Discipline is KEY to Success, writes Kenneth Thomas Mathye.
(The word Discipline is used here as an acronym)
D-Decisions are important and critical for success. Our actions are informed by the decisions and choices we make whether consciously or unconsciously. We therefore need to pay closer attention to our decisions and choices on a daily basis. We have the privilege of making our decisions and choices, yet we do not have that privilege of choosing the consequences of such decisions and choices. It is therefore important to ask ourselves the question as to whether we are ready and prepared to live with the consequences of our decisions and choices. If success is our ultimate goal, then our decisions and choices should be relevant and support our goals and objectives.
I-Information is important and critical. The quality of our decisions and choices are informed by the quality of information we have or have access to. It is of great importance to ensure that the information we have or can access is relevant to the goals and objectives we want to achieve. The skill to assess the value-adding element of the information before us cannot be emphasised enough. It is one thing to know where to find information, it is another to know which information is relevant and value adding.
S-Sacrifice is a key element in the journey to success. Success demands sacrifice. Many things compete for our time and resources. As we do certain things and not do certain things, it is critical to know which is more important and which can be sacrificed. A skill to priorities not only our activities, but our resources as well is of great importance. When two important activities compete for our time and resources, the question of which of the two should be sacrificed is answered based on the impact of the activity on the set goals and objectives. Sometimes we make a mistake of sacrificing an activity based on its magnitude other than its impact. An activity might be big, yet having a small impact while a small activity might have a huge impact. Impact is the key factor in determining what to sacrifice and not size.
C-Commit to your purpose. Life has its own challenges and none of us is spared from them. It is therefore important to know one’s life purpose and commit to it, come rain or sunshine. Many talented individuals have accomplished little in comparison to others less talented than them, due to lack of commitment. Talent without commitment achieves little. Commitment to one’s purpose starts with identifying one’s talent. Once the talent is identified, then knowledge and skills that complement the talent should be acquired. It therefore becomes almost automatic to commit to one’s life purpose if one uses his/her talent, knowledge and skills on a daily basis.
I-Integrity is success’s most sought after commodity. Integrity is one of the most important ingredient of success that money cannot buy. It is a well known secret that no one achieved anything of value without the assistance of others. A person of integrity attracts to himself /herself people with ideas, talents, skills, knowledge and resources. When our words and behaviour are in harmony, many will be willing to use their knowledge, skills and resources in order to assist us to achieve our goals and objectives. We therefore cannot afford to lose their trust by living our lives like chameleons. A person of integrity is one whose life is guided by values that are founded on principles.
P-Plan your day, week, month and year. We all do not know what tomorrow holds for us, yet a person with a plan stands a better chance of predicting how his/her tomorrow may turn out to be. Plan your days and work your plans. It is rather safe to have your plans disrupted than to have a day and you have no idea what to do with it. Many people mistaken their decisions for plans. A decision to go to town is just that a decision to go to town. Every decision must be accompanied by a plan that indicates how the decision is going to be implemented and managed. A plan details the activities to accomplish, the knowledge, skills, attitudes and habits required to implement and manage the decision. Someone once said “an idiot with a plan will be more effective that an intellectual without one.” A plan provides direction.
L-Lead yourself first before you attempt to lead others. In all we do whether individually or with others, leadership is key. When others come on board to assist you, you will need to provide leadership in terms of what they need to do. You are the Leader of your life project. The beauty is that leadership skills can be learned whether in a formal or informal setting. Make a commitment to be a leadership student because daily all of us are expected to lead in one area or another. Leadership is not a position, but a role, which is influence-dependent.
I-Invest in your development. Personal development should be a priority for anyone who aspires for greatness. Invest both time and money in your personal development. Read, listen and watch those things that help to increase your intellectual capabilities. Engage in exercises that stretch your thinking. Attend formal training where necessary. Invest in personal development workshops and seminars. Watch topics of your interest from well-known teachers/speakers on YouTube and other similar platforms.
N-Nurture your talents. We are all born with certain talents and abilities. We therefore need to ensure that we acquire knowledge and skills that will complement our talents and natural abilities. Talent alone is not enough for success. Do not shy away from personal development and lifelong learning. In discovering your talent, you are likely to discover your life’s purpose.
E-Evaluate your Actions, Attitudes, and your Behaviour regularly. Constantly reflect on your actions to check if they are still in perfect alignment with your goals and objectives. Reflect on your attitudes and behaviour regularly to ensure they are consistent with your values and principles. Evaluate your knowledge and skills level to ensure that it is still relevant and serving you well. Evaluate your goals and objectives to ensure that you are still on the path to realise your dream and vision.
Without discipline, success will remain a far distant illusion. Discipline is KEY to success.