The One Reason We’re Not As Successful As We Should Be

Take a moment and think about where you are in life right now.

I think you can agree with me when I say that you aren’t quite where you want to be. And I mean that in the nicest way possible.

That’s actually a good thing, I think. Life is a never-ending learning experience and you always want to find a variety of ways to improve. That nagging feeling your ex-girlfriend used so well is your friend here; it’s a feeling that you ain’t quite satisfied in life.

But success is one of those things that we think is somehow really hard to obtain. Success, in its essence, is also a very subjective definition.

To you, it might mean having a good financial safety net, a healthy body, and a great family — or one of the three. Or it might mean taking more vacations. Or maybe working for yourself because you magically think it might mean more freedom (it doesn’t always work like that).

Anyways, it doesn’t really matter. You can define success however you want and each answer is perfectly valid.

But no matter what your definition is, there’s one big reason why you aren’t getting a whiff of that sweet smell of success as much as you could be:

Your self-discipline fucking sucks.

Your Self-Discipline Is The Key

If you want to begin understanding the idea behind discipline, let’s take a step back and briefly talk about the kind of society we live in.

It’s never been harder to focus in today’s world. Staying “in the zone” has been an issue for as long as man could walk, and it’s because we’re only human. In other words, we’re not robots. I’d wager that’s probably a good thing.

But today’s generation, which includes Millennials but also Gen X and Gen Z (the ones before and after, respectively), have it hard. Trust me, I feel your pain — I’m a Millennial.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have phones or tablets or any of today’s high-tech gadgets. We had TV, but we mainly had books and actual physical toys. I feel like I’m grateful for that. But the tech toys came pretty quick, and they hit hard.

Social media, phones at our fingertips, constant comparison to others, television, media, you name it. It’s a race to see what’s good, what’s better, and how quickly we can get it; in other words, instant gratification.

You hear that? That’s the warning sirens from an incoming strike. We’re literally being bombarded with distractions.

Our ego loves it, but it comes at a price.

In this age of constant bombardment, we’re tasked with figuring out a way to stay on top of our own life, keeping tunnel vision, and staying in our lane.

Trust me, being pulled five different directions won’t do you a lick of good. Neither will that guy or girl you’re dating who you know is dragging you down, but you’re too scared to cut it off. Just do it.

Anyway, let’s say a wagon represents your life; your goals, desires, and potential success. Let’s also say that you want to pull that wagon towards a finish line that is 100 meters directly in front of you. It’s not off to the side, on your right, or on your left.

To pull that wagon to the line, you need to go straight. What’s going to happen when it’s pulled from the left, the right, or the back? Enjoying crossing that finish line.

What Will You Do To Get That Key?

Achieving your version of success comes at a price.

Trust me, if it was easy, we’d all have our subjective version of it.

But getting there requires discipline.

So what exactly is discipline, Adam?

To start, discipline means forgoing the instant gratification. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. The stuff that makes our ego’s eyes flutter and start blushing. That quick validation you get from checking social media and the easy opportunity to do something simply because it looks fun.

Oh, your friends are going out drinking when you were going to sit down and study? Choose wisely.

Discipline also means giving yourself pep-talks when you inevitably compare yourself to others. Run your own race holds a lot of weight here. Lavar Ball was on to something with his most famous quote that he turned into a t-shirt:

The man everyone loved to hate. Photo courtesy: Lavar Ball’s Official Facebook Page

Finding ways to limit the distractions in your life is probably the most crucial part of self-discipline.

Remember, distractions are everywhere, at every turn, around every corner, and woven into just about every conversation you have.

Last but not least, discipline also means adopting the right mindset. The mindset that while taking a little “detour” from your path is just part of being human, it’s up to you to bring that wagon back into a straight line. And that constant motion, in the form of little baby steps, is the best way to move forward. We somehow think life is about taking giant leaps.

Nah, life doesn’t work like that. It’s about a fuck-ton of micro movements, and then every once in awhile looking back and seeing just how far of a “leap” you’ve made.

What will you do to begin achieving your level of success?

Get the fuck after it.

How's your focus and self-discipline?

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