Discipline. It’s what wakes you up at 5AM in the morning and allows you to get one more rep when it feels like your arms are going to burst. It’s essential if you plan on reaching any goal in life. Yet people still seem to find excuses that stop them from reaching their potential. They say things like…
“My genetics are just not made for this, I was born this way.”
“I’ll just workout “tomorrow”, that’s when I’ll be really motivated.” (Ends up skipping the whole week…)
“It’s only ONE cheeseburger.”
Why do we do this to ourselves? We know the rights and wrongs, yet we never listen. It’s because our minds aren’t trained to do the impossible… yet.
Insight #1: If others can do it, so can you.
People eliminate themselves from the competition before they even start.
“Oh I’m not good enough to accomplish X”.
“I’ll never win that contest, so there’s no point in trying.”
“That internship requires 2 years experience?! I’ll never get it.”
Let’s take the famous story of Arnold Swarzenneger as an example. In Austria, no one’s ever heard of bodybuilding or even working out for that matter at the time, but despite what anyone said he told himself “If someone like Reg Parker can do it, why can’t I?”. He developed the mindset, focus, and drive to do whatever it took to get him where Reg was and when opportunity knocked he escaped from the Austrian military base to embark on his journey.
I used to always think that I was never good enough, that I could never win so why would I bother right? For example, there would be free tickets given away to an event where all I had to do was give in my name. No cost, just MY NAME. Yet I bombarded my mind with the thought that “Oh there are 300+ employees in this company, I’ll never win”. This just goes to show that even the smallest barrier can have you beat. Turns out I was right, I’d never win because I’ve already eliminated myself from being considered at all.
Your chances are actually higher than you think
Lets put this into perspective.  In a given year…
2,000,000 kids play in little league
455,000 kids play in high school
25,000 kids play in college
1,500 kids get drafted by MLB teams
This is a natural process elimination, Seperating those who think they want and those that actually want it. It would be ridiculous for every player that ever played little league to make it to the MLB. What I’m saying here is that for everything that you do, there will always be natural barriers that eliminate a portion of the competition for you. There are always going to be people who are equally or even more talented, intelligent, or quicker than you, but will never make it due to a lack of willpower and hard work. Which is the perfect opportunity for you to outwork them.
Anyone in Arnold’s time could’ve probably made it just as he did, but Arnold was the one able to create the focus, drive and mentality to separate himself from the pack. He did whatever it took to reach his goals, which is a key principle for developing mental toughness. You need to stay focused and chase your goals despite what the odds are and what other people say. All you need is a plan to get there.
Action Steps: Figure out what your goals are.
What is it that you want? Something you go to sleep and think about? “I want be less socially awkward” or “I want to be take care of my health”. Here are some steps to help define what you want:
Step #1: Determine what your goal is and write it down.
Maybe you want to look good this summer or you want to able to hit 20 chin-ups in one run. Whatever it is figure it out and write it down on a post-it note, flash card etc. Keep this close to you throughout the day, so you can frequently look at it, whenever you need to.
Step #2: Determine what you need to be doing in order to get to your goal?
What are the steps you have to take and what does the process look like? (Ex. I need to workout for X amount of days, for Y duration doing ABC exercises.) Create a plan and no matter what happens stick to it and I promise you’ll see a change.
Step #3: What are the rewards once you obtain your goal?
Why do you wake up every morning? What are the rewards you can look at and say, I deserve this. (Ex. A mini vacation, Cheat meals etc.)
Keep in mind, that it’s not going to be all rainbows and butterflies. Those people that “aren’t motivated enough” or are “just too lazy” to workout they don’t have a plan, all they have is a dream. Most of the time all we need is to take a systematic approach, especially when it comes to working out, and to execute it our recipe faithfully.
Your takeaway – Set your mind right
If you’ve been following Jack, you would’ve received his Earl Nightendale’s audio tape. It’s one of the best audiotapes I’ve ever listened to. Earl talks about how a man becomes a product of his thoughts, so if your mind is bombarded with random thoughts and emotions, you’re going to feel and portray a random hectic life. But if your mind is organized, set to reach a specific goal and focused to do what it takes to get there, it’s a whole other game.
“A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it”
What are you doing to reach your goals? Leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you and I’ll respond to every one.
Roy is an electrical engineering student at McMaster University and is the man behind www.levelupyourlife.org. It’s now his mission to help others that are struggling get back up on their feet. Check out his website here or you can reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org