Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Vehicle to Success

I could write a few sentences of fluff about the secret to success and achieving your goals…however I will just give it to you. The vehicle used to succeed in reaching your goals is discipline.

Yep, a word we have most likely all heard again and again. We can see discipline at its best when looking at athletes and their dedication to their training and working their body till it hurts. We see discipline in our boss who stays late at work to finish the project that is so crucial to the organization. Discipline is an acquired skill that will make the world’s difference in whether you achieve success or not.

During my time as an intern in Cargill’s Wichita corporate office, it has been difficult for me to remain balanced in all areas of my life…I am lacking the discipline. If there is one thing I have really noticed in the office, it is that those people who advance within the company contain extreme amounts of discipline.

When I traveled to Arkansas with my boss a few weeks ago, she talked about how she usually gets up at 5:30am each day to run three miles and lift weights before going into work. Then she makes sure she goes to bed at 9PM so she can do the same the next day. Another lady I sit next too had a large coffee in her hand this morning and exclaimed how she needed the caffeine—that working out at 5AM each morning is really getting to her.

As I hear these business women speak of their normal routines that keep them healthy and happy, I couldn’t help but realize how lazy I have been! I wake up at 6 or 6:30AM depending on the day to watch the news, eat breakfast and get ready for work. I try to force myself to the gym each night to do my normal 3 miles and weights—yet I don’t always accomplish that goal. Then, I usually don’t actually go to bed till 11Pm, and that is good for me! At work I have to constantly redirect my attention to remain alert and able to perform well (not sure if this is because of my lifestyle, or the characteristics found in our generation).

Through some new insights my co-workers have given me, I have decided to make this summer more than just an intern experience. No, this summer will be a true test to my discipline.

The funniest part of this entire situation is that I currently have more free time than the last three years! I should be able to make time for those crucial health disciplines which we require to be our best. However, like a few of my friends, I find that the more free time I have the lazier I get. When I am busy I am forced to make time to exercise or read a book. However, now that I have so much free time the TV and couch somehow have sucked me in! I am sure that some of you suffer from the same problem as me—having to keep yourself busy to really get all your priorities accomplished.

“Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them, day after day. What you promise today must be renewed and re-decided tomorrow and each day after that stretches out before you.” —Arthur Gordon

Discipline. It is a daily choice. What we must do is really commit to what it is we want our lives to look like. There is the easy way out, but is that the way that leads to the future you you desire?

Imagine this: you decide you want to really focus on the relationships in your life. You commit yourself to writing a note of encouragement to someone every day during your lunch break (this could be a card, e-mail, facebook message, text, call, etc). After a month, that is about 30 people you have touched and made feel special. After the summer, that is just about 100 people. Someone who may have had a bad day could come home to find that special message that turned their entire week around. That could be you.

One note, each day at lunch, and think of the difference you could make.

Apply discipline to your life and the cumulative results will be more than you originally imagined.

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