When we think of discipline we normally think in terms of disciplining our children, or we reflect on times that our parents disciplined us. Discipline is almost always considered a consequence of a result from some action that has been taken. It seems that discipline is always considered a punishment.
Many words have multiple meanings and uses, therefore the reader or listener determines their own perception. Hang with me for just a moment while we think about the words we use. That apple is green, when in fact, the apple is red and yellow in color and we use the word green to mean that it isn’t ripe yet. A Granny Smith apple is always green so how can we determine if it’s ripe when it doesn’t change colors. That’s simple; you bite into it and if it’s good you eat it and if not, you throw it away. We seldom say exactly what we mean; neither do we use the best word or phrase to express ourselves. Surely the weatherman doesn’t want to always sound negative but they do when they say “There is a 40% chance of rain today,” which is negative. Wouldn’t it be much more positive to say, “There is a 60% chance of no rain today?”
According to Webster’s, the primary meanings of discipline is a field of learning. It is training to develop self-control, proper or orderly conduct. It is submission, subjection to control or regulation. It is a set of rules. Lastly it is punishment or to train to obedience. Of all these meanings I want to omit punishment and focus on all the others. They represent the type discipline I want us to think about.
People who want to enjoy the benefits of success in the business world must learn to discipline their own actions. That is to take charge of you own life. Determine for yourself what you will and will not do based on the sound knowledge of what is best for your business. I firmly believe that almost all people pretty much do exactly what they want to do. I have yet to see, in this country, someone holding a gun on another person to make them do something they don’t want to do. Naturally I am speaking of day-to-day activities. We know there are thieves, criminals, terrorists and the like that can make us do things against our will. Let’s focus on normal daily activities of a working business person.
A fact that is good for us to remember is if we aren’t in control of ourselves, someone else is. Sales people must control the conversations with their clients; if not, the client is in control. If the client is in control, who will determine the sale? The client will and there probably won’t be a sale. Top producing sales people realize the importance of controlling a transaction with a potential client. Equally as important they understand the importance of self-control. They are disciplined to follow their business plan. That is they follow a schedule of events or actions they need to take throughout the day. These events are profitable and necessary to their achieving success. They are in control and have disciplined themselves not to let anyone hinder them from the things they need to do. They don’t allow anyone to get them involved in the busy chit-chat that takes place in all offices across America which is non-productive.
Practice won’t make you perfect but it will make you better. Practice self-control. Practice disciplining yourself to do the things that are productive and don’t let anyone get in your way. It takes a lot of practice in stopping people from causing you to do non-productive things but you will be better for it. Once you have taken control of your own actions and become efficient at self-discipline, you will find that you can accomplish many more things in a shorter period of time. You will enjoy completing your to-do list and still having time available for other things.
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