One Irrefutable Secret of Success

One quality has the potential to move you toward or away from success. It creates greatness or causes you to become mediocre. It leads to achieving extraordinary accomplishments or prevents them. One irrefutable secret of success is discipline. H.P. Liddon said, “What we do on some great occasions will probably depend upon what we already are, and what we are will be the result of previous years of self-discipline.”  The key disciplines you form create success. I have discovered at least 6 disciplines successful people know and implement. Below are 6 disciplines to consider:

  • Purpose- Successful people have found and intentionally focus in the areas of personal purpose.
  • Strengths- Successful people sharpen and work in areas of personal strengths.
  • Growth- Successful people consistently grow, learn, and develop themselves.
  • Attitude- Successful people have and maintain a positive and optimistic attitude.
  • Thinking- Successful people value and engage in thinking.
  • Balance- Successful people live a balanced life by having personal, relational, and work boundaries.

The disciplines you create always have a return on your time and effort. Look at these people who have become successful because of discipline:

  • Thomas Edison disciplined himself in the area of inventing and even though he failed over 10,000 times his perseverance led him to become a successful and famous inventor.
  • Michal Jordan was disciplined in spending countless hours on the basketball court sharpening his skills and natural talents to become one of the best professional basketball players.
  • Brain Dodd disciplined himself in the area of leadership to become a seasoned leader who is using his leadership skills to help pastors and churches at Injoy Stewardship Solutions. This year he wrote about “The Top 10 Leadership Lessons I Learned Working For John Maxwell.” I recommend reading Part 1 and Part 2.
  • Jeff Goins disciplines himself to write and create which led him to become an author and influencer. He just launched a writing course Tribe Writers and I highly recommend checking it out.

To become successful requires daily discipline in the key areas which will allow you to achieve and accomplish great things. John Maxwell says, “If you can handle today correctly, tomorrow will take care of itself.”

Questions: Who are some women that have become successful because of discipline? What is one area you excel at in the area of discipline and what is one area you need to become more disciplined in?


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37 thoughts on “One Irrefutable Secret of Success

  1. Dan,

    I need to be more disciplined in the area of exercise, balance, and eating healthy. I have no problem with growth, I am pretty decent with attitude, and have learned to the art of thinking. I am no where near where I need to be but if I continue to practice these disciplines faithfully I will get there.

    • It’s great your aware of the area you want/need to be more disciplined at. it’s something I also need to be more disciplined in. Keep practicing and disciplining yourself. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  2. How about Condoleezza Rice? She graduated high school early, completed a PhD by age 26 and served as secretary of state.

    I believe I excel in growth, attitude, and balance. My thinking isn’t as strategic as I would like it to be, and I’m still working out the purpose part. When it comes to strengths I know what they are, but I don’t always delegate weakness/morale killers. Enjoyed thinking about these today.

    • Great example! From what I know of her she is an amazing women.

      It sounds like your on the right track, Great job. Those other areas will come with time and focus. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  3. One advantage to having been raised in a cult is that self-discipline was drilled into me as if I were in the Marine Corp as a child. It took me a few years to realize how essential that trait is. I have tremendous self-discipline as a writer and musician, but cold use more in regards to research and theory.

    • I’m sure it was (Do you touch on that aspect in your book? Looking forward to reading after I finish up a couple books I’m reading now). It’s an important trait to have and I’m glad you have developed self-discipline because many people have not. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  4. I excel in thinking and growth and need more work in attitude and work ethic. God is changing me though. I feel like 2013 is going to be the year all those truth journaling sessions kick in and I finally start finishing the projects I start! I can see a big change in the last month or so and am hoping it lasts.

  5. That’s a great post Dan. I have lots of people I look up to for different reasons.

    Randy Phillips (PCD) is one of my favorites. I have watched him take a vision of a church and bring it to life. He also has an amazing career. I think that growing any following takes the discipline of integrity.

    He is actually kind enough to do a Podcast with me this coming Monday. Submit a question to him if you like:

  6. Success is defined in so many different ways. I’ve coached many young women in high school that have all gone on to find success in the world. Success for them was not by chance. They used the very same disciplines that it took to succeed as a student and applied that same ethic and attitude toward life.

    The interesting thing about all successful people is that they learned structure and guidelines in small ways then applied them in big ways. The people who have strong leaders in their lives naturally become the same way. Brian Dodd is an example of that.

    I struggle with balance.

    • Playing a sport during school defiantly does have an advantage on being disciplined. Great correlation Floyd. Yes, Brain Dodd and so many others like yourself are great examples of disciplined and successful people. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  7. I find that I am constantly changing the areas in which I need to be disciplined. One month it may be waking up early, another month it may be practicing certain skills. Speaking of which, I’ve heard that Michael Jordan was insanely disciplined – moreso than most people can even fathom.

    • Great points Loren. I agree we can change the areas of disciplines depending on what we want to work on or accoplish. I do think we must have core disciplines that we must always focus on like spiritual growth.

      I’ve heard the same thing about Michael Jordan and that’s what makes him stand above most basketball players.

      Thank you for sharing and adding even more value to the conversion.

  8. Over the past year or two I’ve become really disciplined in my physical exercise. Setting a routine and doing my exercises has become a vital part of my life.

    On the other hand, my discipline in what I eat is severely lacking. If I could become more disciplined in this area, my fitness level would increase by leaps and bounds.

    • I totally relate with you Joe. I’m being more disciplined in working out by walking/jogging 3-5 times a week. I struggle and am not always disciplined in the food I eat. Something I’m working on. What type of exercise do you enjoy?

      • I mostly run. 3 times a week, two runs are short 25 minuters. The other run is a longer run going over an hour.

        Today was an especially bad day as a coworker’s mom brought in her killer chocolate chip cookies.

        • Nice! I walk/jog 3-5 times a week and plan on starting to run during those times. i just need to get my endurance up a little. Yesterday my wife and myself made peppermint chocolate cookies. This feels like we are confessing some major issue or something. The fist step to admitting we have a issue with eating junk food is admitting it. Good first step bro:)

  9. You might not be familiar with her but Wangari Mathai (now deceased), a Kenyan and nobel laureate is re-knowned the world over for her work in conserving the environment. In high patriarchal and then deeply corrupt government, she was focused, tough as nails, radical and solid as a rock – nothing moved her from her goals.

    Awesome post! I love the areas you’ve covered. That’s a book right there :).

    • I never have but plan on researching and finding out more about her life and impact. She sounds like she did a lot while she was living and her legacy and impact is living on. Thank you for mentioning her.

      Thank you:) Someone should write a book on discipline. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  10. I think of Mother Teresa: I’m sure there were many days where she had to die to herself and discipline her mind to go out into the streets of Calcutta and pick up the sick and dying. She’s a great example of someone who disciplines her life for the sake of something greater – and, perhaps more importantly – for the sake of others. Great post Dan!

  11. Discipline & success go hand in hand – so I think of women like Indra Nooyi and second the vote below for Condi Rice. Then on the other hand you have someone like Tiger Woods who is insanely disciplined with regard to golf – but fell about as far as you can fall due to a lack of discipline in other areas. We have to watch all parts of our life…family, work, social, etc. I see diet as the trend below (maybe we should start a support group) and I have to add my name, not sure why it is so hard to eat right. Good stuff…thanks!

    • Those are great people who demonstrated discipline. I was going to mention Tiger in the above list but thought it would be best to mention those who have had a successful life in all areas.

      Good idea about a support group:) We have a lot of bad food eaters who read this blog and we all need discipline in eating right:)

  12. Dan, discipline is one area we often lose sight of when we inevitably compare ourselves with successful people. We forget that Thomas Edison failed thousands of times because we remember his famous, world-changing inventions. We forget that Michael Jordan spent years of his life perfecting his jump shots and free throws because we recall his numerous championships. All of us want the fast track to success, but the clearest path is to discipline ourselves in investing in our 10,000 hours.

    • Great additional thoughts Chris. Discipline in key areas can help us move toward success if we are willing to take the time and put in the effort. Thanks for reading and joining the conversation.

  13. These are great examples of people, Dan. They have exhibited exemplary acts of resilience and perseverance. Despite failing so many times, it’s all about getting up and not giving up. – Sales tips from a business development Expert