Brian Tracey is one of the most respected and in-demand personal success authorities in the world. In the excerpt below he explains what years of study and observation have shown over and over again. It’s not all about money, it’s really about how everyone can get more done and be happier – including you and me. Since the New Year has just begun, I thought it might be timely and hope you find the article interesting.
Enjoy – Perry
There is one special quality that you can develop that will guarantee you greater success, more accomplishment, and happiness in life. Of the several thousand principles for success developed over the ages, this one quality or practice will do more to assure that you accomplish wonderful things with your life than anything else. This quality is so important that, if you don’t develop it to a high degree, it will be impossible for you to ever achieve what you are truly capable of.
Personal Management And Self Discipline
The quality that I am talking about is the quality of self discipline. It is a habit, a practice, a philosophy and a way of living. All successful men and women are highly disciplined in the important work that they do. All unsuccessful men and women are undisciplined and unable to control their behaviors and their appetites. And when you develop the same levels of high, personal discipline possessed by the most goal oriented successful people in our society, you will very soon begin to achieve the same results that they do.
Once you have mastered the ability to delay gratification, the ability to discipline yourself to keep your attention focused on the most important task in front of you, there is virtually no goal that you cannot accomplish and no task that you cannot complete.
The Qualities Of Successful People
There is a “crowding out” principle in time and personal management. It simply says that, if you spend all of your time on highly productive tasks, by the end of the day, you will have “crowded out” all the unproductive activities that might have distracted you from your real, truly important work. On the other hand, if you spend your time on low value activities, those low value activities will crowd out the time that you need to complete the tasks that can make all the difference in your life. And the key to this attitude toward time and personal management is always self discipline.
There are several disciplines that you need to develop if you want to achieve your full potential. The first of these is the discipline of goals. This means that you sit down with a pad of paper, a pen and ample time. You think through and then make a written list of all the things you want to accomplish in the next one, two, three, four and five years. You organize the list into the various areas of your life; your career, your money, your family, your health and the other parts that are important to you. You set priorities among your goals and re-write your lists so that your most important goals are at the top. You then take a separate sheet of paper and you make a list of all the things that you can think of doing, right now, to move you toward the attainment of your most important goals. Fully 97% of adults in North America are trying to live their lives without clear, specific, written goals. This is the same as setting off across an unknown country without a roadmap. You may get somewhere eventually, but it will take you much longer, and it is far more likely that you will get lost, and waste an enormous amount of time, than if you planned your trip carefully, with a roadmap, and full information about the future terrain, before you started out.
Successful People Complete High Value Tasks First
The second discipline you need to develop for success is the discipline of planning. Many people think that they are too busy to plan. Or they don’t give themselves enough time to plan. Most will spend more time on planning a two week holiday than they will on a plan to ensure their family will be looked after if one of the parents don’t make it home one night. But studies show that you will save ten minutes in execution for every minute that you invest in planning. You will get a 1000% (that’s one thousand percent) return on your time investment by taking the time to think through, in advance, what you are going to do in the hours and days ahead.
– Brian Tracey