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Dec
31 2013

Self Discipline – a path to Mastery and Success

Syndicated from: Paul Bridle

Many years ago I read this and marveled at how simple it was but so powerfully true in its simplicity:  Feed a man and he will eat a meal.  Teach him how to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life. Each human being has needs and what makes us unique is that our needs are OURS.  We learn differently, we enjoy different things, we operate differently, we find different things funny, we love different things and we certainly live differently.  No right way and no wrong way. Yet I see schools giving prizes to everyone indiscriminately and recently heard about “no rankings” so that some do not feel inferior to others. I recently read this article: “An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.” The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class”. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all). After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. To their great surprise, EVERYONE FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. People need a reason to make an effort.  People want to know how they are doing.  People want to be rewarded.  Mastering these three can create internal motivation.  Failing to Master them or allowing others to care about them for you, will promote de-motivation. Part of Mastering anything is getting it wrong before getting it right.  In fact, getting it wrong a number of times before getting it right.  Mastering is working at something to perfect it and then working at it to refine it. Any attempt to stop this process or short-circuit it, will deprive the person of the necessary steps to mastering……and most importantly deprive them of realizing this and learning the process of mastering anything.  Self-discipline is the basis by which personal success is built. The article went on to become slightly political but there is still a lot of truth in what was said. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it! When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation. Taking away the obvious political element, there is a lot of truth in this.  It does not mean that there is no role for Government and it does not mean that some support it not very valuable.  In fact it fails to point out that failure to give education is often the route cause to many problems. Equally, withholding the discipline of learning how to take ownership for your own motivation and progress, is criminal and does society at all levels a dis-service. I also read this bumper sticker this year: “A child that is taught to hunt and to fish won’t beat up old Grannies” Best Wishes -Paul P.S – If you want to contact me about writing an article for you, or speaking about this at your event, please feel free to contact me below: [contact-form]    

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