01:41 Sep 19 2020
Times Read: 300
“We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
—Aristotle, Greek philosopher and polymath (384 BCE-322 BCE)
Discipline is the spark that ignites the fire of a habit. Those fires must be lit daily, and discipline provides the original source energy. The word discipline literally means to be a disciple to a higher purpose. Developing the discipline to train hard every day means you become a disciple—not to the training itself, not just to looking good or stroking your ego, but to the higher purpose of developing yourself fully as a human being and as a leader. Discipline begins with training the mind to reject discomfort and embrace the suck.
This kind of discipline isn’t built or acquired overnight. It starts with baby steps. Just committing to a training regimen is a first step. Take things up a notch now by disciplining yourself to go the extra mile every day.
Ask questions, look for learning opportunities such as trainings or even informal conversations, and read widely. If you don’t know something, make an effort to find out. If you know a little, try to learn a little more. Never rest on your laurels. Remember, when extraordinary efforts become commonplace, extraordinary results follow.
Whereas discipline activates a habit, drive is the motivation behind your actions. Drive is fueled by desire, belief, and expectation that we can achieve something extraordinary through our efforts. It feeds on discipline in that it becomes stronger as we commit ourselves at deeper levels to our pursuits.
Drive will help keep you front-sight focused and moving toward your next target as you pursue mission success. Daily journaling is a great practice for ensuring that your purpose is in the forefront of your mind as you make decisions along the way. “Does this action move me closer to or farther from my purpose?” is a good reflection question. Drive provides a lifelong source of energy if focused on a passionate and worthy end.
The type of drive that powers elite operators is a “me plus we” drive. It means you’re driven to grow and learn new things in a way that benefits yourself and your team, and that is balanced with the needs of the organization.
If drive is the fuel that keeps you motivated, determination is the long-view commitment to the mission. When everyone else is done for the day, the determined stay for an extra hour honing a skill, working on their gear, or studying something new.
World-class performers aren’t always the most naturally talented at their craft. They are, however, the hardest working and most determined to be the best they can be at what they do. They are the ones who will do today what others won’t.
“Make a habit out of excellence by committing yourself to a daily routine of discipline, drive and determination!”
-Mark Divine [Tweet this.]