Written by Sean McPheat |
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘discipline’?
If you’re like me, it conjures up memories of growing up and being chastised by a parent or teacher. I still have the memory of red knuckles, having been attacked by a merciless teacher with a ruler! And he said at the time that I needed disciplining. So I grew up associating discipline with pain.
Having developed a more rounded out personality, I recognise now that the word actually has quite a different meaning to what that red-faced disciplinarian had taught me at school.
The root of the word is from the Latin ‘Discipula’ (or Discipulus if you’re a male) and it means ‘student’ or ‘taught one’. The verb associated with it is ‘Discere’, meaning ‘to learn’.
So, originally, the word meant to be taught as a student, while you learn. The image of pain and suffering is, if at all, a minor part of it.
As a salesperson, we are told that self-discipline is a key skill to practice if we are going to be successful. So, we can now see that self-discipline means to teach ourselves, to learn about something ourselves, to be a proactive student of progress.
That makes it a little more palatable, don’t you think?
Now, do you have a plan on how you are going to improve your skills and attitudes?
Do you have goals on what you are going to learn in the next month, three months, six months and one year?
Have you got a research book or journal that you write new ideas and learnings in?
Or are you like 90% of your colleagues, who think that self-improvement is something you will get round to when you have time?
Your personal plan of self-teaching (for that is the real meaning of self-discipline) will set you apart from your colleagues and your competition.
Personally, I have about 40 sets of CDs in my car on subjects like marketing, sales, self-improvement, communications and others. It’s seldom that I don’t learn something on a car journey!
Make plans now to discipline yourself. It’s the fun way to become the best you can!
Originally published: 14 May, 2010
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