My grandfather used to say “The hardest part of being the best_________, is your own self control.”
This statement has the potential to change the way you view everything that matters in life. It remains one of the greatest “Ah-ha” moments I have experienced and I try to apply it's wisdom on a daily basis. I believe that to understand this statement is to unlock and open the door that leads to the realization of your goals and dreams and as I have found, it is the greatest gift of advice you can give to those you want to succeed.
What is it that you want to be? I am not only speaking of the “superstar” level wishes, but the most basic of goals that you have for yourself. For me, it’s to be the best dad and husband I can be, sometimes, I want to be a great at a sport or an eloquent writer, and other times I just want to be a good listener or simply a good example to the people around me. What I find is my greatest challenge to achieving these everyday goals on a regular basis is…well…me. Like most everyone, I am always on my mind; what I want, I need or think that I deserve – my rights or my opinion; we all have an open ended ticket for the “me” train. The truth at the core of my grandfather’s statement is simply this: to achieve what you want it takes hard work, and often times that hard work is controlling yourself.
The biographies of millionaires, pro athletes, business gurus and people who have changed their world tend to have a consistent theme; hard work and sacrifice. It is a great thing to have dreams, passions and faith, but as James 2:20 states “…faith without works is dead.” But even work, if not directed toward a goal can become wasted energy, like raking leaves in a hurricane. If hard work is the door you have to go through to get to your dreams, then discipline is the door knob and sacrifices are the hinges that allow that door to open.
In my grandfather’s statement that begins this post, there is a blank behind the word “best”, it is there for you to fill in what it is you want to be. As you fill in that blank with the thing you want to become, ponder this; what are you willing to sacrifice to achieve it? How dedicated are you to becoming what you yearn to be? Are you willing to sacrifice your comfort, your pleasures, even your freedoms (as described in my post ‘Your Master Called Freedom’) to be the best? My prayer is that you embrace the sacrifices, the hard work and moreover the discipline and self control it takes to achieve your dreams. Take the time to apply them on a daily basis to be the best “you” that you can be. Remember that discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments and hard work is the road that leads to success. Be Blessed.