“The temptation to take the easy road is always there. It is as easy as staying in bed in the morning and sleeping in. But discipline is paramount to ultimate success and victory for any leader and any team.” –Jocko Willink
Your practices provide the infrastructure for creative discipline.
Some people are just disciplined, and others aren’t, right? Not exactly.
The reality is, most people you think of as “disciplined” aren’t naturally that way. They – like everyone – would tend to default back to the most comfortable state if allowed to do so. The reason that they don’t is that they have practices that prevent them from doing so.
A few years ago, I started running. I’ve always hated running, but I decided to take it up anyway. Now, two years later, a day without running feels weird. I still don’t enjoy it, but it’s become a daily expectation for me. If I don’t run by the end of the day, it seems like something is off.
That’s how discipline with creative work operates as well. If you establish a set of things that you do every single day, it will begin to feel odd when you don’t do them. Maybe it’s a certain word count that you want to hit with your writing, or a conversation that you have with your manager every day, or an expectation about how you close open loops with your teammates. Regardless of what the practice is, doing it consistently will become the expectation for you. And, over time, others will begin to think you are one of those magically disciplined people.
Question: What practice do you need to engage in every single day, no matter what?