The Blog

Without Self-discipline, You Will Fail!

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.


Sorry to be so negative. However, without self-discipline your failure will be all but guaranteed. This is especially true if your dream or vision is lofty and out of the ordinary. Self-discipline is the first step toward greatness.

"Why are you great?" was asked of 100 world champions from business and sports. Although the responses varied, the underlying theme was the same. "I had a vision." "I saw my future." "I had a dream." Regarding their vision quest each champion stated in their own way, "I became disciplined in my routines to keep me focused and on track.

Self-discipline is the willingness & commitment of executing
a task(s) that leads to stepping-stone goals to your vision.

Self-discipline is the only form of discipline. Armed with a steely commitment a success blueprint can now be created. With a map tucked under your arm, you'll more readily find the Zone and the Zone will give you an edge in all you do.

Self-discipline is the biggest stumbling block for most non-champions. The lack of it spawns aimlessness, indecision, procrastination, disorganization, confusion, and eventually the tendency to give up or quit. With a high level of self-discipline you will be able to reduce your thoughts by 30-40%. A champion's clarity, simplicity and balance will follow.

Self-discipline is the willingness & commitment of executing
a task(s) that leads to stepping-stone goals to your vision.

Repeat this definition several times to yourself. Know it and own it. At any given time you possess a high or low level of the powerful intangible of self-discipline. It can and probably will fluctuate. However, having self-discipline greatly increases your odds of success.

How is the self-discipline in your job? Do you have a vision with measurable goals? Are you disciplined before you get to work? Are you ready to accomplish the tasks at hand? Do you remain disciplined throughout the day? Do you stay on course with patience and perseverance?

Are you disciplined as a manager or boss? How is the self-discipline of your team? Of course, it is your self-discipline that dictates your team's discipline.

How is your self-discipline as you play golf or other sports? Do you have daily tasks and goals for each performance?

Self-discipline will set you apart from the competition and place you on a pathway of success. It is this intangible that collectively forms a winning team or company.

There are 3 keys to self-discipline.
  1. Commit to a future vision.
  2. Break the vision into measurable goals with timelines
  3. Create and execute synchronized tasks for goal attainment

Vision: Champions know exactly what they want to accomplish. They envision embracing this place in time in the future where their success resides. This image of accomplishment wakes him or her up in the morning and puts them to sleep at night. The absence of this vision will cause a roller-coaster mindset that can create the negative feelings of "no control." However, with a strong vision it will become easier to control your thoughts, regardless of tough circumstances, situations, and or conditions.

Your vision is the beacon of hope that
illuminates your pathway to success

Upon meeting any prospective client the first question is, "What do you want? Why are we here together, right now?" This question has stymied many young athletes and entrepreneurs.

Your vision must be crystal clear. See it in every detail. Envision how you'll feel once it's reached. Make your vision come alive in your mind like a 3D movie.

After identifying your primary vision, you must now commit. Commitment is a personal pledge, vow or promise of daily effort. A committed athlete, for example, feels a personal obligation to do what it takes to succeed.

The challenge with commitment is not everyone in your inner circle or on your team will share the same commitment. This can easily frustrate the champion and eventually take him or her off their game. Commitment is personal. If you have to go it alone, so be it. Good fortune favors the bold.

It typically takes 7-10 days of envisioning (night and day) your vision before the automatic pilot of your subconscious is activated. Now your subconscious will guide you through, around and over challenges. It will pull you up when knocked down. It will harness your energy and channel it until you arrive at your destination. Once your subconscious takes over, it's game on!

Goals: The next step is to break the vision into bite size goals with very stringent timelines for accomplishment. Goals with timelines create "good stress." This is called eustress. "Eu" is Greek for the word good, as in the words euphoria or eureka. Eustress is completely manufactured by you and for you. Eustress creates a natural flow of cortisol into the bloodstream and with it a narrowed, tunnel vision focus occurs.

Accomplished goals act as stepping-stones to your vision. Make sure each is measurable, reasonable and attainable. Get busy with synchronized goal setting.

Tasks: Each goal to be achieved requires certain tasks or units of work to be completed. Most people have self-discipline with basic, daily tasks or routines. They are predictable, well organized and repetitive. We brush our teeth the first thing in the morning and just before we sleep. We eat 2-4 meals at approximately the same time each day. Thank Mom for this! We also go to work, school or our sport with a schedule in place. However, do you have repetitive mental tasks or routines?

Positive mental routines will take you from good to great

For example, to write a best-selling novel you need more than talent. Writing everyday from 8:00-10:00 AM is the disciplined task required to produce chapter after chapter until the manuscript is complete.

In order to develop your putting stroke into a world-class, formidable weapon, it must be able to withstand tournament or match play pressure. The putting stroke must be replicated with the same technique, regardless of the situation or condition.

The tasks needed to accomplish any goal (especially a world-class putting stroke) must be clearly identified. These tasks eventually must become routines. Rolling five-foot putts end-over-end 100 times in a row to well-defined targets within the cup is a technical routine. Putting accurately in your mind everyday for 10 minutes is the mental routine.

Develop mental, physical and technical routines in all you do. Execute the same routines before you perform. Use routines of adjustment when things don't go your way. Finally, exercise evaluation routines for learning, regardless of winning or losing.

Self-discipline is the willingness & commitment of executing
a task(s) that leads to stepping-stone goals to your vision.

Yes. The definition of self-discipline has been repeated multiple times in this article. Repetition is crucial for executing your routines and staying on a pathway to success.

Carve some time from your daily grind and create the blueprint for reaching your personal vision. Choose only one arena in your life for now. Select a well-defined timeline for the vision and add corresponding goals and tasks. Commit time, energy and possibly money to your blueprint. Allow nothing to get in your way.

Upgrade your self-discipline. Success will follow.


Before You Go

Popular in the Community