However you start your year, there are some expectations we’re all of looking up to, even though we may have written our plans down.
I have just one word; that if we follow the disintegration of this word carefully, we shall not only start and end well, but we shall lay down a good foundation for ourselves for future successes.
The word is DISCIPLINE.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘Discipline’ as training that corrects, moulds or perfects the mental faculties or the moral character of people. It is also described as “orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behaviour”.
Discipline has to do with putting one’s self under control through perfect mental behaviour and orderly conduct.
Let break down the word and find out how the individual characters can lead us into starting and ending this year right.
1. D – DEFINE YOUR LIFE PURPOSE
The livelihood of man is intertwined in a web of purpose-finding, following and fulfilment. This with the betterment of humanity at its core and not merely making the individual “satisfied”.
I was privilege to sit in a conference a week ago organized by the FOPIC FOUNDATION, where we delved deeply into the intricacies of the word PURPOSE. Most of us are merely living our lives based on PASSION and not PURPOSE.
The difference between the two is that PASSION is inward, personal and self-centred, but PURPOSE goes beyond you, creating an outward impact for the good of all.
If you’re just going to work to earn a salary, know that the “passion” to earn and take care of your needs is what is driving you, but if you’re going to work because you have a “cause”, (you want others to feel better), then you’re driven by PURPOSE.
The good news is that PURPOSE and PASSION have a place of convergence. They have a meeting point, and that meeting point becomes “a sweet spot”. If you want to start and finish well, you need to start right by DEFINING AND re-DEFINING your life’s PURPOSE.
2. I – INVEST in Yourself
You need to be conscious of your self-development. Your yesterday must not be like today, and your tomorrow must certainly be better than your today.
After you find out what you’re meant to live for in life, improve upon yourself to be the best in that endeavour.
Read books to improve upon your mental faculties. Train your body, get healthy and be conscious of what you eat and wear. Your body is you, don’t be careless with your body.
PEOPLE WILL ADDRESS YOU THE WAY YOU’RE DRESSED. Look good and smell good. It’s a part of physical investment.
Whatever the field you find yourself in, invest time in that to be better every day. For instance, I want to improve my music career, I try to learn songs, even the ones which do not have local lyrics. I started because I identified that to be one of my topmost purposes.
What is yours? Improve upon it by investing more time.
3. S – STOP PROCRASTINATION & EXCUSES
What you must do today, please don’t say you’ll do it tomorrow. Procrastination is not only a thief of time but a murderer of destinies and successes.
Even when you think you’re not good enough, give it a try. When life presents you with a thousand reasons why you cannot, give that one reason why you can and pursue it. You don’t have to be perfect before you jump at an opportunity. Learn on the job, learn from others, and learn from experiences. Just don’t postpone what must be done today otherwise you’ll have a giant of problems in future.
4. C – CONTROL YOUR DESIRES
This point sums up the entire definition of discipline. Everything in this world wants your attention, the good, the bad, and the worst.
A man who cannot control his emotions and desires is one who is bound to fail in this world.
Sexual desires, desire to make wealth, appetite for the most sumptuous meals, taste for the most expensive clothes, bags and shoes, craving to be on social media 24/7, etc; all of these must be controlled.
Don’t let your emotions interfere with your better sense of judgment this year, know when you have to learn, work and do equally important things. Life is not all about how you feel.
5. I- INITIATE PLANNING AND PRIORITISATION
One way you can achieve the earlier point we discussed is when you plan and priorities. Know what comes first in your life and work towards it.
Prioritization helps you to become a master of all trades if the need be. It helps you to win here, win there and make it here and there as well. Prepare a budget and know how you’re spending your money, time and energy.
6. P- PAY YOURSELF
“In the book the Richest Man in Babylon” by George Clason, it says that one way to earn and achieve financial success is to put something down for yourself (SAVINGS) 1/10th of all you earn is yours to keep. One thing about savings is, everyone can save, especially if you’re working. You must be conscious of that this year.
What you save, you can invest in a lucrative business venture that will earn you more and more coins. Don’t be a spendthrift, learn to SAVE.
7. L- LIVE BEYOND WEAKNESSES AND FAILURES
Life will not be as rosy as you always expect. Things happen, you can lose a dear one, you can lose an opportunity as I did some days ago, you can make mistakes, and you can fail. But live above those weaknesses. Don’t let them take the better part of you away.
One man was always short-tempered and he was proud about it, always getting angry and acting in accordance with his anger.
One day he killed his landlord for making advances and sleeping with his wife. He was put in prison for that, after 10years when he was to be released, he cried bitterly and told his lawyer “I don’t know how many men would have had access to sleep with my wife as I was safely locked in prison”.
Take this from me, nothing at all is worth pulling you down this year if you decide so. Not even your own weaknesses or failures so far as you can live above them.
8. I-INCLUDE THE GOD FACTOR
The God factor is one thing you can’t take out of the equation of life no matter what. My Father in the Lord, Evangelist James Larbi Lordson, will say, “the reason why God created the man alone and made the woman whiles the man was sleeping was so that they could each have a personal relationship with God.”
Pray, study your Bible, fast, pay your tithes and offerings and give etc.
Above all, don’t be “carnal about all these things, be very spiritual about them because the world we see is not as we see.
9. N- NETWORK
One of the greatest gifts God has given a man is his fellow man. You can do something, but you cannot do everything.
That is why God made other people with diverse skills to come to our ways so we can benefit from each other.
By the definition of “Network”, I don’t mean mere “socialization” Many of us know how to “socialize” (go out, meet new people, interact, exchange contracts, talk once and that’s all.)
Networking goes beyond that, it’s connecting and staying in touch with like-minded fellows, “superiors”, “mentors” etc. for periodic and timely advice, rendering of services etc.
10. E- EVALUATE YOUR PROGRESS
The essence of examination, is not to scare us, or make use compare ourselves with others. It’s basically to see how much we have improved or matured.
Life is like an examination, every one of us has his or her Question paper. Don’t try to copy or compare yourself with anyone.
Make time for yourself, sit down and analyze how far you have come, check the friends around you if there are some you need to take out of your life, check your health, your spiritual life etc.
It’s a time of review; you can do this with a “mentor”, “yourself, or a trusted friend.
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