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Discipline, Hardships, and Taking Control

Last week I had the opportunity to travel to beautiful Phoenix, AZ. Not only was it great to be in temperatures that were above freezing for a few days, but I the chance to expand my mind.

Most of you reading this probably don’t know this, because I don’t talk about it much here, but in addition to this fitness/writing thing I do, I’m also involved in financial planning. And, last week, the family of advisors I work with were having one of the most successful people in the company coming in to talk at our office in Phoenix.

Me, being someone who gets a major business boner for learning from those more successful than me – and has always wanted to visit Phoenix – jumped at the opportunity to go.

Here are some thing’s I picked up and how they can be applied to fitness, business, and life.

Being successful is nothing more than being extremely disciplined

“A lack of discipline is a disadvantage.”

Do you know the difference between someone who makes $10,000 a year and $10 million a year?

You might say opportunity, or luck – and these things certainly play a role – but the one thing that supersedes those, or anything else, is discipline.

Given the same opportunity, a disciplined person will always achieve more success than an undisciplined person. And luck? Luck is just a byproduct of discipline. The more disciplined you are, the more successful you will be, and the more “luck” you will have.

The only difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t, is successful people have the discipline to get done what needs to get done, even if they hate it.

Successful people know, in order to get pleasant results, – the results they want – they need to go through unpleasant methods, or things they don’t want to do.

Successful people hate the same things as unsuccessful people, but successful people do them anyway.

Know your “Why”

“When you’re tied to something bigger than yourself, you don’t bail. You don’t bail on your dreams.”

Why do you want to get in shape? Why do you want to quit your job, and start your own business?

If you want to accomplish your dreams and goals, you need to focus on something bigger than you. And you need to have an absolute crystal clear picture of what that thing is.

Most people get off track because their goals aren’t clear. They “just want to lose some weight” or “make more money”, which is great. It’s not really a goal tho, but rather, just a dream. And the difference between a goal and a dream is having a plan.

Here’s the plan to accomplish your goals:

Step 1 – Have a crystal clear picture of what you want. Write it down, hang pictures of it, whatever you have to do to burn that goal into your mind so you dream about it each night.

Step 2 – Break down your goal in steps; daily, weekly, and monthly. Determine what habits are going to be required, or what discipline you need to develop, to accomplish these steps.

Step 3 – Make sure each of these steps, habits, and disciplines are stretchingly realistic. Remember, to achieve pleasant results you need to use unpleasant methods, so make sure what you need to do to reach your goals is realistic, but pushes you outside your level of comfort.

Step 4 – Give your goal has a hard deadline. This creates a sense of urgency.

Step 5 – Repeat, repeat, repeat…repeatedly review your goals, repeatedly practice the habits and discipline needed to accomplish these goals, and repeatedly evaluate yourself and what you can do better.

With all my coaching clients, I preach consistency above all else. Consistent action provides consistent results.

Life hands you blows; not excuses

“Every adversity carries with it the seed of equivalent benefit. You have to find that benefit.”

One of the things the speaker talked about constantly was that life is going to hand you blows. Things are going to be shitty; you’re going to get beat up, bloody, battered, and bruised.

He talked about the year that his father, brother, and him started in the business, his mom was diagnosed with cancer. And all the while, in the 3-5 years it took them to build their business, (a business that now pays him $3 million a year without having to work a single day) his mom was battling cancer, before she later passed away.

When life hands us hardships, it’s easy to stop and say, “I need to deal with this right now.” and put everything else on hold. But life hands everyone hardships.

People who are successful aren’t immune to the hardships of life; to sickness, death of family members, personal tragedies, and failure. They succeed in spite of those things, because they are focused on something bigger than themselves.

You’re going to have bad days, stress, or not feel like going to the gym…but it’s on these things that success is built. It’s these days that you prove to yourself how bad you want it.

“Hardship separates those with a wishbone, from those with a backbone.”

Life will come out exactly as today went

“The things you do today are the things that make the difference that will allow you to live the life you want to live.”

If I took you to a diamond mine, and told you that you only had 30 minutes to get out as many diamonds as you could, and you could keep them all, do you think you’d take any coffee breaks during that time, or would you work the entire 30 minutes?

So, if that’s how hard we work for something when we know how much time we have, how hard would we work for something when we don’t know our time limit? You’d think pretty hard.

And yet, with our lives, that’s exactly the situation we’re in. We don’t what our time limit is. We all want the most we can get out of life, make as much money as we can, be as successful as we can, spend as much time with our family as we can, and yet we waste days, weeks, months, and years, putting it off; saying, “I’ll do that later.”

Life is as good as you want it to be when you get after it. The problem is so many of us – myself included – put off getting after it. And the longer we put off getting after it, the further we get from our dreams.

Waiting a day, a week, or starting on Monday, doesn’t just set you back a day or a week, it sets your back exponentially.

And why do we wait? Because “the time isn’t right”? No…we wait because we’re scared. We’re scared of the unknown; about what may happen if we try and we fail. But our fear is holding us back.

We are our own biggest roadblocks. We are what’s holding us back; nothing else. The only thing keeping us from getting where we want to do is that thing between our left and right ear.

“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve.”

We are all capable of getting exactly what we want. In fact, the process of getting what we want isn’t actually that difficult or that long.

The process of getting ourselves to that point – to the point where we’re ready to go out and get what we want – is. For some, this may take a few days. For others, it may take a few years. But we’re all capable of getting there. It’s just a matter of deciding to let go of the beliefs that are holding us back.

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