“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” Tommy Lasorda

How would your life be different if you strengthened self-discipline? For some people ‘discipline’ sparks negativity so I will use ‘self-determination’ instead. Strengthening self-determination is one of the best things you can do to make great advancements in life and work. You gain freedom, confidence, and success. Self-determination leads to accomplishing more, perseverance, healthier choices, financial stability, a positive career/ business outlook, confidence to handle and achieve whatever comes your way, better control of time, and perceiving obstacles as only bumps in the road. Below are 4 cornerstones to bolster self-determination.

“People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to.” George E. Allen

Determination- Determination is resolute. Firm decisions are made with the best possible outcome in mind. The objective is established often in contrast to emotions tied to instant gratification. There is no room for excuses. You are set in your purpose. This is where strategy becomes your structure to hold you accountable to a systematic plan to reach your end result. Whether you are deciding on stopping at the donut shop next to the gym, working an elaborate project, or growing a new business determination is the first step. Pause and make the best choice with firm resolve knowing your ultimate objective.

“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” Maureen Dowd

Daily Discipline- This is the execution of your strategy. It is disciplining and training oneself to follow through on the best choice while refusing to give in to emotionally-based instant gratification. You carry out a regimen knowing the rewards are great. You strengthen your will to resist impulses that conflict with your best interests. When you fall down you get back up, learn from it, and continue. With free will we can alter our fate. Daily discipline provides the support system. Through this process positive transition occurs.

“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.” Gandhi

Discomfort- A natural part of the growth process, discomfort permeates our being when resisting an impulse. It indicates growth and rewards are on their way. Similar to muscle soreness after a workout, discomfort signifies growing pains. As you continue saying ‘yes’ to building skills, developing knowledge, healthier food choices, taking time for your most meaningful relationships, handling details of a project, exercising, etc. you become comfortable with discomfort.

“Winners take time to relish their work, knowing that scaling the mountain is what makes the view from the top so exhilarating.” Denis Waitley

Desserts- The final course, the rewards, is sweet. When you become resolute in your determination, consistently continue daily discipline, and forge through discomfort you begin experiencing rewards. Some are slow to come but have long range, carrying you into the future with more stability. Others come while reflecting, acknowledging, and celebrating steps achieved and progress made. Do not skip these ‘feel good’ moments by looking at what is yet to be done. Set milestones to relish the journey along the way.

In The Mental ABCs of Pitching the author H.A. Dorfman shared, “Self-discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from the expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear-and doubt. Self-discipline allows a pitcher to feel his individuality, his inner strength, his talent. He is master of, rather than a slave to, his thoughts and emotions.” You do not have to be a pitcher to apply this wise piece of advice. Do you currently choose to be a master or slave to your thoughts and emotions? Use the 4 cornerstones above to tap into the massive amount of strength you hold within and bolster self-determination… Starting Now!

Be Unlimited Action Challenge

Choice A- Choose one specific area to build self-determination.

~ Begin with a smaller goal to build a record of accomplishment. Choose your objective and strategy with firm determination. No hoping. It is a decision, a commitment, with firm determination to succeed.

~ Execute your strategy with daily discipline. Record in a journal each time you succeed in overcoming emotionally-based impulses by making the best choice for you. If you give into an impulse learn from it. Jot down what was going on: were you tired, hungry, sad, stressed, etc. Excuses are not an option but we can learn from them in order to take better care of ourselves and strengthen.

~ Decide what you will tell yourself about discomfort so that you continue to make the best choices.

~ Acknowledge your progress and enjoy the rewards. Congratulations! Celebrate your achievement! Continue strengthening!

Choice B- Practice building self-determination for a full month.

~ Mark the last day of the month as a Celebration Day!

~ Make a note in your smart phone, a handy notebook, or whatever works best for you each time you encounter a moment of self-determination. Note the date, day, the situation, how you felt before and after, if you used self-determination or gave into impulses.

~ Build a record of strengthening. Learn from moments of weakness.

~ Each week acknowledge your progress, growth, and any rewards.

~ Do something special to enjoy your Celebration Day! Congratulations! Continue strengthening!

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