I came across this article today written by Bob Gass from Word for Today and it made me think:
“Author H. Jackson Brown Jr quipped, ‘Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.’
If you know you have talent and you’ve seen a lot of motion but little concrete results, you may lack self-discipline. Look at last week’s schedule. How much of your time did you devote to regular, disciplined activities?
Did you do anything to grow and improve yourself? If you have been putting these things off and telling yourself that you’ll do them later, you need to work on your self-discipline. A nursery in Canada displays this sign on its wall: ‘
The best time to plant a tree is twenty-five years ago…The second-best time is today.’ So starting today – discipline yourself.
1) There’s a price to pay to reach the next level. American playwright Sidney Howard remarked: ‘One half of knowing what you want, is knowing what you must give up before you get it.’
2) Be willing to start with small things. At first your gains will be small, but they will grow. The difference between the gold medal winner and the other contestants, is often just hundredths of a second.
3) Get into the right environment. Since improvement always requires some degree of risk and failure, pick a place where growth and experimentation are encouraged.
4) Believe that you can always do it better. Anything you’ve done in a particular way for a given amount of time, can always be done better.”
Hard work and sacrifice
Before I found one of the keys to success, I never understood the importance of hard work and discipline. I had forgotten the attributes I had when I progressed from amateur level to professional and international basketball level. I sacrificed much to achieve the dream of playing professional basketball.
There is a price to pay but it is so worth it. The problem I had is that I quickly forgot how I reached the top of my profession which was hard work and sacrifice.
There is always a price to pay. You either pay the price of hard work, sacrifice and discipline or you pay the price of regret.
You either have pleasure now and suffer later or you defer pleasure now to enjoy a better tomorrow.
There is no other way, there is pain whichever path you choose to take.
I chose what I thought was the easy route
I chose the path of ‘pleasure now and the future will take care of itself’ – but it didn’t. I spent every penny I earned on having a good time. Travelling the world and enjoying all the latest gadgets as they appeared.
I believed that it would all work out in the end if I stayed positive. Well, it didn’t. Ten years ago, after a life of fun and carefree spending I was £40,000 in debt, my house was in negative equity and I ended up living in my mother’s house sleeping in the same bedroom I was brought up as a child.
I was 56 years of age and my life was in a total mess with no obvious way out. I was at an extremely low point of my life and I was painting and decorating to pay the bills.
My choice had been ‘pleasure first and let the future take care of itself’. Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t. No-one came to bail me out I was on my own in my own mess which I had created all by myself.
Then six years ago I rediscovered one of the secrets to success which is to defer pleasure and work hard for your future. I started to pay off my debts and started to save money. With the help of my wife Julie, I learned to say no to things I wanted.
She taught me a particularly good phrase which changed my thinking. She suggested each time I want to buy something I have to ask myself the following question: “Do I want it, or do I need it?! If it is something I want then I don’t buy it, if it’s something I need then I buy it.
My sister Christina told me something which took this to another level before she passed away recently. She said: “Do you want it, or do you need it, and if you need it, do you need it now?”
Some very wise words from both ladies which has really changed my thinking towards building a secure future. As a side note I do occasionally buy something I want just for a little bit of pleasure along the journey to my better future.
Now 6 years later everything is in an exceptionally good place and the hard work is paying off and the future looks rather exciting.
I have been given a second chance and I am so grateful that I have seen the light and the work I am now putting in is building a wonderful future.
So which pain are you going to suffer because we all have to suffer one of these pains – either the pain of hard work and some sacrifice or the much bigger pain of regret which you live with for the rest of your life?
The answer you give to this question will directly affect your future happiness.
Thoughts for the week
- Do you put pleasure before pain?
- Do you have a carefree attitude to your future?
- What are your thoughts about deferring pleasure now for a better future?
- This week I want you to think about what you are doing towards building a happy secure future for yourself and your loved ones.
Well, that’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and keep believing in yourself.