Discipline thyself!

 ‘The only legitimate form of discipline is self-discipline, having the inner will to do whatever it takes to create a great outcome, no matter how difficult.’  Great by Choice – Jim Collins ‘We judge others based on behavior and we judge ourselves based on intent.’  Unknown   From the get-go, I need to put a mental mark that everything I am sharing here is pointing toward me, no one else.  Of course, if some of you could get some benefits out of this, I guess that’s ok.  So many times, I fall into the traps of spending lots of energy and dedication to change others but very little to change myself.  Yes, we must look at our company, our group, our family, our community, our nation to see if it is moving in the right direction or not.  But, in the midst of all these, I tend to forget the ultimate battle field.  Fighting my own self!  Why fight? You may ask.  Well, actually, it is fighting indeed.  An athlete may want to skip training on a hot summer day, but she still drags and “fights” herself to get to the training field.  Despite of external pressure, CEO and his top management fight their temptation and keep the course of their company’s hedgehog concept (1. What can you be the best in the world at? 2. What are you passionate about? 3. What best drives your economic engine?  Good to Great – by Jim Collins).  That’s the picture of self-discipline. What does self-discipline look like? 1.       Self-Imposed True discipline comes from within.  Not from your boss, your teachers, your parents, or your coaches!  You have this inner will to do whatever it takes to create a great outcome you have set in your heart!   2.       Will and humility Self-disciplined people have unwavering will to succeed and humility at the same time.  Here, the will to succeed is not about just wanting to be famous or rich.  John Wooden, the great UCLA basketball coach who produced 10 NCAA championship teams in 12 years during the 1960s and 1970sa, said “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” While having this will, self-disciplined people are truly humble to recognize their own limitations and frequent temptations.   3.       Crediting others for success, blaming yourself for failures Self-disciplined people credit others when they have successful outcomes, but they first point their own finger to themselves when they face failures, not their team mates, not their circumstances, not their company, not their country, not their spouses, etc.  Of course, it does not mean you beat yourself up, but it is about that attitude.   4.       Two distinct type of discomfort: delivering high performance in difficult times and holding back in good times Self-disciplined people deliver high performance in amazing consistency even in difficult times.  But, at the same time, they do not exhaust their resources just because things are going great.  If it is about 3 hours a day practice for a musician, then it is that 3 hours a day practice either when you feel like it or when you don’t feel like it.  If it is about that high aircraft utilization, then it is that ‘flying only 737s’ and ‘turning gates around in 10 minutes for new flights’ either when you have only 10s of employees or when you have 10s of thousands of employees (actually this is one of Southwest Airline’s success recipes that they have been keeping for over 30 years.). ~David Bang~


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