Would you like to learn how to become more disciplined? I’m going to show you the four secrets to becoming more disciplined so that you can achieve your full potential.
Have Clarity About Who You Are – Realise that you are a professional in your life, not an amateur. An amateur believes that feeling generates action, but a professional knows that action generates feeling.
To be Disciplined, You Need Compassion – First and foremost, you need to be nice to yourself. Look after your fundamentals such as sleep, nutrition and exercise.
Get Help! – Make sure that you’re not working alone, bring others in to help you, to share the responsibility.
Create Negative Consequences – Human beings are far more likely to want to avoid losing something than gaining something. Create negative consequences for not being disciplined.
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Would you like to learn how to become more disciplined? Well, in today’s episode, I’m going to show you the four Cs, secrets to becoming more disciplined in your working life so that you can achieve your full potential. Make sure that you stick around and listen to the entire episode, because I’ll be sharing things here that you haven’t heard anywhere else. Hi, my name is Eric Partaker, and I’ve been recognized as one of the top entrepreneurs in the country, as well as the CEO of the year. I’m also the author of two best-selling books, including The 3 Alarms.
So the first way that we need to become more disciplined is all around clarity and it starts with having clarity about who we are. I’d love for you to start realizing that you are a professional in your life, not an amateur. An amateur believes that feeling generates action, but a professional knows that action generates feeling. They flip the script. So I encourage you to make the decision to turn pro. Become a professional in your life. Don’t have your feelings dictate whether or not you should do something. Realize that your action will generate the feelings that you seek. There’s been so many times when I’ve been sat down to work on something and I have not wanted to work on it. But because I’ve learned this trick, that action generates feeling, I just choose to start. I literally use this language. I choose to start for just five minutes, knowing that once I get going, the feelings that I seek to propel me further get generated by the action, by the momentum.
So be clear on who you are and I encourage you to assume the identity of a professional, not an amateur. Know that action generates feeling. Don’t wait around to feel like doing things, and if you’re not feeling like it choose to start for just five minutes to get that ball rolling. Once we’re clear about who we are, we need to be clear about where we’re going and that’s why it’s super important from a discipline point of view to really understand what are your goals and why are they important to you? Be super specific about your goal, know what it is that you want to achieve by when, break it down into sub steps so it doesn’t feel like it’s such a huge challenge. And also, now why is that important to you? What are the benefits that you’ll get? What are the benefits that the people around you will receive if you achieve this goal or whatever it is that you’re trying to be more disciplined towards?
Then last but not least, when it comes to clarity, we need a clear environment and what I mean by that is that we’ve got to remove temptation. There’s no point about trying to be disciplined about not eating sugar, for example, if every time you go to the grocery store or have food delivered, your basket’s full of sugar. You got to stop bringing it into the house. You got to remove those temptations. Similarly, if you’re trying to be more disciplined with your work and you know that your phone is a source of distraction, then having your phone right next to you with all the notifications going off is probably not a good idea for you maintaining your discipline. So let’s have a clear environment. So that’s clarity, right? So make sure you’re clear about who you are, be a professional, not an amateur. Action generates feeling, not the other way around, be clear about where you’re going, your goal and the why, and also make sure we have a clear environment.
Number two is about compassion. For us to become more disciplined, we need more compassion. How do we create more compassion? Well, first and foremost, we need to be nice to ourselves. We need to respect the fundamentals. So for example, you will have a lot of difficulty, and this is backed by science, you will have a lot of difficulty maintaining your discipline if you don’t have proper sleep, if you don’t have proper nutrition, if you’re not getting proper exercise. That trifecta right there, if deficient, any one of those things is scientifically proven to reduce your willpower, to negatively impact your motivation, which all means that you are less likely to stay disciplined, doing the things that you know that you should be doing. So practice self-compassion by making sure that you’re looking after the fundamentals that will fuel your discipline and willpower engine.
Number two, make sure that in the pursuit of whatever it is that you’re working on, that you’re also practicing compassion by scheduling in breaks and rewards. You don’t need to be working flat out all the time and as a matter of fact, you’re less likely to maintain your momentum and your output if you are working flat out all the time. It’s much better, for example, in a period of an hour, if you work for 50 minutes and then take a 10 minute break and then another 50 minutes, and then another 10 minute break. Even if you did that for three hours and you feel like, “Oh no, I’ve lost 30 minutes,” 10 minutes each hour to a break, studies show that you will actually outperform the person who is working for three straight hours because the breaks actually optimize and fuel your productivity. They make it easier to stay discipline.
And then give yourself a reward. If you hit a certain milestone on the way to achieve a goal, then celebrate. That could be a night out. It could be a dinner. It could be a gift for yourself, but making sure you’re baking in rewards into the path of your achievement because it will make staying disciplined all that much easier. Then last but not least to practice compassion, play the rebound game. What I mean is that you will fall down. One of my favorite Proverbs is Japanese proverb, fall down seven times, and stand up eight. So you will fall down. You will fall down lots of times, but the game is not to avoid the knock downs. The game is simply how quickly can you stand back up and get right back at it? So practice compassion in that you allow yourself to fall down, but provided that you play that rebound game. So I might fall down, but I’m going to rebound right back up very, very quickly.
So we talked about clarity. We talked about compassion and then the third C is all about comradery. So it’s hard to stay disciplined on our own and there’s more multiple ways in which we can invite others into the picture and list their support, which will make staying disciplines so much easier. The first thing that you can do is make sure that you’re not working on whatever you’re working on alone. If you can share the responsibility, if you can bring in another team member to support you or work alongside of you, then … We are social beings. As human beings, we love to work and interact with others. So capitalize on that because that will allow you to stay more disciplined. So to the degree that you can work on something with someone else, by all means, if you can do that, give it a shot, try that.
Now, that isn’t always the case though, but there’s another thing that we can be doing, especially when that’s not the case to increase more discipline in the area of comradery and that’s to have an accountability partner. Now, an accountability partner is simply somebody who you interact with, say, on a weekly basis and you’re going to report progress to each other on the commitments that you made the prior week and report to each other how you’re doing. How are you doing against what you said you were going to do? You need to pick somebody that you feel that you’ll be accountable towards. Don’t pick somebody who is not going to give you a hard time, for example, if you don’t uphold your end of the bargain or the commitments that you’ve made.
Last, but not least, if you want to create some comradery around whatever it is you’re trying to say disciplined towards, think about joining a group of like-minded people who are also pursuing that same ambition or in the same realm or area, and it’s so easy to find groups. Literally, whatever it is that you’re working on and if you type group or if you go on to Facebook, for example, you will find lots of groups around common missions and themes and getting networked into a group that’s in the same pursuit that you are in will help you stay more disciplined. So we talked about clarity. We talked about compassion. We talked about comradery and the last C to help you stay more disciplined is consequences. We need consequences in order to maintain our discipline for the things that are important too.
One of the first things that I like to cover with my coaching clients when it comes to consequences is highlighting the pain of discipline versus the pain of regret. If we want to stay discipline towards something, then that means that that thing, whatever it is that we’re trying to pursue, is a value to us. Now, it requires a payment. The payment is disciplined, nothing comes for free. So we have to make that payment, but that payment is far less than if you were to not stay disciplined and just get lazy with whatever it is that you’re doing and then have to pay the pain of regret later. So the pain of discipline now is always less than the pain of regret later. So think about this in terms of consequences, think about this to help you stay disciplined. The pain of discipline now will be less than the pain of regret later for not doing whatever it is that you think you should be doing.
Last but not least, one of the final things that you can do to create consequences relates to some behavioral science research from Yale University, which showed that human beings are far more likely to want to avoid losing something than they are gaining something. So what you can do is hack into that by creating some type of negative painful consequences, and the research here shows a financial bet, for example, of some sort. So you can bet a … Don’t bet a sum of money that’s going to absolutely crush you, but sum of money that would sting. Perhaps donate it to a cause that you don’t even like or support so it’s a bit of a double whammy, but create some kind of negative consequence for not maintaining your discipline. What studies show is that that increases the likelihood of you maintaining that discipline by a factor of three? What’s not to like about that?
I’d love to hear from you so don’t forget to leave a comment and a rating as well, and if you’d like to get a copy of my new book, The 3 Alarms, please head over to my website at ericpartaker.com. That’s E-R-I-C, ericpartaker.com, where you can pick up a free digital copy of my new best-selling book, The 3 Alarms.