One year later…

“I think self-discipline is something, it’s like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.”

Daniel Goldstein

It has been just over a year ago since I started this blog, June 19, 2018 to be precise. (If you are curious about why I do this you can read about it here.) It has been an awesome journey and I have learned a tremendous amount about myself, and what I believe to be most important, through this daily practice. I originally started with the goal of blogging daily for one year with the intent to step back after a year and see if I felt that it was still beneficial or if perhaps I wanted to take a different path.

The discipline required to post daily has been a great exercise and I believe it has been as valuable to me as writing the actual musings. Knowing every day that I must write something and very intentionally think about the deeper meaning and implications of a quote I have chosen has been an exceptional learning process and there is no way I am quitting now. It is fun to select the right quote and write about it every morning. It has become part of my daily routine and, like exercise, is something I have truly learned to enjoy. My posts might not be ready by anyone at all but that truly doesn’t matter to me, it has helped me grow through the practice of self-discipline. Thank you for allowing me to occupy a lit bit of digital space.

Self-discipline starts with why…

“Self-discipline is the ability to get yourself to take action regardless of your emotional state.”

Steve Pavlina

We all have bad days. Days where we don’t have energy, are upset, tired or frustrated. Heck, if we only did things when we wanted to do them then how much would ever get done in life?!

I would argue that the most impactful people aren’t those that do the best job when they are motivated and energized but instead are those that do the best job despite their motivation or energy level.

How do you do this? How do you ensure that your ability to deliver isn’t based on your current emotional state? I can only speak for myself in this regard and for me it is all about elevating my thinking to stay connected with the “why.” With a strong enough awareness of the “why” we are doing something then any emotional or other distraction can be dealt with and put aside. Without a strong connection to the why, any little molehill can become a mountain.

There are no silver bullets…

“No trainer or coach or expert can make you good or great or unstoppable if you’re not going to do the work, if you’re waiting for someone to make it happen for you. It’s on you.” 

Tim S. Grover

For me, this hits home on the point that no matter what, or how much, I read and learn I have to know how and when to apply that knowledge. I have to do the really hard work on myself. There are no silver bullets. Period. All the great input in the world doesn’t matter if you skip over the truly hard and meaningful work. I love to learn and grow but I can skip the next, and most important step, learning how and when to apply what I have learned on both myself and the world around me.

Getting advice, seeking knowledge, becoming an expert in your chosen field doesn’t mean jack if you don’t do the really hard work on yourself and figure out what you have to do to grow and improve. Ask yourself the tough questions on what you have to do to achieve your goals and not accepting any lame excuses from yourself. Accept nothing other than complete and total ownership. It is not anyone else’s responsibility to make your dreams come true. It’s no one else’s fault if they don’t…

Thrive vs. survive…

“You have power over your mind not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” 

Marcus Aurelius

Where does your mind go when something happens that is outside of your control? Do you feel attacked? Are you likely to frame your response in a negative or positive manner? All of this is within your control.

It brings to mind Viktor Frankl’s quote, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”I wrote about this one last July here.

Recognizing that you have the power to control your mind, and how your mind then directs your response to any situation is incredibly powerful. It is, I believe, what separates and distinguishes those who thrive and those who simply survive in this world. What habits of your mind do you know that you need to take control of?

Dream or a nightmare?

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”

Jerry Rice

What is it that you know you should do, but haven’t yet had the discipline to accomplish? Is it being healthier? Learning a new skill? Reading a certain book? Building a stronger relationship with God? Setting aside time to focus on giving to others? The list can go on and on for each of us.

So many people have dreams but don’t have the self-discipline and determination to make those dreams come true. Actually I think living this way might be more aptly labeled as a nightmare… If you want something, do the work today. That is what will make the dreams come true. You can either capture your dreams or be held captive by the nightmare of regret.

We can all choose if we want to be a victim or a victor in life…

Accountable to our own standards…

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.”

Ray Kroc

You have to set higher standards for yourself than you do for anyone and everyone around you. But standards alone aren’t enough. You have to hold yourself accountable to those standards, and do so publicly, if you want to lead others effectively. There is no quicker way to undermine your own leadership than by being a “do as I say not as I do” leader.

We are all going to fall short at times and fail to meet our standards. We are human, it’s going to happen. However that isn’t an excuse, we have to be self-accountable before we can hold others accountable. Amazingly enough, when can be transparent enough to publicly show our shortfalls, and how we are going to address them, our leadership influence grows.

Ownership starts with self. Leadership starts with self…

Sometimes we all need a good swift kick in the pants…

“Dreams will get you nowhere, a good kick in the pants will take you a long way.”

Baltasar Gracian

I’d like to think that no one can give me a swift kick me in the pants harder than I can do it to myself but that isn’t remotely close to being true. We can’t see our own blind spots and sometimes it takes a swift kick to remind us that we do in fact have them.

I can say without any doubts that I have learned some incredibly valuable lessons throughout life from those swift kicks. They were the ones that helped me shape my dreams and reshape myself. They were the kicks that got me back on track when I had gone astray. Those kicks have been the ones that fuel me when the going gets tough. I am grateful for every single one of them…


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