Self-Discipline? Or regret and disappointment?

“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.”
– Jim Rohn

This is so simple, it’s profound—but it’s also easy to write off—you’re doing that now. It’s the difference between knowledge and applied knowledge. What good does it do to know how to do something but not do it? What good is it to be gifted and not use the gift? What good to obtain a skill and not practice it?

It’s cause and effect. Science. Physics. To get to where you really, really, really want to be, you must discipline yourself to get there or you won’t get there and hence, suffer the regret of not doing what you needed to and the disappointment of not being able to do what you wanted. I think most of us live in the disappointment category mostly because be don’t have the mental resilience to get and stay on target to get to completion.

Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, notably the technically fastest and cleanest jazz pianist ever, practiced four to eight hours a day (depending on who you read). Nonetheless, that puts him in the top one percent of musicians that want to be the best—yea, the top tenth of a percent.

Ethan Iverson, a contemporary jazz pianist and music critic, has a great quote about Oscar—“It is so important to have these heroes, these gladiators, who are determined to put in the requisite hours practicing to transcend the natural physics of their instrument.”

Transcend the natural physics of their instrument. That’s what you have to do to be the best—you have to transcend the natural physics of your area of desire or expertise. And to do that, it takes an enormous amount of self discipline.

I would like to rewrite that this way—

”In order to be a hero, a gladiator—the best—you have to be determined to put in the requisite hours practicing to transcend the natural physics of your instrument.” In other words, you have to do—the homework—and lots of it.

Novelist Greg Evens said it well—

“I do not have superior intelligence or faultless looks.  I do not captivate a room or run a mile under six minutes.  I only succeeded because I was still working after everyone else went to sleep.”

Something to note—superior intelligence takes a lot of homework to get there—and even “faultless looks” requires Photoshopping. As well, running a fast mile took an enormous amount of work to break the terror barrier and get to break the four minute mile.

You are created for accomplishment. How do you get there? Tomorrow, the Three Steps to Accomplishment!

Reflect: When do you give in? Do you stop before you get to accomplishment? Are a finisher?

Action: What things do you need to put into practice today to give you the self-discipline necessary to get to accomplishment tomorrow? How do you rise above the noise?

Make it a great day!
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