How To Become More Self-Disciplined At Home And In Business
Jim Rohn was an American businessman, a self-made millionaire before he turned 31, author, motivational speaker and even Anthony Robbins’s mentor.
The author of dozens of books, Rohn was also a big believer in the power of self-discipline to achieve one’s ambitions at home and in business.
Rohn offered three steps for practising self-discipline, which anyone can apply.
1. Accept Self-Discipline Isn’t The Easiest Option
Most of us want quick fixes, but self-discipline is tough.
Perhaps because of our hunter-gatherer origins, it’s human nature to conserve our energy, time and resources.
In the Power of Ambition, Rohn said,
“It’s easier to go to bed late, sleep late, show up late, leave early…It’s easier to do just enough than to do it all.”
Let’s say your company has an important checklist you loathe filling out. Instead of finding a workaround, use this checklist as an opportunity to cultivate self-discipline.
Several years ago, I worked in a healthcare setting. Every day, we had to complete a series of monotonous checklists documenting accounted-for medication and first aid supplies.
Completing these checklists every day was tedious and repetitious, especially if you’d worked several days in a row and knew the counts were accurate.
However, after a dressing down by my manager for an incomplete checklist, I quickly regretted my mistake. Any professional worth their paycheck must sometimes complete important but tedious tasks anyway if they’re worth their paycheck.
As Rohn said,
“Our life will always be a constant battle by the life of ease and its momentary rewards…and the life of discipline and its more significant rewards.”
2. Understand Discipline Is A Full-time Activity
Did you ever have a boss who constantly changed what they expected from you? Or perhaps you worked with a colleague who showed up only at the start or end of a big project?
“These people seem to wander aimlessly changing procedures, changing standards, changing loyalties and shifting from one commitment to another leaving behind a trail of broken friendships, unfinished projects and unfilled promises.”
Don’t be that person.
Elon Musk is an admired CEO, but lately he’s raising the ire of Tesla shareholders and customers for missed shipment deadlines among other issues.
If you commit to customers to deliver a product by a particular day, do all you can to ship your products on time. Or let people know, “It’ll be ready, when it’s ready.”
3. For Every Disciplined Effort, Expect a Multiple Reward
Rohn believed, “Everything of value requires care and attention.”
The iPhone, Macbook and iMac are valuable pieces of tech. Consider how Apple is self-disciplined about packing their expensive products in elegant white and grey boxes to give customers a sensory experience they remember.
The trillion dollar company even employs a designer with responsibility for packaging.
According to tech journalist and author Adam Lashinsky, before the release of the iPod, “a packaging designer was holed up in [a packing room] room performing the most mundane of tasks — opening boxes.”
Today, there’s a cottage industry of YouTubers who film un-boxings of the latest Apple products and effectively market the latest tech for Apple, for free. This in turn helps Apple sell more of its high-end products.
Cultivate Self-Discipline Instead Of Regret
Rohn spent much of his life advocating for the power of self-discipline, and he delivered his seminars for more than 40 years. He died in 2009 with a net worth of more than $500 million dollars.
Rohn once said, “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”
In short, you can wait for somebody else to exercise discipline upon you and complain about it, as Musk did back in March about several journalists who criticized his company.
Or you can exercise consistent self-discipline and become the type of colleague or business person your peers or customers come to respect and trust.
What will you choose?
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