Discipline—The Key to Freedom

What separates the successful people from everybody else? Is it “Habits.” I like to call them “Rituals.” What are your rituals—Physical? Emotional? Intellectual? Spiritual?

If you are physically fit, you would have the ritual (habit) of working out and eating well. Emotionally angry people tend to get angry. What energy do you find yourself practicing most of the time? Intellectually, where do you seek wisdom? Are you growing, or are you in a slump? What books are you reading? And Spiritually, what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away? Can you be alone with yourself—and do you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments?

The “world” tells us to do what makes us happy. I see teenagers, drinking, over eating, over spending, indulging in promiscuous behaviors, and I see a suicide rate that is 5,000 times higher today than it was 10 years ago. Why? They are doing the things that can bring pleasure, but yet they are not fulfilled. Life offers many experiences, and if experiences alone brought wisdom and fulfillment, then elderly people would all be happy, enlightened masters. But the lessons of experience are hidden. Like most people, we’ve been taught to gather information from outside ourselves from books, magazines and experts. We may hold many facts and opinions and have degrees that validate us, yet we know little about ourselves. I want to know if you can disappoint another person to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy. I want to know if you can see the beauty even when it is not pretty every day. At the end of our lives it won’t matter if you have a BMW or drive a Hyundai, or if you have a 500,000 house or a 5 million dollar house. What will matter is how you make people feel if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and help another person up.

So what forms the habits of the successful? Why do some people choose abstinence and wait to indulge in that pleasure until married, while others act on it when they feel like it? What controls a person to eat the fruits and vegetables over the fries and cake? Why do some hide under the covers when adversity hits them, yet some triumph over their circumstances? Some would argue their “upbringing”, but that excludes those that rose above their circumstances. I would argue that it is one’s commitment level. But true commitment is driven or follows from an understanding of one’s purpose. Without purpose, we make decisions based on what is in front of us— if it looks good I’ll eat it! But if one’s purpose is bigger than the instant gratification of the doughnut, one will refrain from the instant gratification, and their commitment will be to reach their goal. Commitment means: to be emotionally compelled and obligated to do what you say your going to do. But how can you be committed to a purpose that you don’t know or don’t love?

I love sales people because they are typically very emotional, and once they learn to control the sale (their emotions) they can be very persuasive and powerful. That is the majority of sales peoples’ problems, they don’t love what they sell and they wonder why they can’t meet the sales quotas or make the cold calls. If you don’t like something, let alone love it, chances are you won’t do it. The issue is not the process, it’s the drive of purpose that is lacking. And people baffle themselves all day long when they can’t figure out why they can’t commit to 10 dials a day. They find themselves practicing failure with themselves over and over again when the real issue isn’t their lack of commitment, it’s lack of purpose, because if they had a strong enough purpose their commitment wouldn’t be in question.

I did an experiment years ago. I took a mediocre sales person to an orphanage and I said: “If you don’t make $10,000 this month then these kids won’t eat because you are going to foot the bill for this month to care for these children.” Guess what? He made 20k. What is your purpose? What drives you out of bed other than a cup of coffee? In order to love what you do, you must do what you love and if you don’t love selling “Ink” because it’s the only job you have, then find something inside of yourself to use the ink sales for a greater purpose. If you don’t, then you will feel trapped—you will be stuck suffering from lack of discipline and there is no freedom in that. All good things come from discipline. Get a purpose, set a goal, and if you don’t commit to what is necessary to fulfill that goal then it’s not the right goal. The key to freedom is discipline and discipline is the fruit of purpose.

This post was written by Tamara Bunte. For more from Tamara visit www.advanced-results.com/blog