The power of self-discipline

BUSINESS MATTERS (BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE) - Francis J. Kong - The Philippine Star

American football coach Ross Hjelseth writes a wonderful book entitled “Winning Words: Speaking Life to Influence Others.” He talks about the importance and benefits of cultivating self-discipline. He says: “As a football coach of 35 years, I remember well how rewarding and effective it was to help my players develop self-discipline for their training, roles, and execution of their assignments, as well as collective self-discipline as a team. Self-disciplined teams with high goals are hard to defeat. Why? Because they have put so much into the effort that they will not be beaten, and they do not beat themselves.” And this is so true. Imagine having a team of self-disciplined high potential people in your business organization? Coupled with good leadership, the team would achieve tremendous results.

Quoting Syed Balkhi, a Pakistani American named one of the top-100 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 in the entire world, Syed says: “I’ve met and talked with some of the most amazing entrepreneurs. All these successful people shared a common character trait: self-discipline.”

Self-discipline is defined as the ability to control your impulses and make yourself do things that need to be done. This is visible in people who would not waste time and energy engaging in activities that would not add value to their success goals. Self-discipline is present in people who would give their best with or without the boss’s presence or the manager.

And then, author coach Ross presents a poem that speaks to the reality of a life guided by a disciplined focus on the day-to-day choices we each encounter. He says our lives become a picture of these choices, good or bad. Cultivating the discipline to consistently make the best choices for all whom your life can serve as a lightning rod for a life lived well. Here is the poem:

You may bring to your office and put in a frame,

A motto as fine as its paint,

But if you’re a crook when you’re playing the game,

That motto won’t make you a saint.

You can stick up the placards all over the wall,

But here is the word I announce;

It is not the motto that hangs on the wall,

But the motto you live that counts.

If the motto says smile and you carry a frown,

Do it now, and you linger and wait;

If the motto says help and you trample men down;

If the motto says love and you hate;

You won’t get away with the mottoes you stall.

For truth will come forth with a bounce —

It is not the motto that hangs on the wall,

But the motto you live that counts.

He then closes this chapter on self-discipline with these words: “Discipline, for many people, is a negative word. Yet, I can cite story after story that clearly illustrates that discipline is a significant key to personal and organizational success. Rules and discipline can bring positive results within your life, family, team, or business!”

It’s a good book filled with wisdom and great insights, and as an added bonus, every chapter carries a list of sayings pertaining to the chapter lesson. Here is a sample list of the saying:

• And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who, in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that yearns for and needs discipline and the harsh reality of head-to-head combat. — Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers

• To get where you want to go, you’ve got to drive and push yourself relentlessly. You’ve got to want to win so badly that the thought of coming in second is simply intolerable. And you’ve got to pay the price for winning. Paying the price, in anything you do, is spelled “work.” Days and nights and years of work. And it’s too bad that many men — men born with basic talent — think of work as a dirty word. — Bill Russell, Los Angeles Lakers

• Always do more than is expected. — Jerry Moore, Appalachian State

• You can never go wrong doing what is right. — Dave Miller, Lakes High School

Once in a while, a good book comes along and helps us live life better. This is one of them.

(Francis Kong presents the highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership Master Class Online April 14-15, 2021. Develop leadership skills that translate into personal, career, and business growth in the Current Reality and the Post-COVID World. For inquiries and reservations, contact April at +63928-559-1798 or and for more information, visit www.levelupleadership.ph)


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