Developing your success disciplines and habits

Success is not based on one-off actions, it is a series of efforts made repeatedly and consistantly

Royston Guest
Developing your success disciplines and habits begins with small habits which form your behaviours. Get it right early and they will define a compelling future.
Reading time: 4 minutes 12 seconds

Developing your success disciplines and habits

Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors globally, spoke with Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, at Harvard Business School. They addressed students in the final graduating year who were just about to start their careers. During the Q&A session at the end, a student asked: ‘Mr. Buffett, if there was one final thought you could share with us as we head into the world of work and start our careers, what would it be?’ This was a great question, and Buffett responded, ‘Get your habits right while you’re young because once embedded, they will serve you in creating a compelling future.’
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This response was insightful, particularly the words ‘because once embedded’. This difference makes the difference for high achievers: consistency of action – consistency over time that, in turn, leads to habit. 

You can invest quality time defining what success means to you personally and professionally. You can create your success formula and a personalised success modelling strategy, and on paper, you are set up for success, only to fall on disciplined execution. I’ve seen many people achieve quick wins, but delivering accelerated, sustained and repeatable results requires a whole new set of skills and disciplines. It requires focus, rigour, and boundless levels of energy, commitment and resilience. 

Honing your success habits
There is a saying, ‘No crowds are lining the extra mile’. Masters of their craft, whatever their specialist field of endeavour, are part of a select group of people who live by this saying. Why? Because the extra mile is where they spend most of their time. They don’t subscribe to the tribe of life, the herd mentality. For them, a life of mediocrity is not an option.
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Instead, they invest their time daily in being the best of the best, raising their standards and chasing perfection. Even though perfection isn’t attainable, they know they may catch excellence on the journey by going the extra mile. Their journey is a never-ending pursuit of personal mastery. Their vehicle to get there is their discipline, which, over time, leads to habit. 

The overarching theme throughout this section is that you strive for personal mastery in designing and shaping your life; these are the essential thinking and skills that will ensure you are on the road to building the life you have always dreamed of. 

More than 140 years ago, a fascinating scientific discovery called the Ebbinghaus Effect was named after the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus. His research indicated that your ability to recall information declines significantly over a short space of time. After ten minutes, information recall drops off by 60 per cent and, after three months, to less than 10 per cent. This is a phenomenon known as the Ebbinghaus Curve of Forgetting. 

For example. If you train in the gym, you don’t work out for an hour, then walk back to the changing room, stand in front of the mirror and say, ‘Wow, don’t I look fantastic!’ No, you work out daily, week after week, month after month, combining discipline and consistency to develop muscle strength and tone. 

If you take a two-week summer vacation and miss your training, the week you return and start training again, it’s painful because the muscles regress quickly. The drop-off is severe, just like the Ebbinghaus Effect. 

Repetition is the master of a new skill. You can’t become great at something by doing it once or by continually stopping and restarting. You’ve heard the expression ‘If you’re going to do it, do it well’. Doing anything well requires dedication, discipline and commitment. Behind every overnight success are stories of hours of sacrifice, practice and repetition. Mohammed Ali captured it brilliantly when he said:‘The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.’
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Physical or mental muscles work in the same way
Just as you visit a gym to build physical muscle, you’ve got to see the ‘gym of the mind’ to develop your mental muscle memory. Attending a workshop or seminar, listening to a podcast, then forgetting about it won’t cut it. You must ‘show up’ regularly, creating, honing and polishing thoughts and ideas until they are so grooved and wired you can draw on them without conscious thought. 

take action; achieve more
  • Developing good habits is the aim of reaching your goals. Success does not come from a one-off attempt; it comes from consistency and continuous improvements. 
  • Do you find yourself repeating the same behaviours and not achieving success? If so, it is time to change. Doing the same thing and expecting different results is insanity - continually improving is critical to success
  • Invest in yourself and take time to review all sections of this platform to enhance your skill and knowledge, 
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