This is the final instalment from my 'MALARD' Success Model that explores what it takes to become successful. I use MALARD to great effect with my coaching clients and I am pleased to have had this opportunity to share some insights with you too.
Today we take a look at the 'D' in 'MALARD, which represents the need for 'Discipline':
Like Mindset was at the beginning of this guidebook, Discipline is the final pillar that ensures the complete model is effective in its ability to bring your success. Without discipline our mindset can wander, and before we know it, we have lost momentum and squandered an opportunity to progress. Time lost cannot be regained (#Obvs) and so we absolutely must minimise the risk of this occurring. ‘Disciplining’ ourselves may not seem like the most fun in the world, but it is better to discipline ourselves now for a few years so that we give our ventures sufficient opportunity for real traction than it is to lead an undisciplined life of ceaseless mediocrity. That is not why we’re here.
Discipline is the structure we give ourselves that creates the framework within which we conduct all our activities. Without it, we’d be flapping all over the place with no direction and no hope of success. It represents the parameters we set to ensure that our focus remains on the intended target. Admittedly, the word ‘discipline’ can have negative connotations. As children, we were disciplined when we were misbehaving, and you might verbally scold your dog for chewing your new running shoes. Discipline seems like a punishment, and so it may be something you don’t want to embrace.
Fortunately, you shouldn’t need to worry about that thanks to a handy little trick we call ‘Positive Reinforcement’, which is linked to the reward centre of our brains. Let’s go back to the dog analogy: if you want to your puppy to learn how to sit on command, the best way do this is by using treats. Give a small treat for the right behaviour. As humans, we’re no different #ILoveATreat so if you’ve done some great work, give yourself a little reward. When your hard work starts paying off and you start getting some results, celebrate! The good feelings you get from doing that will spur you on to do some more. And more and more and more. We’re striking a bargain here with our own unconscious mind whereby we put in some hard work, and we get recognised for what we achieved later on. It is a great incentive but don’t get carried away with it; keep it relative to the work you’ve done. Putting a stamp on an envelope probably shouldn’t lead to a two-week skiing holiday in the Swiss Alps, but getting your bookkeeping up to date could permit you to have a Saturday afternoon off to spend quality time with your family in the park, for example.
The overall aim of working with discipline is two-fold: firstly, to ensure that activities are done, but secondly, it is to ensure that we continually improve. Applying a disciplined mind over everything we do will result in improved knowledge, ability, responsiveness, skill, reputation, self-respect, confidence, and much, much more. Put all that in one nutshell and what have you got? Success. Great, big, glorious, wonderful success! It is the reason that discipline is one of two key pillars in the MALARD System for Success: without discipline, there simply won’t be any success.
Now go get 'em!
I hope you have enjoyed reading these excerpts from my full article into the MALARD System for Success. It was a pleasure to create and write, and I sincerely hope that it has provided you with some value.
If you would like a copy of the full written text including additional supporting materials, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.