What is the single most important factor underlying your success in anything you try your hand at? Some might guess skill. Some might guess people skills. And some might guess charisma. But none of those are the actual answer.
It’s your energy. But not just any type of energy. Scientists call it “activation energy.” This is the minimum amount of energy required to activate change at a cellular level and cause a total transformation.
So that’s the phrase I’m going to use today, because what we’re talking about is transformation. Activation energy is what occurs when you increase self discipline and combine it with motivation. And best of all, I can show you how to cultivate it.
There are six steps you can take to get this energy flowing in your life and build self discipline. Curious to know what they are? Let’s dive right in…
Step 1 to Increase Your Self Discipline: Want More
I guess I could’ve said that you need to know what you want, but so many people dream too small to ever motivate themselves. Your goals need to be big enough to excite you!
To build self discipline, you also need to be completely honest about why you want something. Do you want to lose weight so you’ll be healthy, or do you just want to look good shirtless at the beach? Do you want to close more deals to increase your savings, or do you want to buy a Tesla?
Now, obviously I’m not saying to shoot for shallow goals or spend your money unwisely, but you need to find that thing that makes you smile when you think of it.
Step 2 to Build Self Discipline: Change Your Identity to Change Your Situation
So many people think they need to DO something in order to HAVE something, and after that they’ll BE that kind of person.
I want you to flip it. Start with your identity. Build your self discipline and BE the person you want to be, so that DOING the work will come naturally. If you want to quit smoking and someone offers you a cigarette, you could respond one of two ways:
- No thanks. I’m trying to quit.
- No thanks. I don’t smoke.
The first one means you’re sacrificing something you normally do. The latter expresses that you already are the person who doesn’t want cigarettes. Choose the latter.
Be > Do > Have
Step 3 to Increase Self Discipline: Get Comfortable with Discomfort
The way to do this is by focusing on what you want, not how you feel – because no one ever feels like doing the hard things they need to do.
Life can be uncomfortable, so when you run from discomfort, you’re not really in control of your life at all. Build self discipline to take that control back and find ways to intentionally seek discomfort.
When you wake up in the morning, don’t hit the snooze button. Get up, right away, no matter how tired you feel, and start your day. You know the physical force you feel when you do that? That’s the force required to change your life.
Take a cold shower, stop using the elevator, only eat raw vegetables for lunch, or just do SOMETHING to exercise your willpower. Because once you’re in control of your own body and mind, control of every other factor in your life will come easy.
Step 4 to Build Self Discipline: Break Difficult Habits Down into Their Smallest Parts
Habits are one of the hardest things we can change, because they require us to do them WITHOUT FAIL.
Have you ever told yourself that you were going to:
- Send out five CMAs a day
- Go to the gym for an hour every day
- Meditate for 20 minutes before a listing appointment
- Dedicate every evening entirely to spending time with your family
Unfortunately, things come up. Time gets away from us. We get too tired to follow through. You say you’re just going to have to skip today and next thing you know a month has gone by.
Breaking these habits down into smaller, more manageable bits will encourage you to at least get started, and once you’re started, it’s a lot easier to build self discipline and keep going. Try something like this:
- Do one CMA a day
- Go to the gym for five minutes (you’ll probably end up staying for longer)
- Meditate for two minutes before an appointment
- Turn your phone off during dinner
Once you do one of these tiny things, you’ve accomplished the habit for the day. Everything else is extra.
Step 5 to Increase Self Discipline: Learn to Say “No”
Steve Jobs said that the most important part of focusing your attention is saying “no” to people. When you allow your attention to be pulled in all different directions, you’re at the mercy of whatever situation comes up.
A mentor of mine used to have people come into his office and ask if he had five minutes to talk to them about something. He’d look up, smile, and say, “Of course I can talk for five minutes… Come back at 3:30.” That was the time he had set aside for those kinds of conversations.
Step 6 to Build Self Discipline: The 5 Second Rule
By giving yourself a countdown, you separate yourself from the situation and commit automatically, like jumping into a pool.
The next time a good idea pops in your head, count down silently from five, and after you hear the word “one” in your head, just go do the thing. If you wait – if five seconds pass from the time you thought the idea and you haven’t taken action – the idea is dead.
A Dare from Me to You
I know some of this stuff can sound… well… uncomfortable. That’s the entire point. But when you have an ambition worth striving for and increase your self discipline to achieve it, you’d be doing everyone in your life a disservice if you didn’t.
So, I dare you to take the tools I’ve just given you and get started today. Once you tap into your activation energy, everything else takes off at rocket-speed.
And if you’re really looking to activate your energy and change your life, there’s no better place to do that than the biggest real estate event of the year. Look into one of our Success Summits! If you want to know the SPECIFIC things that you need to do to DOUBLE your business and buck this recession, Summit is the place you need to be.