Years ago, I attended a business seminar. I had entered the land of Entrepreneurship (owning my own business), and the trainer was teaching on what it took to succeed. He mentioned 4 steps – which I call The Four Pillars of Success.
Here are the steps he mentioned:

1 – Determine what you want, and when you want it

2 – Determine what you are willing to give up in order to get what you want

3 – Associate with those who can help you get what you want

4 – Plan your work, and work your plan

He went on to talk about how important it was for entrepreneurs to have self-discipline. Well, when I looked at the 4 steps – and then thought about my level of self-discipline – I only had 4 issues:

1 – I did not want to make myself sit down and think about what I really wanted;

2 – I did not want to give up anything;

3 – I was uncomfortable around other people, and;

4 – I did not want to have to come up with a plan. Oh, I also did not want to have to do any work. I just wanted to
become successful.

Other than those four self-imposed conditions, I was great.

Over time, I was able to overcome my challenges, and I became somewhat successful. What I want to do today is to point out some things about Self-Discipline that you may not have thought about when it comes to these Pillars of Success.

My wife and I have run home-based businesses full-time since early 2009. The other day in church a friend said that he could never do that, as he is not self-disciplined. What we had to explain to him was that we were not either – in the early days. It took some time – and a lot of communication – for us to develop the Self-Discipline needed to be successful in running businesses from our home.

When you first look at the 4 Pillars, it seems easy to find the one that will require Self-Discipline. No one wants to give up anything, even temporarily. What it took me a long time to realize, however, is this:

It takes Self-Discipline in ALL FOUR STEPS.

Go back to what I said about my shortcomings concerning the steps. I had to step up my character over time, and become self-disciplined in order to follow through with each of the 4 steps. If you truly want to become successful – in any area of life (Faith, Relationships, Money, Career or Health) – you, too, will need to develop the Self-Discipline needed.

You can do it.

I want to end today with some words from my favorite Andy Andrews book, The Final Summit: A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity. In this passage, King David (from the Bible) is discussing Self-Discipline:

“It takes self-discipline to practice, because practice is rarely exciting. But I understood the principle at an early age. Exerting self-discipline is merely a process by which you remember what you really want. You see, I did not want to practice. What I really wanted was to be proficient with the sling. Therefore, I learned to discipline myself to practice on targets – rocks and trees – for hours every day.

“What do you really want? That is the question that fuels a person to a strong discipline that can only be administered to himself by himself. And success in any endeavor where self-discipline is involved boils down to this question: can you make yourself do something you don’t particularly want to do in order to get a result you would like to have?”

Go forth and determine what it is you really want to have – or to do, or to become. Then remember that, focus on that, and you will find the Self-Discipline required to be successful in your quest, too.