You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room to do the job. You don’t have to have the most talent or the best connections. What you do need is a laser focus on your goal.
Learning the Value of Discipline
As a student in high school, I did not have discipline. My grades were mediocre and it was clear I was not concerned about being the smartest kid in school. Looking back, I can see now that I simply wasn’t interested in school at that time in my life, so I didn’t try very hard.
Everything was different when I was in dental school. By that time, I had a wife and a young child who needed my time and attention in addition to my grueling academic workload. I slept about four hours every night for four years and sacrificed holidays and free time in order to study while friends and family were out having fun.
I developed the discipline I needed to succeed because I was laser focused on my goal of graduating from dental school and becoming a dentist. It wasn’t easy – in fact, I can say that it was painful – but it was what I needed to achieve my goal.
Laser Focus and Discipline Go Together
Think of a goal you’re pursuing now. Are you laser focused on it? Are you willing to sacrifice some fun and leisure time now in order to put in the time necessary? Do you have the discipline to achieve it – or are you going to take the easy way out just to get to the finish line.
Laser focus and discipline go together. Laser focus allows you to keep your eye on the prize, while discipline gives you the strength to shut out the distractions and do the work you need to do, day after day.
Develop a Laser Focus on Your Goals
Adopting a laser focus means making your goal foremost in your mind while blocking out the distractions in your life.
Know why you are pursuing your goal in the first place. What do you really want? How will your life change for the better once you achieve your goal? How will it change your family for the better? Knowing the answers to these questions can keep you going when you want to give up. It will help you see the long-term benefits.
Cut out distractions, negativity, and clutter. Limit your time with people who drag you down with their negativity and “can’t-do” attitude. Reduce or eliminate the time you spend on things like social media and TV that don’t add true value to your life. Ask for your family’s support as you pursue your goal.
The Alternative is Regret
I always say that you can choose between two types of pain: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. I think that discipline combined with a laser focus on your goal that ultimately helps you achieve the life you want is preferable to a life of regret, wondering what could have been. Which pain do you prefer?