Every now and then, I constantly hear of youngsters (including me) bragging about how they are unable to forward their careers or focus on what they want to do. These are youngsters who know what to do, are aware of what works for them and what doesn’t. Yet, they are all braggarts who, sometimes, come up with ridiculous reasons.
During my conversations with friends, colleagues, parents and others, I realise that if something isn’t working for us, we need to analyse what’s compromising our focus. Of course, we cannot have a grip on things outside our control, but most of us can surely look within ourselves and try to understand where we are failing.
Everyday, I see some of my friends telling me about their goals. That, definitely, is a great thing. But, from what I observe, these people have one thing in common – the lack of self-discipline. Yes, we are all young and we want to make the most of our times, and I might be sounding like a strict parent here. But, how we discipline ourselves reflects directly on the commitment to our goals.
Taking my example here: I have, at a few instances, tried to “fit into the young & happening crowd”, pretending to not care enough about my career. But, every time I did that, a fear of “What if I fail in my career?” always haunted me. That, in a way, brought me back to reality. I have been lazy and sometimes, I still am. But, by understanding myself and my ability to do things, I realise why self-discipline in our daily routine is very important.
If you look back and analyse the lives of every successful person, you will find “Self-discipline” as a common trait among all of them. By self-discipline, what I mean is, trying to understand yourself – this includes your daily wake-up time, exercise/physical fitness/meditation, work time, leisure/break time at work, hours of relaxation/reading or wasting time unnecessarily and most importantly, your bed-time.
This doesn’t not mean you shouldn’t attend a friend’s party or get sloshed at a lounge or spend time on long drives. With entertainment, come financial troubles. In these days, everything comes at a cost. Hence, what this entertainment means to you, will determine whether you are committed or you are compromising your career to short-term thrills.
For instance: If you are attending a friend’s party every weekend and getting sloshed till you puke, then you need to have a re-look at yourself and your priorities. Or if you are blowing up all your money on the liquor at a lounge on a weekly basis, then you need to question yourself about your priorities or your commitment towards your career. These are just a few examples of the most common things we do.
In fact, most youngsters will disagree on this. However, they do not realise the repercussions of these. For example: The after-effects of a hangover waste your next day. But, you must have planned to do some important work for the next day. And, because of your drinking, that task is postponed to the next day. And, here is where the procrastination begins. And, that “tomorrow” never comes.
Self-discipline means you need to plan your day to work towards your goals. This is the toughest task for any human being. It involves understanding unnecessary activities or exciting distractions that you waste your time on. Your wake-up time decides your day for you, whether you realise it or not. It will have an effect on your bed-time and your next day. Hence, understanding this is very important. Try to understand your “high priority” works for the day and do them at the beginning of your day. As the day progresses, keep the “low priority” works towards the end of the day. That way, you will not be stressing yourself when you want to relax for the day.
This is also called personal management. And, 97% of us lack that and live our lives without any clarity. It’s like we are trying to cross an ocean without a roadmap. Directionless and clueless.
Success is the result of persistent efforts. People like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Indra Nooyi, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs or even someone like Dashrath Manjhi – the Mountain Man, know the value of self-discipline in their lives.
Therefore, planning will save a lot of time, which you would otherwise waste, wondering how you would do a particular task. Making this a habit is definitely time-taking. But, once you start, you will understand its value and witness the change in your lives. It took me two years to understand this. It might take you longer. But, try it.
If this did not sound like a philosophy lecture, then you are on the right track!
Dream big, drive small, be socially conscious, help other humans and be the change.
P.S. This post is a tribute to Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, my favourite of the few sensible leaders of our country.