Discipline not Desire Determines Destiny

Every year we start the year with new goals and targets that we strive for.  When we approach the midway point of the year, we often stop and take a look at how we are doing.  In doing that recently, I was reminded of the old phrase that “Discipline and not Desire Determines one’s Destiny”.

In saying that, I acknowledge that any accomplishment must start with a  desire or want to achieve.  However, if that “desire” never manifests itself into disciplined action repeated time and again, there will be no accomplishment and therefore no achievement.  Even more importantly, what we actually do or not do, will determine our destiny.

Think about in very personal, practice terms.  If one wants (desire) to lose weight, it takes a regular effort (discipline) of eating healthy and exercising.  The “want to” is not enough.  The disciplined actions are what makes the goal a realization.

This summer we will watch some great athletes from all over the world compete in the Summer Olympics.  Many athletes have a dream of competing at this level; however those that are actually there all have trained for years to be there.  That’s the common element…a very disciplined training regiment over a long period of time.

When you relate this concept to our business, think about what we are trying to achieve:

A safe work environment for our employees.

A business that takes care of our customers to sustain our business for the long term.

A business that returns a desirable financial return to sustain our business for the long term.

These are great things to desire.  However, they only become our destiny when we practice a very disciplined set of actions every day, day in and day out.  As leaders, we have to identify what those actions need to be, communicate what’s needed, ensure everyone understands what we need to do and why, and then be very disciplined in our leadership approach to make sure we stay focused on those things that make a difference.  Those “things” can’t be compromised, set to the side, or minimized in any way.  Leaders set the tone for expectations.

What tone are you setting?  What “destiny” are you leading others to?   Where can you help your folks be more disciplined in their actions to ensure we get where we desire to be?


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