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How to Use the Power of Self Discipline

Brian Tracy, Motivational Speaker

One of the single best qualities that you can develop for success is self discipline. Without it nothing is possible. The great secret of success is that there is no secret. There’s one special quality that you can develop that will guarantee your greater success, accomplishment and happiness. Among thousands of principles for success developed over the ages this one quality or practice will do more to assure that you accomplish wonderful things with your life and anything else. This quality is so important that if you don’t develop it to a high degree it’s impossible for you to achieve what you are truly capable of achieving. The quality is self discipline.

All successful men and women are highly disciplined in the important work that they do. All unsuccessful men and women are not disciplined and unable to control their behaviours and their appetites. When you develop the same high level of self discipline possessed by the most goal oriented successful people in our society you will very soon begin to achieve the same results as they do. All great success in life is preceded by long sustained periods of focused effort on a single goal. With the determination to stay with it until it is complete. Throughout history we found that every man or woman who achieved anything lasting and worthwhile had engaged in long, often unappreciated hours, weeks, months and even years of concentrated, disciplined work in a particular direction.

The quality of self discipline is something that you can learn by continuous practice over and over until you master it. Once you’ve mastered the ability to delay gratification, the ability to discipline yourself, to keep your attention focused on the most important tasks in front of you, there's virtually no goal that you cannot accomplish and no tasks that you can not complete.

I have studied successful men and women for more than 40 years and in the simplest of terms successful men and women are those who work almost all the time on high-value tasks. Unsuccessful men and women are those who waste their time by wasting the minutes and hours of each day on low value activities. You see there is a crowding out principle in time and personal management. It simply says that if you spend all of your time on highly productive tasks by the end of the day you will have crowded out all the unproductive activities that might have distracted you from your real work and from what’s really important. On the other hand if you spend your time on low value activities the reverse happens. Those low value activities will crowd out the time you need to complete the task that can make all the difference in your life. The key to this attitude toward time and personal management is always self discipline.

There are several disciplines that you need to develop if you want to achieve your full potential.

The first of this is the discipline of goals. Write all the things you want to accomplish. You organize the list into the various areas of your life. Your career, your money, your family, your health and the other parts that are important to you. 

The second discipline you need to develop for success is the discipline of planning. Many people think that they are too busy to plan or they don’t give themself enough time to plan. You will save ten minutes in execution getting the job done for every minute that you invest in planning.

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