Chapter 14 of "Life's Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter" by Hal Urban Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it, establish your priorities, and go to work! - H. Lamar Hunt
ANOTHER KEY TO ACHIEVEMENTMotivating yourself, setting goals, and working hard will take you a long way. Add self-discipline, and you'll go even farther. It's part of the formula for personal achievement. It may be the most essential part, because every successful person I've ever known or read about says it's the absolute key to getting things done. Without it, you'll accomplish little. With it, you'll accomplish more than yo0u ever dreamed possible. Real self-discipline is one of the most positive attributes a person can have. I like the way Webster's defines discipline: "Training that corrects, molds, strengthens, or perfects." What could be more positive than that? Self-discipline means training yourself to get things done. It means developing your own plan of achievement, committing yourself to it, and then following through. Self-discipline might also be looked upon as self-determination. When you practice it, you realize that you're in control of your own life. You alone determine what you'll accomplish, and when. And you alone decide what you'll make of your life. Ultimately, self-discipline means being in charge of yourself. My own definition of self-discipline is this: "getting yourself to do something, even though you don't feel like it, because the reward for getting it done far exceeds the temporary unpleasantness of the task itself." Let's say you want to get into the best possible physical condition. You can do it, but not without giving up something. It requires hard work, sacrifice, pain, and a whole lot of self-discipline. Ask any runner, swimmer, weight lifter, or triathlete is always enjoyable. You'll get a resounding NO for an answer. Ask if it means giving up something pleasant to do something that hurts, and the answer is YES. That seems like a pretty thing to do, but there must be a reason. Is it worth all the time, pain, and sacrifice? YES! The reward is greater than what you give up, and it lasts a lot longer. An important part of our personal development is learning to take responsibility for ourselves. That's what self-discipline is. It means accepting the fact that life is hard, and that nothing worthwhile ever comes easily or without a price. It means being willing to give up some temporary enjoyment in order to work at something that has a more lasting reward.