Four Keys to Greater Self-Discipline

“No person is free who is not master of himself. “– Pythagoras

Feeling stuck? Unmotivated?

Does it seem as though you’re drifting, not really achieving your goals or making progress in life?

First, you are not alone! Second, if you’re reading this you are on to something,

Discipline is both the key and the bridge to take you from where you are right now to where you want to be in life… and, here’s something you’ll rarely if ever hear, it doesn’t have to be difficult!

I’m going to repeat that, “Discipline can be simple once these key ideas are understood and then applied!”

Believe!

Belief almost always comes first.

There’s almost no point in trying to become better and more disciplined at anything if you don’t believe it’s truly possible. Too often people will say, “Well I’m just not that disciplined.” With that sort of self-talk and mindset where can a person truly go from there?

Believing / knowing you can be a disciplined person is the first step!

Do you believe?

Visualize!

See your ideal self in your mind’s eye. What would a more disciplined you look like? Rather than trying to encompass every possible disciplined aspect of your life, focus on ONE simple discipline and say to yourself, for instance:

* I see myself passing up the cookies

* I see myself reading every night before bed

* I see myself controlling my reactions/anger

Track Your Behavior

How can you tell if you’re making progress if you don’t track your behaviors (your habits)? How are you going to know if you’re eating better, losing weight, etc.?

Plus, there is a great secret bonus to tracking— self efficacy! It simply means that you are able to produce a desired result. Then, guess what happens? That’s right, you become happier (because you are controlling directing your behavior/producing a desired result AND you gain momentum! ; )

Tracking your habits produces discipline or to be more accurate the discipline habit. The Habit Factor provides this FREE handy, PDF tracking sheet or a free app (Google Play store and iOS) — it  is amazingly effective.

Patience

“The man who masters patience masters everything else.”

Patience can not be over-stated! All too often people bail on the process of self-improvement because they fail once or twice. You can and will “fail” a few dozen times… but that doesn’t matter. The most disciplined among us have just kept trying. EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY!

Change is simple but not necessarily easy, and patience is the difference maker. Those that succeed are patient with themselves and keep trying. They keep plugging along, keep moving forward and of course that bring us full circle to Key #1…. they keep believing!

So there you have it. Four simple keys to improving your self-discipline. Abide by these tenets and you WILL find success.

 

5 Keys to Breakthrough Stress

I challenge you to watch this five times! Yes! five times!

Something pretty incredible happens around the third time, particularly if you’re taking notes. Now, I’m not saying you need to watch it five times in just one sitting. But, try to watch it at least 3x in one sitting (and take notes!).

The video is ONLY 2 minutes so you’d be INVESTING 6 minutes to alter/shift/change direction of your life (if that is what you’re looking to do.

Enjoy!

Are your Habits Aligned with your Dreams for Tomorrow?

The above video and corresponding post was originally published on 4/20/2014 – years ago.

Steph Curry has now willed his team to multiple NBA FINALS AND he managed to WIN (by vote) the league’s MVP award (for regular season play).

On his march to the NBA finals, Curry has shattered every 3 point record that’s existed in league history–and the playoffs aren’t done yet!

Pay special attention to the statement,

“I knew he was going to be a future NBA superstar and here’s how I knew that, it was all because of his work habits.” And, it gets better from there… at one point the voice over guy explains how AFTER practice, Curry would not leave until he swished five free throws in a row. Do you know how hard that is? The moral of that story is that success is NOT an accident, success is a CHOICE…”

YOU can take if from there… enjoy this video/ post and the NBA playoffs 2015 ; )

>>>>>Original Post below
Happy Easter!

SUCCESS IS NO ACCIDENT.

This applies to whatever you are interested in becoming great at!

And, speaking of great— this is a short video that beautifully illustrates the power of habit (that seemingly magical force that has the ability to take what was, at first, difficult (driving, shooting a basketball, playing piano, tying your shoes) and, over time, through diligent practice and repetition, make it easier… seemingly effortless.

“Habit is, as it were, a second nature.” ~Cicero.

The highest form of competence is a state of natural mastery (in developmental circles it is called unconscious competence), where once there have been many thousands of hours of practice, it’s actually harder for a person to err than performing the skill/task correctly. In fact, I believe Tony Robbins cites a story about Larry Bird who was once filming a commercial and was asked to miss a basketball shot badly— unfortunately, he kept making his shots.

THE REAL TAKE-AWAY
The ultimate take-away is actually far more compelling than “success is no accident” — the real gem here is everyone (YOU) has this built-in, all powerful achievement device, a gift really — and that is the ability to develop any habit necessary to help them achieve any goal or to help them realize their vision of success.

Ask Stephen Curry. ; )

And, it’s worth asking yourself, what habit (link to a free habit building template) you are trying to develop? How are you developing it?

There is no Elevator to Success… You Have to Take the Stairs

Motivational Master, Zig Ziglar outlines (brilliantly) the steps you must take to achieve the things you want in life!

Great story about his wife and how great patience and “taking steps” is essential whether it’s dating or climbing the steps of success.

“You gotta climb the steps… you can’t skip them” ~Zig Ziglar

The REAL “F” Word

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It’s pretty funny if you consider that out of all the possible words in the English language starting with “F” only one word, (that word) is known as the “F” word. (noted in below audio!) However, I’d like propose a NEW “F” word– the NEW “F” word. It may not be as fun to shout —- but it holds far more value.

We FAIL far more than we might ever hope to do the other F word anyway… On average, I’d venture to guess that we fail at least ten times a day. Some of YOU much, much more.
; )

We turn on the wrong street. Purchase the wrong product. Pronounce a word incorrectly. Say something we shouldn’t have said or do something we wish we wouldn’t have done. #FAIL!

So, what’s the point?

I came across a brilliant quote from former General and Secretary of State, Colin Powell and, I absolutely love it. First because he dispels rather quickly this garbage about “SECRETS to success”. Then, he gets to the meat of it…

“There are no secrets to success. Success is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from our failures.
~Colin Powell

Learning from our failures…. Brilliant.

My friend, you and I have (already) and will learn far more from our failures than we will ever learn from our successes.

Another notable personality (and brain) to back up that statement.

“Success is a horrible teacher.” ~Bill Gates

Simply put, we NEED THE INFO.

When you take ACTION and FAIL– you’re getting information (energy) back and redirecting you in new directions, thoughts, actions. You must have the feedback. Did you know that a guided missile is really NEVER on perfect target UNTIL it hits the target. Throughout the entire distance it travels it’s making adjustments, correcting itself until the last second!

You are no different! You have to take action — to fail. To be reidrected and you must conntinue making adjustments and ultimately believe you’ll hit your target. YOU MUST TAKE ACTION!

This is what Napoleon Hill meant when he said, “Action is the real measure of intelligence.” Then, there is our buddy Tony Robbins who put it brilliantly when he said, “You haven’t really made a decision until you’ve taken ACTION!”

Take the shot, miss the shot (celebrate if you want) just know that another attempt will get you that much closer! “You miss 100{17e3bfd9a07c0de986581ed5697b485698805caa8353107ff911cf28c852f548} of the shots you don’t take.” ~Wayne Gretzky

This is how you hit your target! This is how you achieve your goals! This is why failure exists! Enjoy the new “F” word.

#failfaster

~mws

(ADULT CONTENT WARNING!!!) this is an old audioclip I’ve run across… it’s about the original/other “F” word and is both educational and entertaining. However, if you are adverse to profane language please avoid.

 

Competition is GREAT and why losing is often FAR BETTER

Competition and value of losing

“If you ain’t first, you’re last. You know, you know what I’m talking about? ” ~Ricky Bobby

“Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.” ~Vincent Lombardi

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” ~Michael Jordan

My morning run typically ends at a park. Given that summer has just started more than a few dozen kids can be found running around and playing on any given morning. In between sets, (pushups/pullups) I notice that seemingly everywhere kids are competing; racing on foot, racing on bikes (one tiny kid had a bike that didn’t even have peddles and was racing!) everywhere I looked kids were playing tag, soccer, etc. Then, it spilled out of my mouth; jaw dropped, ipod blaring in my ears, “duh, (i said to me) competition IS natural.”

News flash! It’s human nature to compete. However, somewhere between when I was six years old and my daughter turned six we became “NICE”. You know, no winners and no losers. “Don’t worry Jimmy, just feel good.” Sarah, (who scored 3 goals) looks confused as we explain why she didn’t actually win. “there are no winners Sarah.”

While there are many larger societal challenges at the moment this one is on my radar. When and WHY did we decide we could reverse thousands of years of competitive evolution and teach kids NOT to compete? Does anyone think Sarah really believes there are no winners? Who thinks the Olympic games are going to disappear anytime soon? Guess what, kids know better instinctively.

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Guest Post: Kill Your Inner Cynic

“What is a cynic?
A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

I read a magazine article today about cynicism, and it really got me thinking. The author basically stated that the reason that men fail in their endeavors is an abundance of cynicism. And of course the cynics in us all are automatically skeptical of this statement, but he further goes on to ask us to stop and see if we can think of ONE successful cynic. Just one. It’s damn near impossible.

Incredibly successful people, whether they’re actors, entertainers, athletes or just general moguls, all share one thing: a sincere belief in themselves and in other people. It’s not enough just to be self-confident and self-sufficient. To be successful also requires that you sincerely believe in the good of mankind.
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10 Great Success Lessons from a Legend: Coach John Wooden

“Success is the peace of mind which is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you made the effort to become the best at what you are capable of becoming.”

~ John Wooden

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Whether you like basketball or even know what a basketball is, chances are you would have been moved and inspired by this man! Up until his death at the age of 99 in 2010, John Wooden was regarded a quick wit and sage to many players, coaches and friends who sought out his friendship and counsel. To give you a little flavor, here’s another quote from the same article referenced above.

“When asked about the keys to successful aging, Coach was quick to respond: stay busy, stay active, enjoy every day like it is your masterpiece, have some variety and try to learn something new every day,” Castel said. “One of Coach’s famous quotes, ‘When I am through learning, then I am through,’ illustrates his lifelong commitment to learning.”

“Make every day your masterpiece!?”

I almost let the brilliance of that comment escape me. It sounds too cliché, right? “Make every day your masterpiece.” Wow! That is super powerful. If I could only possess that type of presence, that type of awareness — to make each encounter, each moment of each day a masterpiece. In order for each day to be a masterpiece, each moment would have to be a masterpiece. By definition that is what a masterpiece is, right? All pieces/component parts masterfully interwoven to produce magnificence? I ask you, just what affect would that have on my life’s outcome?

And, “Lifelong commitment to learning.” Sound familiar?

Based on the above statements, I think it’s obvious why I’ve taken some time to spotlight the “Wizard of Westwood.” Certainly, a site like this, dedicated to success philosophy, is going to harmonize with so many of coach’s philosophies.

Yes, the “coach” is synonymous with “Success.” In fact, you’ll recall that in “The 3 C’s of Succcess,” he is referenced for his storied commitment and direct study of success as well as his 14-year refinement of his “SUCCESS PYRAMID.”

woodenpyramidjpg

Take notice! At a relatively young age the Coach started to ASK questions — he wanted to understand SUCCESS better. In fact, he cites a story where his math teacher forced the class to consider what success meant to them (sound familiar?). It was a profound moment in young Wooden’s life and he never forgot it. What is success? He wondered. As a young teacher he became disillusioned by seeing the pressures and expectations certain parents put on their kids if they didn’t receive an “A” or a “B.”

Those judgments he felt were hurtful, limiting, and in some cases unfair. He thought long and hard about success and what it ought to be — what the definition should be. Sound familiar? (See 3 C’s).

So, he ultimately settled on this definition, believing it provides everyone equal footing. In many ways his definition is attributed to this poem, which he often cites…

At God’s footstool, to confess, 
A poor soul knelt and bowed his head.
”I failed,” he cried. The master said,
”Thou didst thy best. That is success.”

Widely regarded as the best college basketball coach of all time and  named the “Coach of the Century” by ESPN. John Wooden had a knack for cutting to the core issue, focusing on fundamentals and expertly dealing with different and difficult players – their unique personalities, star egos — and all the while forging character. In short, he was a remarkable coach. His methods earned his teams unparalleled success. In 70-71,71-72 his teams went a perfect 30-0, winning back-to back NCAA championships. Only a few coaches have ever had one undefeated season. In fact, during a 12-year stretch, he won an astonishing 10 national championships

Here are a few quick lessons I’ve learned from his many insights:

1. Ask questions and focus upon what you want to master.
He elected to ask questions and focus on success and therefore came to know success. If you become what you think about most of the time, what better concept to focus upon, contemplate and learn about than success? He spent 14 years — YES, 14 YEARS — developing a success pyramid. How many DAYS have you thought about your definition of success and its component parts?

2. Life is a TEAM Sport.
Wooden embraced diversity and worked to find all players’ strengths.

3. Don’t treat everyone the same.
To COACH effectively you don’t treat everyone the same. Everyone responds differently. Some require encouragement and some require increased pressure and challenge. Same goes for management.

4. Concentrate on what you can control.
Coach would never let his teams dwell on the opposition. They remained focused on what they could control — mainly…

5. Practice Fundamentals FIRST and LAST.
He was legendary for grinding even the best players on the basics. He knew they could do fancy dunks — but could they hit a clutch free throw or bank shot when it counted? Do you know what your fundamentals are?

6. Moderate and Simplify.
Wooden exemplified this on the court and off with his simple demeanor and tremendous humility.

7. Focus on effort not the result.
Knowing that practicing fundamentals takes time, he was concerned solely with effort and commitment, understanding that success is a byproduct of said constant effort.

8. Quality Leadership and management require teaching.
Effective teaching requires coaching. Effective coaching requires caring and caring requires listening! Even today, ex-players recall his impact because he cared and took the time to listen and teach.

9. Balance is everything.
He said this often — balance in life and balance on the court. He put balance only second to LOVE. Balance is everything. “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” This, in essence, is balance; controlled action in all areas of life.

10. Love Rules.
See above. He used to say “the purpose of discipline isn’t to punish but to correct.” With love in his heart and by always seeking to measure intent and effort first, his players would quickly align with the teams goal — a national championship. They never feared or second-guessed his intentions.

So, when you combine all his methods, it becomes fairly easy to see why he has been so successful on and off the basketball court.

Thank you Coach! All the best Sir! Thanks so much for your tremendous gifts — your thoughtful consideration and study of SUCCESS has no doubt made many a person’s path more swift and assured. We are all likely to go farther faster because you have contributed so generously. We have indeed been fortunate to benefit from your wisdom.

Continued peace, health and happiness.

~MWS

Note: Be sure to watch this feature TED talk Wooden gave at the age of 91 about success. RIP Coach. You’ve left us all a little wiser and we can never repay you (the way you would have wanted it- see #10 below).

TED TALK -> http://bit.ly/9ji96g (priceless wisdom coming from the Coach himself)

ESPN Glenn Liebman Fav Quotes

The Gift of Responsibility or Responsibility is JOB #1!

sweepingmonk 3 ronn ashore

“If you do the things you ought to do–when you ought to do them–the day will come when you can do the things you want to do–when you want to do them!”
~ Zig Ziglar.

Anyone can make an excuse-and many people do. You, from this point forward are different. You have the mindset that anything is achievable and that taking total responsibility for where you are right now and where you are headed is Job #1!

Making excuses–whether conscious or unconscious–may be the number-one reason for people’s poor character development, and therefore the perpetual and futile attempt to realize their ideal future – their success.

Remember this: NOTHING IS EASIER THAN MAKING EXCUSES. NOTHING IS HARDER THAN TAKING RESPONSIBILITY.

If something is hard–if it’s a challenge–you are on the right track. And, yes, that is a belief system. However, it is my direct experience that when beliefs are aligned with timeless principles; that is, where belief systems intersect with timeless principles such as, challenge creates growth – desires and dreams tend to manifest much more quickly.

In Dr. Dyer’s book “The Power of Intention” he speaks of something very similar – which is aligning your personal character traits and actions with that of the “Creator”. In the book he lists seven characteristics; creativity, love, kindness, beauty, receptivity, abundance, expansiveness. As it relates to your dreams unfolding – a critical alignment component for you is to be sure both your beliefs and character traits align with these timeless principles. I highly recommend you read this book.

Why do the Marines and other armed forces throw so much adversity; literally, difficulty after difficulty at their young recruits? Continue reading