Our columnist says discipline is the name of the game for sustainable business
‘It’s a marathon, not a sprint’
It’s January and everyone comes out of the traps full of good intention and ambition. Once the haze of the festive season has lifted, the motivation of improvement and growth is felt like no other time of the year.
While the positive air of intention and determined application is apparent amongst most, how long does this new-found feeling stay?
This is the million-dollar question around sustainability of application – what is the most important factor; motivation or discipline?
The fact is motivation doesn’t last long. It’s a temporary feeling and can quickly diminish, especially when you are challenged at some point in the process. Discipline, however, is a totally different story but is a muscle that requires building up so that your actions and behaviours become habitual and not susceptible to influence by inner negativity of thoughts and emotions, or indeed by external factors inclusive of other people.
You don’t decide to run a marathon and begin with thrashing yourself over 12 miles as the first training run attempt?! It’s not a natural progression path and isn’t sustainable. You would potentially fail, knocking your confidence, create susceptibility to quit, you run the risk of injury, and it’s not a sustainable training programme for your mind and body.
Growth and success are built on great levels of discipline. Discipline is what keeps your work ethic a strong game, incrementally and systematically.
You don’t quit, you do what is needed – not what you desire at the time.
Being disciplined is what will ensure you create application and momentum that can be maintained. Motivation and hype are short-lived and somewhat false, therefore unsustainable. Discipline and associated progression create sustainability you can uphold at the level required for your life and business goals.
When individuals and business owners have a desire to change their current situation and grow into a better, happier, healthier and more profitable domain, it is important to grasp the importance of managing expectations. As cliched as it sounds, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ does ring true every time.
This isn’t dampening spirits of enthusiasm but is solidifying the requirement behind appreciating that everything that you do sustainable, otherwise why bother? You can’t achieve long term by burning yourself out short term, and you can’t sustain profit levels if resource isn’t there to continue the actions needed to achieve them in the first place.
Growth and development is a process. Not a process that changes everything overnight and all at once, but a process that is proven to keep repeating and layering up with new concepts, levels of effort, additional strategy. A continual process built on discipline in order to build a sustainable you, and a sustainable business.