Discipline comes from disciple. Disciple means one who follows and its Latin origin means to learn. Discipline is an attribute of most leaders. So how do you lead by following? The answer is not in the how but the what. When you follow your dreams, you provide a vision others can follow as well.
Paul Miller, a UNC quarterback and business man once described discipline as “remembering what you want.” That fits with my view that people do what they want to do. So when you follow your dreams you find the ability to do what is necessary instead of what is easy. Necessary and Easy are siblings that only rarely get along.
Discipline is like a muscle. The more you work it, the stronger and more attractive it becomes. And like a muscle, the results are rarely visible in the short run. A day of running won’t make you lean, but a year or two of 4 days a week on the road will be dramatic.
So how do you develop discipline? Apply Paul Miller’s approach. Put out pictures of what you want. Spend a minute in the shower each day with your eyes closed visualizing your achievement. Write out what your life would be like as a result of your change. And most importantly, share your dream with others who will encourage and hold you accountable. These steps will firmly plant your dream in your always working subconscious mind.
Once you have the dream firmly planted in your subconscious mind, feed it with time in your schedule. Consistency always wins over quantity, so start small but be regular. As the doing what is necessary becomes a habit, the habit will overtake and devour the other sibling. The discipline that is necessary to follow your dreams will become easier.
And nothing attracts followers than a disciplined person following his or her dreams.