Discipline – The link between ordinary and exceptional

Exceptional performance through discipline

Exceptional performance through discipline

No two people are the same, not even twins (I should know, my wife is one of twins!). When posed with the same challenge, big or small, each of us tackles it differently. A large fraction of very successful individuals did not start out with an innate ability in the area of their success. Some interest followed by repeated progression in the field is what did it for them. The 10,000 hour rule has been bandied about a fair bit especially after the brilliant book, Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. Few people know that there are academics that actually study experts. I’ll say that again – there are experts who study what make experts experts! And, what they report is that rather than just do something for 10,000 hours, what makes one person improve more than another is how those 10,000 hours of practice are spent.

In our era of internet search engines, knowledge should never be a barrier to individual achievement. Just about everything that you need to know to become significantly better at anything you enjoy is out there at zero cost.  If so, then, what creates the distinction between one person’s improvement and another’s?

Leaving aside luck, or acts of God, the improvement comes solely from one overarching factor – discipline!

Given that improvement comes from practice, and practice in areas of weaknesses, it is discipline that forms the key ingredient to success.

Discipline - the link between ordinary and exceptional

Discipline – the link between ordinary and exceptional

Look around you.  Whenever you see that someone has outshone themselves, it is self-discipline that got them there. In any sphere of human endeavour, whether in business, sport, science or in creative fields like music and art too.  Those gifted artists who got frustrated and stopped because they weren’t getting anywhere quickly never made it.  The ones, even if without much talent to begin with, who had the self-discipline to stick with it often ended up with success.

“Without discipline, there’s no life at all”, said Katharine Hepburn a leading lady in Hollywood for more than 60 years!  She died in 2003, but the truth in what she said never will.


Dr Purnendu Nath spends his waking hours focusing on helping individuals and organizations reach their goals, to make the world a better place. He speaks, writes and advises on topics such as finance, investment management, discipline, education, self-improvement, exercise, nutrition, health and fitness, leadership and parenting.

15 thoughts on “Discipline – The link between ordinary and exceptional

  1. SQ

    Nice words. Lots on this topic . Self Discipline in itself will not achieve happiness or success. There again definitions of the former two goals vary. I would recommend to you to pursue the cardinal virtues instead…prudence,fortitude , justice and temperance. The last being the closest to what you are referring to in discipline. Temperance refers to balance and self control which can lead to discipline. Also I must point out I have met some very disciplined people who I stay away from because essentially they are either too rigid or simply not likeable people. I recommend you use the Family Virtues Guide by Linda Popov that Andrea and I have used with our children. After 27 years of teaching, dealing with parents, admin and children 5-18, and beyond , I find this guide to bring virtues to an attainable level by everyone. Excellence as you know is a habit. What we repeated do is what we become. I hope this source helps you with your children and family. I also suggest to you to encourage growth in all 5 domains of life..SPICE which I can tell u about at a later date. Thanks for sharing,
    God Bless,
    Terry SQ


  2. Pingback: The Weakness Bottleneck | Puru The Guru

  3. Pingback: What is fitness anyway? Being mental! | Puru The Guru

  4. Pingback: The Money is in the Detail | Puru The Guru

  5. Pingback: Mumbai vs Delhi – A Race Time Model | Puru The Guru

  6. Pingback: Pushups for the Ladies | Puru The Guru

  7. Pingback: The Accidental Wisdom of Pain Seekers | Puru The Guru

  8. Pingback: I am not a fitness freak | Puru The Guru

  9. Pingback: A Better Life – Today and Tomorrow? | Puru The Guru

  10. Pingback: Information and Your Happiness | Puru The Guru

  11. Pingback: The 1-arm Pushup | Puru The Guru

  12. Pingback: Competing & Comparing – Targeting Happiness Maximization | Puru The Guru

  13. Pingback: Genetic Potential Fitness | Puru The Guru

  14. Pingback: Balance is True Mastery | Puru The Guru

  15. Pingback: Get a 6-pack without ‘ab workouts’ | Puru The Guru

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s