. And I think you should! But I want to give you a challenge.

I want to challenge you to have the discipline to do a little digging to find out where that quote or content came from so you can give credit where credit is due. Or at least acknowledge that you don’t know where the content originated, but that you didn’t create it.

I’m not really interested in how not giving credit will hurt the person who originally created the content. I’m more interested in what it does to you and other people’s perception of you. Because let me tell you, when your followers see a post you’ve shared that you didn’t create, more likely than not, they’ll know. After all, they’ve probably already seen it five other times on their social media feed!

That’s why I want to challenge you to have the integrity and discipline to either create your own content or give credit when you share someone else’s.

Related: Ep 51: How to Build Trust With Your Social Media Followers

You are in control of what you put out into the world, and the impression and perception you create online is massively important. Remember, it’s the small things like this that will either build trust with your tribe or break it.

1:21 What Is Discipline?

5:05 What Does Daily Discipline Look Like?

14:14 How to Become More Disciplined

20:42 Maximizing Social Media for Your Business With Jasmine Star

40:56 Challenge to Just Be You


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