What is the use of having goals if we can’t achieve them? How do we go about achieving our goals? What is the trait that we need to cultivate to ensure that our visions turn into reality, our goals turn into measurable outcomes?

Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker once said “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” This quote is universally applicable whether you are a teacher, an actor, a singer, a doctor, an executive or an entrepreneur. All of us have aims or goals which we would like to reach in our lifetime. However, there is always a gap between the goal and the desired result which needs to be bridged using Discipline. Let us explore how Discipline can be the bridge between Goals and Accomplishments.

What is  Discipline?

The dictionary meaning of Discipline that is applicable to the context is self-control. Self-control is the quality or trait which helps people to focus on their goals and achieve them. Self-control helps the individual to keep his vision clear and move steadily towards the target without being distracted by anything else.

Define your goal

Unless the goal is defined life will lack a sense of purpose and direction. So the first step should be to define a clear goal.That will be the target we will work towards. It is important to have clarity and a sense of purpose while defining the same. The goal should not be too frivolous or easily achievable.It should normally be something , the achievement of which will give us a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Identify the path

At the outset we should be able to clearly articulate what we want to achieve. We could also choose to have one big goal which is subdivided into periodic milestones or shorter goals. This would involve chalking out a clear route on how to reach our destination i.e. accomplish our goal. Breaking the bigger goal into several smaller ones would help us track our progress and keep us on the right track.

Self Control

Once the goal is defined and the path is laid out, all we need to do is travel on that road to reach our final destination. If it was so easy to accomplish goals, everyone would be successful and we wouldn’t need to talk about it. As John C. Maxwell put it, “Motivation gets you going but discipline keeps you growing.”

As Jim Rohn said this is the time when discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. It is discipline which separates the winner from the loser. The one who is focused on accomplishing his goals is bound to lead a disciplined life. Nobody is born with self control but with time the focused mind learns to practise it. The mind is all powerful. It can be trained to believe what it can do. Once trained, the disciplined mind always  behaves in a certain fashion which yields positive results. In this context, it is good to remember that Time is the only resource distributed equitably to all. The one who makes best use of the time available to him stands a much higher chance of winning than the one who fritters it away.

Let us study a few action steps which can be taken to instil discipline as a practice.

Eliminate Distractions

The disciplined mind seldom gets distracted. Imagine a student studying for an important exam. The first thing a disciplined student would do is to eliminate all sources of distractions. He would not focus on anything other than his studies.

Set up a timetable

Before starting the work, it always makes sense to have a timetable in place. It is best to arrange work in order of priority and keep everything organised.

Segregation of goals into long term and short term

It is important to be able to segregate long and short term goals so that there is clarity regarding the timeline. Focusing on short and long term goals simultaneously can be detrimental to the cause. It is imperative to assign priorities and accomplish milestones sequentially.

Train the mind to finish daily targets

Like an archer who focuses only on his target, a person who wishes to accomplish his goals needs to exercise discipline and train his mind to complete targets on a daily basis. Creeping deadlines is the most dangerous way of moving further away from the goal.

Be mindful to prioritize to avoid early burn out

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”It is important to approach the journey from goal to accomplishment in a planned fashion. It is important to phase out the action plan in a structured manner to sustain the momentum. Expending too much energy without a proper strategy can end in a burnout due to exhaustion.

In Conclusion, we can safely say that discipline bridges the gap between goals and outcomes. It is discipline that keeps us active and productive. Else we would just be taking potshots aimlessly and expect magical outcomes without the required efforts.Inconsistent and misdirected efforts can never be expected to yield positive results.Procrastination which makes you put off action for another day ensures that you can never accomplish much as goals will remain out of reach. Instead of trying to win the jackpot in one shot, it is more reasonable to achieve daily targets which slowly add up and get compounded leading to the desired outcome over a period of time. As Will Smith put it, “ At the center of bringing any dream into fruition is self-discipline.”

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