Discipline is a term most often associated with working out, dieting, or punishment. Rarely does the term crossover to the professional world, rarely do we truly understand what it takes to succeed. Discipline is what separates the great from the mediocre, the difference between success and failures.
Athletes live and breathe discipline. They understand a rigid lifestyle, a strict healthy diet, and rigorous, dedicated workouts will help them achieve their goals. Yes, life should be lived and enjoyed, but those who understand discipline is an investment in their future, are the few who create legacies and surpass their peers.
I find it interesting how CEOs and successful professionals are depicted in television and movies. More often than not, they have the perfect home, manicured fingers, ironed clothes. They never appear to run late, feel harried, or rush. Rather, they linger over the morning paper, party half the night, yet still make the 9am meeting, with the 20-page report in hand. While this image may appear sexy, it can seem like the life everyone wants, it is a shame, it is Hollywood’s romanticized version of how successful people live.
Those who are most successful are those who live a disciplined life, those who understand saying no to a party in order to catch up on work or get a good night’s sleep are the few who are invested in their dreams. Understanding what your body needs to operate effectively, the routines that will set you up for success, the moments invested in growth, are the professionals who practice a disciplined lifestyle.
Some say we are born with certain talents; others say we can build them. Evidence has shown the latter to be true. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Rather than declare defeat, he went home and practiced daily, building the skills he would need to pursue his passion. Oprah Winfrey did not make her break until she was 40. Vera Wang launched her successful career at 40. The list goes on and on of the individuals who practiced discipline, who grew their strengths and became the professionals they wanted to be.