By Brian Tracy
© B rian Tracy. All rights reserved. The contents, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form for any purpose without the written permission of Brian Tracy.
our ability to develop the habit of self-discipline will contribute more to your success than any other quality of character.
Some years ago, I met Kop Kopmeyer, a noted success authority who had discovered one thousand success principles which he had published in four books containing 250 principles each. I asked him which of these one thousand principles he considered to be the most important. He said that it was self-discipline, “The ability to make yourself do, what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
Napoleon Hill, after interviewing 500 of the richest people in America, concluded that “Self-discipline is the master key to riches.” Tom ----- the famous sales trainer, said that “Success is tons of
Jim Rollins said, “Discipline weighs ounces, but regret weights
Dr. Edward Banfield from Harvard concluded that “Long time perspective” was the key to upward social and economic mobility in America or anywhere else in the world. He discovered in fifty years of research, that people who succeeded greatly had the ability to think long term, to delay gratification in the short term so that they could enjoy even greater rewards in the long term. They thought ten and twenty years into the future while making decisions for their current actions. The key word is “sacrifice.” It is the ability for you to sacrifice immediate pleasure or gratification in the present so that you can enjoy greater rewards down the road.
Albert Einstein once said that, “Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.” This is why saving and investing in the present is the first key to becoming financially successful in the future. Self-discipline means self-control, self-mastery, and the ability to have “dinner before dessert.” This doesn’t mean that you don’t have pleasurable experiences in life, but it means that you have them after you have done the hard and necessary work, and completed your key tasks. The payoff for practicing self-discipline is immediate. Whenever you discipline yourself, and force yourself to do the right thing, whether you feel like it or not, you will like and respect yourself more. Your selfesteem increases. Your self-image improves. Your brain releases endorphins which made you happy and proud. You actually get a payoff every time you hold your own feet to the fire. The most important point is that self-discipline is a habit that you can learn with practice and repetition. It takes approximately twenty-one days of repetition, without exception, to develop a habit of medium complexity. Sometimes you can develop a habit faster, and sometimes it will take longer. It is up to you, and how determined you are.
Some years ago, a business man, Herbert Grey, began searching for what he called “The common denominator of success.” He researched and interviewed successful people for eleven years and finally concluded that successful people are those who “Make a habit of doing what unsuccessful people don’t like to do.” And what are these things? It turns out that successful people don’t like to do them either, but they do them anyway, because they realize it is the price of success. Rich Devos, founder of Amway, once said that, “There are lots of things in life that you don’t like to do, like prospecting, selling and building your business in the evenings and weekends, but you do them anyway so that you can do the things that you really enjoy later on. There are nine disciplines you can develop that will improve every area of your life. It turns out that every exercise of self-discipline strengthens every other discipline at the same time, just as every...