Have you ever asked yourself, why are some people more successful than others? Why are some people happier than others? Why do they make more money and achieve more in the same or less amount of time? What is the reason some people have more energy and better health? What is the key for success?
No Excuses- The Power Of Self Discipline by Brian Tracy
Would you like to increase your income? What about achieving financial freedom or being healthier than you are now? Would you like to be able to spend more time with your family? These are things that we all want to achieve regardless of how successful we are already. Not only do most of us want these things but we also know how to achieve them. But rather than doing what we know we should do we take a trip to “someday I’ll…..” land. Someday I’ll start to exercise and start a diet, someday I’ll read that book about how to achieve financial freedom, someday I’ll improve my skills to earn more money, someday I’ll get out of credit card debt. Someday I’ll do all the things I know I need to do.
Stop Making Excuses
We all make excuses as to why we don’t do the things we know we need to do. I include myself in this, just ask my wife. Most of us are surrounded by people just like us that are full of excuses. I didn’t have a good start in life, I didn’t get a good education, I don’t have money, I have a horrible boss, my wife/husband doesn’t appreciate me, the economy is terrible, I don’t have the time. Brian Tracy call this disease “excusitis”, a disease fatal to success. The first rule of success is no more excuses. Stop using the incredible power of your brain to make justifications for not taking action. As the Nike slogan says, just do it. If you look around you’ll find many people who are worse off than you and still succeeded in life. So, why are some people more successful than others?
What Is The Key For Success? Self Discipline
Self discipline allows you to stop making excuses. It’s the key to a great life and no lasting success is possible without it. There are many principles that have been studied and are responsible for success and achievement. But none of them work without self discipline. With self discipline and determination you’ll be able to do the things you need to do to achieve your goals. If you don’t have the knowledge and experience that you need to achieve a goal you’ll get it, and then you’ll apply it. Self discipline is essential to success in any area of your life because you’ll do what you have to do and pay the price you have to pay to achieve your goal.
Being A Different Person
If you want to be more, do more and have more than you have in the past then this book is for you. If this is you then you’ll need to become a different person, a person who wants to achieve more than “average”. You must become a high quality person who makes reasons for getting what you want from life rather than an average person making excuses for why you don’t. Who you become is much more important than any achievement or material possession you gain along the way. Self discipline is the key that will get you there.
“Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.” Elbert Hubbard
Your Two Biggest Enemies
What is the key for success? Self discipline. What is key for failure? Lack of self discipline. Lack of self discipline will cause you to make excuses and sell yourself short. Your two biggest enemies as you begin to develop self discipline are the path of least resistance and the expediency factor.
Taking The Easy Road
The path of least resistance will cause you to take short cuts and do what’s easy rather than do what may be hard but necessary. When you start to do something new it’s always hard until it’s easy. Even something that you now think is easy may have been hard when you started to do it. For example learning to walk, riding a bike or driving may have been hard when you started to learn how to do it. But you didn’t give up just because it was hard. You persisted until you succeeded and then it was easy.
Doing What Is Fun And Easy
The expediency factor according to Brian Tracy is even worse than the path of least resistance when it comes to leading you to failure. Most of us do what is expedient. In other words most of us do what is necessary to get what we want right now without consideration for the long term consequences of our behaviour. Everyday you have to choose between doing what may be right, hard and necessary and doing what may be fun, easy and of no long term value. You need to discipline yourself to do the things that are right for the long term and for the moment.
Think Long Term
Success requires delayed gratification. The most successful people are long term thinkers. They look into the future and decide what goals they want to achieve. They then work back to the present and decide what they need to do or not do to achieve their goals. In other words everything they do in the short term is consistent with where they want to be in the long term. Short term sacrifices are made to achieve long term goals. Successful people make a habit of doing the things that unsuccessful people don’t like to do. They are more concerned with the long term consequences of their behaviour. Unsuccessful people are more concerned with enjoyment and immediate gratification.
The Habit Of Self Discipline
Whatever you do repeatedly becomes a habit. So please allow me to repeat what I said before. What is the key for success? Building the habit of self discipline. What is the key for failure? Building the habit of lack of self discipline. If you do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not, you’ll build the habit of self discipline. The good news is that you can learn any habit you want. Bad habits are easy to learn but make your life harder. Good habits are hard to learn but make your life easier. The benefits of developing a high level of self discipline are huge. You’ll have a higher level of self esteem and self respect. You’ll also have a better self image and feel more powerful and happy.
The habit of self discipline is something you’ll need to focus on for your whole life. The good news is it gets easier the more you practice it. The bad news is the temptation to be undisciplined never disappears. A few years ago I was overweight and decided to do something about it. In about eight months I lost weight that had taken years to put on. I maintained my weight loss for about three years. But slowly I went back to old habits and now I’m back where I started. I know how to lose the extra weight I’m carrying but I haven’t developed the discipline to do what I need to do.
Choose Your Hard
That is why I’ve read this book and written this post. I’m mentally preparing myself to develop the good habit of eating healthy and exercising. I know it will be hard because when it comes to food temptation is all around me. I also know that losing the weight will make my life easier. As I wrote in my previous post, losing weight is hard but being overweight is hard also. If it’s hard either way then I choose to lose weight. Not only will I feel better about myself but I will also enjoy a better quality of life. Isn’t that what we all want?
In this book Brian Tracy discusses the twenty one areas of life in which self discipline is essential. He also gives you strategies for how you can apply self discipline to each area of your life. The book is divided into three sections. They are
- Personal Success- release your personal potential
- Business, Sales And Personal Finance- become a leader in your field
- Personal Life- apply self discipline to your happiness, health, relationships the attainment of peace of mind.
These are the twenty one areas the book discusses in detail and provides self discipline strategies to achieve the most you can from your life. I’ve added a quote from each chapter to give you a feel for what the chapter is about.
Self Discipline And…..
- …..Success– The first and best victory is to conquer self- Plato
- …..Character– What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- …..Responsibility– The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might and force of habit- J. Paul Getty
- …..Goals– Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment- Jim Rohn
- …..Personal Excellence– We are what we repeatedly do, excellence therefore is not an act but a habit- Aristotle
- …..Courage– Courage is not absence of fear, it is control of fear, mastery of fear- Mark Twain
- …..Persistence– Beware of endeavouring to become a great man in a hurry. One such attempt in ten thousand may succeed. These are fearful odds- Benjamin Disraeli
- …..Work– Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal or any goal- Vince Lombardi
- …..Leadership– Nothing is more harmful to the service, than the neglect of discipline, for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army superiority over another- George Washington
- …..Business– This quality of self denial in pursuit of a longer term goal and, indeed, the willpower to maintain the denial, is excellent training for the boardroom- John Viney
- …..Sales– Nothing happens until a sale takes place- Red Motley
- …..Money– In reading the lives of great men I found that the first victory they won was over themselves, self discipline with all of them came first- Harry Truman
- …..Time Management– If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self- Napoleon Hill
- …..Problem Solving– Experience is not what happens to a man, it is what a man does with what happens to him- Aldous Huxley
- …..Happiness– No horse gets anywhere until it is harnessed. No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunnelled. No life ever grows great until it is focussed, dedicated, disciplined- Harry Emerson Fosdick
- …..Personal Health– Self respect is the root of discipline. The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to one’s self- Abraham Joshua Heschel
- …..Physical Fitness– Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. It’s qualities are sacrifice and self denial. Also and most importantly it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in- Vince Lombardi
- …..Marriage– It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or demons, heaven or hell- Buddha
- …..Children– Right discipline exists, not in external compulsion, but in habits of mind which lead spontaneously to desirable rather than undesirable activities- Bertrand Russell
- …..Friendship– Everything you want in life has a price connected to it. There’s a price to pay if you want to make things better, a price to pay for leaving things as they are, a price for everything- Harry Browne
- …..Peace of Mind– Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound- James Allen
This book will help you if you are ambitious and looking to achieve everything that is possible in your life. At the end of each chapter there are “action exercises” to help reinforce the information you’ve learnt. If self discipline is what you need in your life then I would highly recommend this book.
Thank you for reading and feel free to leave any comments below