- Thoughts for inspired living

November 11, 2014


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:50 am

C274933 mHave you ever heard someone say, “I have no discipline”? Perhaps, it was you. That’s simply not true.

The Grasshopper weighed in on discipline this morning when he said, “Discipline is departmentalized.”

We all have it, but maybe not in the department we currently need it.

Even a confirmed couch potato is disciplined enough to record the TV shows he’ll be off the couch for.

So it seems that we don’t have discipline for the things we don’t want to do. The more we don’t want to do them, the less discipline we seem to muster.

“But I need to get these things done,” say you. What to do?

The first step is to redefine discipline. We currently have it filed as this mystical force that only shows up when we want something bad enough. Discipline, pure and simple, is becoming a disciple of a philosophy. My free ebook THE SUCCESS TRIANGLE dedicates a whole section to this notion.

Find someone who is successful in doing what you “need” to do and find out their recipe or playbook and follow it step by step. Don’t attempt to do everything they do all at once. Break down the steps and do them one at a time until they become more easily repeatable. Then move on to the next step. You are adopting their philosophy a step at a time. Before long, you are a performing student of their discipline. Reminds me of a couple of stories . . .

When I was in radio broadcasting, one of my roles was to coach DJs. One thing DJs know how to do is talk, but many of them talk too much. One way to combat that is to put them into a system (discipline) where they can only talk for a certain amount of seconds. If you know you have all day, you’ll take all day to say it. If you have to communicate it in 9 seconds, that’s going to take some pre-thought and some mental editing before you open your mouth. The system disciplines you.

There is a radio consultant who did the following: She would record a portion of your show, unbeknown to you, and then transcribe every word that you said. She would then edit your words down to a more succinct transcription. She would then schedule a meeting with you and have you record the edited script. Then she would play back both recordings – the one she initially taped and the one you just recorded. The clarity was undeniable in the edited version – blather went out the window.

She would then task you with doing the same thing – record a portion of your show, transcribe it, edit it for clarity, record the script and compare the two recordings on your own. The upshot of this discipline (way of doing things) was that you began to edit in your head before speaking on the air.

Discipline is not a force but a system of doing things. When you “big picture” a task, you will encounter resistance. When you break it down into its parts, it becomes more manageable. There is someone who is doing what you “need” to do better than you. They aren’t any smarter, just more choreographed in doing the steps.

The best piece of input I can give you to acquire the discipline you need is to dance over to their department.

All the best,


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