Goal Setting and Self-Discipline Pt 1

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Goal Setting and Self-Discipline Pt 1

Singularly the most important attribute needed to achieve success in any endeavor is Self-Discipline.  It is the ability to control one's impulses, emotions, desires and behavior.  It’s gaining long term satisfaction from achieving meaningful goals by turning down instant gratification and immediate pleasure.  

The essence of self-discipline is making decisions, taking actions that execute your game plan regardless of the obstacles and difficulties that get in the way.  It is a mindset of living by deliberate choices rather than being ruled by your emotions, bad habits, or the sway of others. 

Baby Steps  

Remember the old saying, “How do you eat an elephant?”

One bite at a time. 

Discipline is like a muscle, the more you train and build it, the stronger it becomes.  Just like a muscle, it takes time to build, If you try to do too much at once, you could injure yourself and have a setback.  

In the movie, “What About Bob?” Bill Murray, a highly manipulative obsessive-compulsive, drives his psychiatrist nuts.  

The idea of “Baby Steps” is one of the central comedic themes of the movie, but there’s actually a lot of truth and wisdom behind the concept.  Beyond the humor, there’s actually a tremendous amount of wisdom and truth behind what “Dr. Leo Marvin” (Richard Dreyfuss) is teaching.

Baby Step 1: Start with learning and outlining what it will actually take to achieve your goals, then break in down into smaller, more manageable milestones.

Consider the Cost

One of the biggest reasons for people fail to reach their goals is they don’t consider what it will actually take to reach it.  They just grab a fork and starting chewing away at the elephant.  They never stop to consider if they even like how elephant tastes.

Weigh the cost and rewards of your goal.  If the reward isn’t big enough, you’re probably not going to do the work.  So why start?  

Out of the thousands of students I have taught, less than a hundred have earned the rank of Black Belt.  It’s a long and difficult journey.  Everyone that starts training says they want to earn their Black Belt, but only a few make it…and that’s ok.

Along the way some discover that the time and sacrifice is too much for them.  They have other goals that are more meaningful to them and rather focus their energy on achieving them.  I respect that.  

My Black Belts also weighed the cost against the reward and decided the reward was greater.  For them earning the rank of Black Belt was worth every ounce of sweat, blood, and tears it took to get there.  They rate the experience as one of the most meaningful in their lives- next to the day they got married or the day their children were born.

You won’t feel this way about all of your goals, but not all of your goals will require that much work or sacrifice.  What matters is the rewards must be greater than the effort- So choose your goals wisely!