By Steve Gilliland
You’re far more disciplined than you believe.
Anyone can follow a set of rules, but life’s little challenges rarely cater to that. You want your team members to win in unpredictable circumstances because they can. You have much more power than you think, and your ability to combat obstacles can become a tremendous asset.
Here’s how you can start realizing your full potential with your personal superpower of vision...
1. Redefine Discipline
Your reason for thinking that you lack discipline in your life might be that you have difficulty keeping appointments or waking up on time. Perhaps your idea of a better life is waking up at dawn, cooking a healthy breakfast, getting a jump-start on work, and arriving at your desk thirty minutes before reporting time.
That might be someone’s perfect life—and there’s no denying that it’s an impressive routine—but that doesn’t mean it’s the standard you need to aim for.
The first step to building a life that serves you and your commitments better is dropping the idea that there’s a right way to do that. All people are different, and accepting that your perceived weaknesses are opportunities for incredible strength is a part of that.
So, when you drop the traditionalist ideas of what it means to live the right way, you’re left with your own idea; and it’s yours to create. Think of simpler ways of incorporating healthy practices into your life.
Things like learning to regulate your emotional responses to disappointing situations, approaching obstacles with unwavering motivation, and cutting yourself slack when you deserve it are real, invaluable skills.
Finding inspiration in life’s little challenges is not something you need a routine for. You just need to accept that you need to support yourself first. Remember this as you create positivity in your life because the only one it needs to serve is you.
2. Time Is of the Essence, But Your Needs Come First
Odds are, you can’t completely disregard honoring time commitments. However, you can build a custom schedule that works for you and find the root of the problem.
If you’re afflicted with late nights and groggy mornings, don’t trick yourself into thinking you’re the problem. If you stay up late to unwind, it’s probably because your daily routine leaves you feeling too wired or because you don’t have space in your day for entertainment.
Stay far, far away from the idea that entertainment is an expendable part of your life; it’s not. Instead, create space for it earlier in the day. The next time you find yourself with idle hands, invite yourself (and maybe some of your favorite people) out of your comfort zones in search of activities that bring joy.
Whatever you seek or get out of your late nights is present elsewhere. If you look, you’ll find it. Maybe it’s a healthy dose of comedy, maybe it’s yoga. Maybe it’s some time with your nearest and dearest.
Once you drop the prescribed ideas of what is and isn’t a healthy use of your time and instead start searching for what uplifts you, you’re officially unstoppable.
3. Put Honest Energy into the World Around You
A positive attitude doesn’t always mean an unwavering smile. All emotions are valid, and expressing the negatives sincerely doesn’t make you negative. Let the 3 Ps of positivity melt into the way you look at things.
Sound confusing? Here’s how each P can help you build paths where you need them:
There’s a reason so many people who get their dream jobs ultimately find something better. We all have a purpose, and there’s a widespread misconception that the teen years are the right time to find it. That idea forgets to account for personal growth. You’re capable of more than you were a decade or even a year ago, and you get a little bit stronger every day.
This applies to your personal life, too. Whether you have the life you always wanted, or you’re still working toward achieving it, stop and ask yourself what you want right now. Then pursue it with purpose. Not for a better future or to have a life that meets social ideals—but to wake up in the morning with a bounce in your step that’ll boost your entire day.
A job that you’re passionate about is great, but what about your personal passions? Fill your life, every hour of it, with the things you love. Make time for the people you love, eat food you love, and, by default, you’ll be living a life you love. Once you have that, self-discipline will have nothing on your iron will. There’s a time and place for passion, and it’s here and now.
If there are elements of your life that don’t fill you with creativity and ambition, those are expendable.
Perhaps there’s value in modesty, but there’s nothing immodest in appreciating your value. When you give yourself due credit, you start becoming more conscious of the people around you who deserve a clap on the back. When you take pride in your work, you take pride in the team that you leaned on, and even your boss, for helping you get there.
It may sometimes seem that people around you could do more or be more, but step back and see that with everything you’ve achieved, they’ve been just enough. When you take pride in how much you’ve prioritized finding time for personal growth, also take pride in the people who inspired you.
4. Limit the Space That Work Takes up in Your Life No Matter What Your Industry
Last but not least, take a good hard look at your work-life balance. You can’t be expected to create consistency in your life if the schedule you’re creating it for isn’t healthy. Sure, time waits for no one, but you don’t need it to wait for you.
There’s power in letting go of the things that are out of your control. If your job isn’t doable within your shift hours, that doesn’t mean you need to take it upon yourself to expand them.
If you’re putting in the work, there’s no reason for your performance to dwindle when you follow the terms of your contract. Do a once-over of your work schedule. If there’s no way you can continue the way you’re going and start leaving your desk at the prescribed time, then speak to a manager.
Ask them genuinely if they can help you create better time management strategies. Organizations are always looking for ways to retain great employees, and your superiors will be aware if your deliverables are excessive.
All of this is part of the journey to grasping the fact that your life is yours to live as you please. Never let others define your failures or successes, and instead, start leading with heart and creating your own standards.
Remember that any experience worth having will bring challenges, and if you think you’ve failed, keep in mind that the lessons you learned and the resolve you responded with were all a part of helping you find your purpose.
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