Many human beings strive for success.
The English Oxford dictionary refers to success as
(1) The accomplishment of an aim or purpose or
(2) The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status.
Society, culture and the media can be guilty of inflicting upon us their own versions of success which, in all fairness, many people do absorb and aspire to. Their versions tend to be around wealth as well as fame especially in this day of instant social media activity. Their messages for further to suggest these can, in turn, lead to unimaginable happiness.
In my experience, from the people I interact with in my work, whether the accomplishment or attainment is "successful" is subjective. For one, becoming a millionaire is the goal that will define his success whilst for another it is, at this point, learning to manage a career and retain independence with young children to care for.
What they do have in common is their drive to attain something important to them. When they attain it, they will be happy. Until the next goal or desire enters their mind.
When someone has an idea that then grows into a goal, it can be exciting. This excitement drives them, it creates the initial motivation to take steps to make what they want happen. You have probably felt this yourself, for example, if you have ever had a job interview, your goal was to get the job and so you took steps to ensure you got a job. Perhaps the status, the reward, the opportunity or the location motivated you to work hard to get the job you really wanted.
What happens after the initial excitement fades?
In my experience, as a coach, motivation at the early stages of an aim is essential but it tails off. Procrastination, self doubt or even laziness can kick in. For some, the busyness of life and work also may interfere with goal attainment and success starts to appear further away than you imagined.
When the mind starts diverting attention from the goal it initially wanted to attain, what happens? Imagine you are at your 11th interview and are tired as your day job is so demanding. The preparation necessary for the next interview may not be as polished as it was at the start of your job search and you may be exhausted to. You may start to convince yourself that your current job is not so bad or it is the wrong time to move jobs. The goal gets further away from you.
In reality, what is happening is that the discipline you had when excited and motivated has faded. Consistency in sticking to what is necessary has started to dwindle. With is, come the excuses. We don't mean to do it but often we are actually justifying the lack of commitment that has kicked in.
Looking at what society would define as successful people, one thing they have in common is the key ingredient everyone can aspire to in order to attain their goals and ambitions. That ingredient is self discipline. You can see it in elite athletes all over the world such as Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis-Hill or Mo Farah - their commitment to their sport is second to none. You can see it in the business world in the likes of Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Mary Barra (Chairperson and CEO of General Motors if you didn't know) and other leaders.
Brian Tracey, a renowned success expert, states that successful people spend their time on high value tasks. They don't waste time. They focus and they have the key ingredient I speak of and see as essential in my own work - self discipline.
Without consistency, without self discipline, actions are not always completed. If not completed, how will you attain your aims and objectives in the timescale you desire?
If you are not undertaking high value tasks but creating unimportant tasks that you assume are important, how will you attain what you want in a timely fashion?
I have several clients who have convinced me through our work together that only through their consistency towards the actions we have identified and agreed can they get to where they want. Self discipline is the difference between getting it done effectively and efficiently or not.
Self discipline is the key ingredient for success. However you define that success.
For more information, or tips on managing what's important and urgent in respect of time or task management, you can contact me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org
I offer a complimentary consultation so you can understand the part one of my programmes may play in getting you to the success you desire.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent advice or evidence unless otherwise stated specifically.