Discipline is about working for the future instead of instant gratification. You don’t build a muscle that’s about long-term thinking with a snap of the fingers. The process is part of building it.
Get Rich Quick
I remember going to a free conference on how to be successful. The conference was packed with thousands of people all sitting around a central stage. Giant screens encompassed the stage from above to give a great view no matter where you sat. Some of the speakers were well known: Zig Ziglar, Robert Schuller, and more. They really packed the house.
But it was the people that you didn’t know that really got the crowds excited. During the break in between well-known speakers, a person would come up on stage to talk about some amazing new thing. As we watched them on the screens, larger than life, they spoke charismatically, boldly, and flawlessly. They told us how a little piece of software could help us end all our financial woes.
They did short demonstrations with people from the audience that showed if we just paid attention to how a stock affected a dot on a screen, we could always pick winners and become rich. And then they told us that if we head to the back of the room, we could sign up, today only, for only $99.
As I sat there, compelled by these smooth-talking, charismatic people, I watched others flood to sign up. I contemplated doing the same. What if it worked? It’s only $99. Why not give it a try?
Get Buff Quick
Late night TV is filled with similar claims for fitness. Buy this device of bows or whips or clicking gears and you will be buff in no time.
Or get this powder or pill or food processing device and you can melt away fat and get amazing muscle tone.
Just like the money making schemes, this too is easy. Just plunk down a few dollars and bada bing, bada boom, you’re a fitness god.
In all this, there is something missing. These things don’t work for a very good reason.
Sure, they can work. You can buy into a multi-level marketing scheme and make money. You can purchase a home gym and get ripped. You can spend your money on food processors that help make you toned, but they can’t do it alone. They need something else.
You can’t make it in multi-level marketing if you don’t get out there and greet people and suffer lots of rejection. You have to set goals for how many people you will meet and how many you will convert to plan users, and that requires a lot of rejection. Let’s face if: if you’re going to do that, why not just go into sales for real.
A Bowflex helps no one if it’s collecting dust in the basement. The desire to be fit has to be so strong that you cant’ say “no” to getting up and doing your daily dose of exercise, no matter how much the bed is calling your name.
And that food processor doesn’t help if all you process is bacon. You have to change your diet. You have to change your habits. You have to have discipline.
The Process Is the Richness
Even then, there’s another piece to the puzzle that is so important, and that is the process itself.
We often think that if we just had lots of money our problems would be solved. In fact, Sheldon comes to that very conclusion with Penny in an early season of The Big Bang Theory.
But to simply get the things we want without becoming who we need to become to get it doesn’t make things better, it makes us worse. Learning to enjoy the process is part of the process. In fact it is the process. It’s the point. It’s one thing to get the money we need. It’s another thing to gain the skills we need to acquire the money so that if we lose the money, we could gain it again.
Of course this isn’t just true about money, but about all the things we want in life. As Zig Ziglar said, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
We may want to be the great person we hope to be right now, but becoming who we should be takes time. We should take the time to enjoy the process. It’s the best part of the show.