Either Way Discipline Wins

Either Way Discipline WinsEveryday we’re presented with choices.

Everyday, our discipline wins!

The difference between the successful and the unsuccessful is which discipline wins the moment or the day.

You see, in every decision there are usually two options. To do, or not to do. In each option there is a discipline awaiting victory and the other, defeat.

Action vs. Inaction

My decision to read 20 pages from a book tonight won over that moment’s discipline.  The other option was 20 minutes of television, viewing meaningless basketball games I don’t care about(something I don’t mind from time to time), but still a discipline.

My decision to stay inside on the couch, instead of venturing out in the snow to get to they gym is a win for my discipline of contentment (or laziness if you want to call it that).

A person in an unhappy work environment, with no hope to even look for something else…any opportunity, is letting their discipline for complacency win.

With every action, even inaction, the discipline grows stronger.

The person committed to studying their craft nightly after work (from 7pm-10pm) in the hopes of one day taking their talents to the next level, is feeding their discipline. One day it will pay off. But I’d bet it already is, you just can’t see radical change due to the consistent incremental growth.

Discipline always win. The trouble, or beauty is disciplines are like a muscle and get stronger with use.

Show me a successful person and I’ll immediately want to know about the disciplines making them tick. I can PROMISE you there are 5-10 things they do on a daily or weekly basis without question. These disciplines are so ingrained in them and they’ve created so much momentum they’ve become part of their everyday life.


You can start a new discipline tomorrow. The bad news is, it is going to be struggle right away. But you already knew that didn’t you?  It’s why you’ve chosen not to start in the first place. Well, there’s always tomorrow, but you’ll already be a day behind the guy who started yesterday.

Your discipline is winning!

Discipline of Incremental Growth

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Do you know how many people really “get rich quick?”

A few lucky people every year win the lottery. One slip of paper with the perfect selection of numbers led to a financial windfall and life-chaning funds that could last generations…could.

Sadly, almost 70% of people who come into a lump sum of money (including lottery winners) ended up broke in seven years according to Yahoo Finance.

Seven years!!!  How can that be?

Lets look at a different angle. How about the person so determined to lose a ton of weight that they starve themselves and crash down 40-50 lbs in a very short amount of time. Inevitably what happens next? The weight comes back, sometimes in greater force. The person is left defeated in their failed attempt.


It happens because there is zero behavior inline to manage the immediate abundance in the lottery example. Zero behavior in place to continue on a healthy path to keep the weight off. None of this means I don’t want you to be rich or lose a substantial amount of weight.  It means there is a piece we’re lacking in this: free one day shipping, :60 second meal, six-minute abs, speed dating world.


I recently read and shared a terrific book called, “The Slight Edge” and shared it on my Keen Mind Facebook Page. You can download your copy of the book here. I highly encourage you to read it.

Without giving it all away, “The Slight Edge” focuses on, you guessed it, discipline and consistent (albeit small at times) improvement. I believe the author states best, “easy to do, easy not to do” daily activities magnified over time for large gains.

The challenge with this is most of us have zero patience for “small” or “consistent” improvement. We want to get it ALL and we want it NOW. But once again, this rarely EVER happens. Ever! We all want 0—>100 real quick!

How could this impact your retirement?

Ask a wise financial advisor, “What is the #1 reason most people never reach their retirement goal?” Answer: They started too late. It’s not that they didn’t make enough money, which you would think would be a prime factor. It is, but after a short while the dollars invested can’t replace time.

Why is this important? Because the slow and incremental growth of the stock market has proven to yield large returns but only after the first 15-20+ years of investment. Take away the first 20 years of saving discipline and what do you have? A job in your seventies to pay the bills, that’s what. Happy retirement 😉

I’m fighting this now personally with fitness. I’m working to get back into what I consider really good shape. I used to be able to dunk a basketball, run miles, or do endless pushups and pull-ups. Sadly, I lost the discipline and focus on the incremental the last couple years. Now I’m getting back on the horse to achieve these goals again, but its going to take patience, discipline, focused and continued energy, and incremental growth. And pain, so far, pain.

Think about this…In either case, my discipline won.

My discipline won. Really think about it. You’re either disciplined to achieve a goal, or disciplined to NOT achieve it with inactivity.  Feels kind of different when put this way doesn’t it? When I think about being disciplined with inactivity toward a target I get pretty fired up to get moving immediately.

Many small actions, compounded over time, yielding tremendous results.

ACTION ITEM: Focus on the long game. The benefit in adopting the behavior and creating the habit will yield the truly lasting benefits of not only the desired outcome, but the MASSIVE incremental benefits of the work being done over time in pursuit of your achievement.

Every SEAL started with just one push-up

Mark Devine: SEAL FIT



31 Things I Learned Turning 32

Yesterday (March 15) was my birthday.  Beware the Ides of March.  I took some time to reflect on the previous year and just where I’ve been. 31

The 31st year of my life was a really challenging and wonderful year.  Below is a list of 31 things I learned in the last 365 days.  I’ll also leave you with what I’m most looking forward to in the upcoming year.

1. Be myself – every day

2. Read more

3. Embrace fears – everyone is scared (Jay-Z)

4. Say “Thank You” more often

5. Ask more questions

6. Meditate often

7. Listen to more podcasts (most are FREE)

8. Help accomplish goals for others

9. Don’t take myself too seriously

10. Start more: projects, relationships and solutions

11. Launch a blog and share something great with the world (check!)

12. Waiting sucks – go now!

13. Buy a gift for an unsuspecting friend

14. Find a mentor or mentors

15. State your intentions clearly

16. Buy a drink for your friends

17. Don’t be the smartest guy in the room

18. Challenge yourself to get better every day

19. Goals are great, discipline is paramount

20. Get uncomfortable

21. Save a little for a rainy day

22. Eliminate average: thoughts, actions and people

23. Dress for success

24. Ask for help – no great thing was ever accomplished alone

25. The Masters (golf tournament) is a really magical place.  Thank you Juan for the tickets!

26. It’s okay to say NO

27. Tell a better story

28. Donating time can be more valuable than money

29. Take time to recharge

30. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer

31. The number of people who REALLY CARE is astounding.  Thank you to all of my friends!  I hope I can repay you.

Looking forward to year 32, I can tell you without reservation I’m most looking forward to being a dad.  Everyone tells me it’s a life changing event and I’m ready for the challenge.  Come August 2014, Beth and I will be welcoming another Keen Mind into the world.

ACTION ITEM: Take time to reflect on what you’ve learned in the last year.  I’d really love it if you’d share your thoughts in the comments below with our entire tribe.