Week 41
“Daily Disciplines”

This is one of my favorite lessons.
And just so we’re clear, it’s one of my favorites because of the masters of influence I’ve learned from over the years and how they convey this message…not necessarily because of how easy it is to develop. Though what we will see here is that it is really EASY TO DO.

Hill chooses to give the example of Benjamin Disraeli (one of England’s greatest prime ministers) as his dissertation on the power of DISCIPLINE.

There are countless references from ancient scripts on how many individuals, then and now, are even known by their actions as DISCIPLES.

Perhaps the most practical way to deliver this lesson comes from one of my long-time teachers, Jim Rohn. Mr. Rohn says the only way to really CHANGE YOUR LIFE is to change SOMETHING YOU DO DAILY! Change your habits or what he calls your DAILY DISCIPLINES.

He goes on to give several examples of these changes and then shines a light on one of the most telling aspects of human behavior, that while most of the things we should be doing to achieve GREATER SUCCESS…are not SECRETS, but things we already KNOW we should be doing. And many of these things are really EASY TO DO.

But the true challenge Mr. Rohn reminds us of in this lesson is that these things (disciplines) are EASIER NOT TO DO. And that is the choice that most individuals make. The EASIER of these two choices.

So they choose NOT TO DO the things that have made achievers and great successes of so many others because of a LACK OF DAILY DISCIPLINE.

 

What if TOP PERFORMANCE, high achievement, a rich life, greater financial rewards, and so many other things people SAY they would love to have could be as simple as READING, LISTENING, AND WRITING?

We would have to say that would be EASY TO DO.
But it’s amazing how many individuals who know, or at least SUSPECT, that these disciplines would make a difference in their lives begin coming up with all the excuses (reasons) on why THEY can’t do them. In essence, convincing themselves that it is OK for them to be excused from these disciplines they know would improve the quality of their life and work.

That’s what makes all the “Horatio Alger/rags-to-riches/overcoming-all-the-odds” stories so powerful, all the adversity these individuals overcame from where they had to begin to achieve amazing success.

But at the root of almost all of these stories lies the fundamental of DAILY DISCIPLINES.

In my books and many of my live audiences I’ve shared my experience with disciplines in this way. “Most people won’t do what it takes to be great, even when they know what that is. There is no lack of opportunity for greatness, only a lack of resolve.”          

In this lesson Hill defines these daily disciplines as THOUGHT HABITS.

“Your THOUGHT HABITS are subject to your control and self-discipline. They are the only circumstances of your life over which YOU HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL. This privilege carries with it a heavy responsibility because it is the one privilege that determines, more than any other, the position in life you shall occupy.”
                                                                                                —Napoleon Hill

This passage from his writings give us a glimpse into how Hill felt about implementing DISCIPLINES into our lives…

“Turn on the full powers of your will and take complete control of your life. Your mind was given to you as a servant to carry out your desires. No one may enter it or influence it in the slightest degree without your consent and cooperation. Harness its power and use it to serve your needs. 

Freedom of body and mind, independence and economic security are the results of PERSONAL INITIATIVE EXPRESSED THROUGH SELF-DISCIPLINE. By no other means may these universal desires be assured. You are where you are and what you are because of your habits of thought.”            
—Napoleon Hill, A Year of Growing Rich

So what?
That’s the question of many, either by their actions or in their thoughts (interestingly enough, it is seldom a question voiced aloud). What happens if I DON’T apply these disciplines? Better question, what might happen if you DO?

 

"Of all the sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, 'What might have been.'" —John Greenleaf Whittier

 

What are some of the DAILY DISCIPLINES or THOUGHT HABITS you’d like to begin or develop? How might that affect your life and work if you did?

As we’ve seen over and over throughout this series, a RICH LIFE is a culmination of taking a series of steps or practicing fundamentals or taking small actions one at a time.

And so it is in developing the kind of success that comes from our
“Daily Disciplines”