It’s guest post Monday! This post is written by Aaron Morton who is the creator of The Confidence Lounge. A platform where you can discover how to turn your ideas into reality. Aaron works with individuals who want to earn a side income using the skills and talents they already have or have the confidence to leave their job and go solo. Go to www.theconfidencelounge.com for a more articles and a free report on how to handle Fear. If you would like to have a post featured on my site then click here.
A book I have been reading lately is ‘The Way of The Fight’ by UFC champion George St Pierre. The opening chapter is fantastic as it reveals the repetitive nature of his days that can be summarised as train-eat-sleep-repeat. It is a wondering example of why not everyone could do what he does. What I found fascinating however was the interviews with some of his trainers and the common thread that ran through them. A lot of the trainers agreed that George st pierre was very average when he started and in terms of athletic ability, they’d seen better. But what stands out in George St Pierre is his unbelievable self-discipline.
Discipline is the act of doing what is necessary in order to reach a goal. There is a mountain of stimuli vying for our attention every day. We have news media playing 24/7, we have social media that changes every second and we have friends and family who require our attention in some form or another. It is very easy to stray from the path.
Heres the thing; discipline doesn’t require motivation. To use a car analogy, if motivation was manual control, then self-discipline is auto pilot. George St-Pierre mentions that the only way he could persist in his schedule was if it was routine. Discipline requires you to have routine that is done without much thought, whereas motivation requires a certain state change in order for it to be recognised.
So what are some of the components that go into discipline? There are many, but I wanted to highlight 3 areas that I find common in most people I see who have a strong sense of self-discipline:
1 – Ruthless focus
The mainstream population like to be distracted, why do you think reality TV is so popular? Most people do not get past the first chapter in a book and text messaging and tweets have reduced our attention span to minutes. Self-discipline is a skill that has to be nurtured and part of that involves a ruthless focus towards an outcome.
Start small, if you find yourself easily distracted practice focussing on a single spot on the wall for a period of 5 minutes. Once you’ve achieved that, find another focus exercise that is a little harder until you can achieve a long period of focus.
2 – Self-awareness
We are human and there will be times when we stray. Our mind turns to browsing the internet or getting lost in our mind when work is needed to be completed. Being self-aware will insure this doesn’t happen for long.
Notice when you are off course on your goal pursuit. Be aware when you are doing work that doesn’t fulfil you and notice how your ongoing self-talk makes you feel and how it affects your decisions.
3 – Know when to bail
I said a ruthless focus to an outcome, but not necessarily the plan. Having regular feedback ensures the plan you are being guided by is still working in the way you want. Loss aversion will cause us to stay with a lost cause in order to not have wasted the time we have already spent. However discipline involves having the flexibility to change course without a complete loss in momentum.
We all have the capacity to display strong self discipline and when it become part of your character, just as George St-Pierre has shown, it doesn’t matter if you have physical flaws, lack of money or unfortunate circumstances because Self-discipline can rein supreme.
Question: Who do you admire who’s self-discipline has guided them towards success?