What is the one thing that you want to see happen in your life right now? Do you have a goal or desire that you desperately want to achieve?
If you have already gotten clarity on your dream, then that’s wonderful. So many persons go through life on autopilot and fail to realize their fullest potential.
On the contrary, there are many individuals who set goals, design a plan, but life gets in the way.
For most, if not all of us, we need to develop that stick-to-itiveness to see our goals through?
However, a great part of your success, not only depends on goal clarity and efficient planning. Your success is also significantly impacted by what I refer to as “Success Principles”.
I will be writing some more about these principles over the next few days. Success principles are basically some fundamental concepts, when applied correctly, contribute to overall goal achievement and success. The success principles that I will be sharing are not presented in any particular order of priority.
This blog post addresses the first success principle.
Success Principle #1 – A Disciplined Mind
My friend, let us face reality here. Many individuals get caught up in the routine and feel extremely worn out by the end of the week. Many persons struggle to remain focused because they are constantly surrounded by daily distractions. If this is also your struggle, then you may be interested in a blog post that I wrote recently on key tips to overcoming distractions. CLICK HERE TO READ
However, the distractions that I wish to address now, are those in our minds. There is research that indicates that we process about 50,000 thoughts a day, and most of these thoughts are automatic. So right now, I want you to imagine with me a bit. Imagine that your mind is like a race track and the cars on the track are your thoughts, racing past each other, about 38 to 48 thoughts per minute. What would it be like if you left those cars racing crazily past each other all day? Can you imagine the catastrophe?
Perhaps, this is what your mind feels like on some days. There may be occasions when you feel overwhelmed, stressed, cluttered or even confused. At times you may also feel like your will power is fleeting, but don’t you lose hope now. If you were to take the necessary steps to discipline your mind, then you will begin to see more meaningful results in your life.
How do you discipline your mind?
I could write thousands and thousands of words on how to discipline your mind. However, it would be beyond the scope of this blog post. Nevertheless, here are FOUR chief ways to discipline your mind.
- Nurture your mind
I want you to think deeply about what I’m about to write. Your mind is both delicate and strong. What do I mean? If we do not control our thoughts, then we can quickly find ourselves suffering with chronic stress or depression. Perhaps it is because of our inability to see our mind, that we fail to recognize how delicate it is and the importance of nurturing it. Our mind is also strong willed, in that it continuously asks for more of what you feed it. This is one reason why habits are so difficult to break.
In light of this, nurturing your mind is your responsibility. You can begin by assessing what you feed it on a daily basis. Some positive influences on your mind include: self-help books, motivational stories, inspirational songs, poetry, nature, meditation, exercise, healthy diet, positive self-talk and even laughter. A combination of all these factors can contribute to nurturing a healthy mind, which you can now discipline to achieve your goals.
- Ask the right questions in each moment
This suggestion emerges from my toolkit of personal development. Every single one of us are living from moment to moment. In each moment, we are constantly engaging in the decision-making process, though you may not be aware of it. Take for instance, before arriving home from work, you decided that your first task will be dinner preparations. As you opened the door, your best friend calls to chat. That chat concluded one hour later. You subconsciously made the decision to remain on the phone. The one hour lost, has completely interrupted your evening schedule. Sometimes we move from moment to moment without even thinking about what we’re doing and why.
So, here is what I am asking you to do. Endeavour to become more conscious of the decisions that you are making in each moment. Ask yourself questions to ensure that you are making efficient use of your time and staying on track to your goals.
Some questions that you can ask yourself include:
- Do I respond to this mail, text or call right now?
- Does this relate to the task that I am doing right now?
- Is this a distraction? If it is, what should I do to eliminate it?
When you train your mind to ask the right questions from moment to moment, you are in fact, disciplining your mind.
- Stop your negative critic in its tracks
It is impossible to discuss the disciplining of the mind, without addressing our inner critic. It is this inner critic which seems to dominate so many of the conversations taking place within us. It is constantly complaining, criticizing and demeaning you. If you fail to keep it on check, your inner critic can drive you up the wall. You can begin by stopping your inner critic immediately in its tracks. Replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Search for evidence to support the new thought and continue to have an optimistic outlook on your future.
For those of you who pray, prayer can be used to discipline your mind. Commit your distractions, negative thoughts, bad habits and inconsistencies to prayer. I have found that it helps to heighten your awareness and remain more mindful.
Why should you discipline your mind?
There are enormous benefits of disciplining your mind, both tangible and intangible.
The intangible benefits relate to your overall well-being and happiness. You develop the ability to better manage your emotions, which subsequently results in reduced arguments and conflict. You also develop a peace of mind and hence will be able to remain focused.
The tangible benefits pertain to the outward manifestation of your goals. Since you are better focused, more resilient and manage your distractions better, you are much more likely to have sustained success.
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