In his book No Excuses!, self-help, business and sales author Brian Tracy says that there are several strategies that can lead to success. Self-discipline makes them all work.
For Tracy, self-discipline is the same as self-control, self-denial, delayed gratification and self-mastery. As you might guess from this description, he relates discipline to character. One of the important aspects of exercising discipline, even more than what you achieve by it, is who you become by it. Self-discipline leads to greater character, courage and persistence.
Self-discipline is also important to having a great personal life. Our relationships with spouses, children and friends, our physical fitness, and even our happiness and internal peace can be improved by discipline.
Of course, as you would expect from Tracy, he addresses the importance of discipline in business and work. Discipline is important to success in every aspect of business.
If you’ve read many self-help or business books, you may have seen many of the ideas presented by Tracy in No Excuses! Even so, some are so simple, powerful, possibly obvious and often overlooked that they bear repeating.
-Always be improving your skills.
-Writing down your goals greatly increases the likelihood you will complete them.
-When you are at work, work.
-If you want to be wealthy, save money.
-Spend most of your time on your most valuable activities.
Tracy presents an interesting idea that you may not have seen elsewhere. Happiness is not an end to itself; it is not something you achieve. Instead, happiness arises out of the process of doing what you love, having great relationships and meeting needs. To paraphrase the cliché, happiness doesn’t come from reaching a destination, it comes from enjoying the journey.
Tracy brings up another worthy concept about discipline. Disciplining yourself in one area helps you to discipline yourself in another. Every chapter in the book is about using self-discipline in a different aspect of life. Don’t burn out trying to do it all at once. Pick an area or two that you find most important or needful and begin disciplining yourself in those areas. When you make a habit of being disciplined in those areas, it will be easier to be more self-disciplined in other areas as well.
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