The Value of Discipline in Getting What You Want

Over the course of many years in business, between my own failed attempts and bearing witness to those of others, what I consistently notice is the following:

  • Without a clear idea of how you want to show up in the world and an idea of what you want your future to be, it’s tough to make good choices in the present.
  • Without the willingness to take the actions that will help you achieve your desired current or future state, it’s not going to happen.

Here’s what I mean. I’m not a natural writer, nor do I particularly love writing, but it’s a discipline that I’ve adopted because I believe it’s important for me to learn and to practice. I write these blogs to share my experiences and ideas, and also to hear from you that either this resonates or it’s dumb as dirt. Getting clear about my own point of view and getting feedback is one way of learning and adapting in my coaching business. It’s also a discipline of being in the learning about the work that I love doing.

I recently worked with an executive client who has struggled with her weight for most of her adult life. For her, this struggle represented her fundamental lack of discipline in many areas of her life. Our work together was helping her become crystal clear about what was most important to her at a heart/mind/body level, follow a disciplined approach to leading a healthier life, and working on her challenges with staying in a tough conversation with one of her peers. Some people call this “finding purpose,” and I would argue that it’s figuring out what is so important to you in your life that you are willing to put some long-held beliefs and habits at risk, and that you are willing to suffer some short-term discomfort to get to the other side.

Don’t allow perfect get in the way of good enough, or your present distractions keep you from the work that will get you to a future state that you want. Change your view of discipline from something unpleasant and inorganic to a living tool and process for achieving your goals – it very well could give you the keys to the kingdom that you envision for yourself.

Epilogue: My client is happy to report a new discipline regarding her health that has helped her lose 30 pounds and achieve a weekly exercise routine, including walking meetings with some of her staff.  She would say that it hasn’t been easy, but most of the time, what’s worth having is worth the discomfort of change.