Saturday, March 24, 2012

Commitment To Focus, Dedication and Discipline

"No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined."  - Harry Emerson Fosdick

I have been listening Bob Proctor's Freedom Series on my training rides (not necessarily a great idea!) when Bob read Fosdick's quote. I stopped, scrolled back and listened to it a couple of times. To me, this is one of the best success formulas I've heard. To me, this is what it means:

Focus - the ability to stay on task and not let yourself get distracted and off-track. In business, sometimes it is easier to do emails as opposed to picking up the phone to call a prospect or a challenging customer. On the bike, it is the ability to stay focused on doing what it takes to achieve your goal. You have to commit to the goal and stay focused on doing what it takes to achieve that goal.

Dedication - commit yourself to putting in that extra phone call, to making the extra effort that your colleagues may not be willing to do. When riding, it is dedicating time required to achieve the goal, whether it is a personal one or even a team goal. If you choose to do, then commit the time to doing it right.

Discipline - in business and in sport, I see as the one of the most difficult tasks. It takes a serious commitment to get and stay disciplined. On New Years, many people set goals to lose weight or go to the gym. However, what they lack is the commitment to stay disciplined to those "resolutions" and, after a month or so, fall back into the ways of old. If you want to success ,you must dedicate yourself to achieving that goal and doing what it takes, day in and day out, to achieve that goal. In business, this is even more true if you work in a home or remote office. You have nobody but yourself to hold you accountable.

In 1988, I had multiple short, medium, long term and dream goals. Three of those goals were to be a National Champion, make the US National Team and the Olympic team (my dream goal), there were days when my wife thought I was crazy. I would go out on training rides all types of weather, one day even trying to ride when there was over four inches of freshly fallen snow on the ground! I committed myself to staying focused on my goals, dedicated myself to doing the work necessary to achieve those goals and was disciplined to doing my work every day to get better. All of this commitment resulted in me nearly achieving ALL of the goals that I had set at the beginning of the season!

When you commit, you focus. You focus your energy, your effort, your actions on the very thing to which you have committed. You are willing to take action without any distractions, action that delivers the results you want.

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