When you were younger (or perhaps still), your parents had a set of rules for you, and if you didn’t comply, you were punished. For some, this punishment was in the form of “Time Out”, others had privileges or “stuff” taken away, and still others got spanked or other physical punishment (let’s face it: You got the beat-down).

Despite the form, all of these punishments were designed to teach DISCIPLINE. They were trying to prepare you for the future where they weren’t going to be around to smack you upside your head for screwing around.

Continuing the series of QUALITIES OF SUCCESS, today we will be talking about DISCIPLINE, and how important it is for you to have if you want to be successful.

In the savings arena, it is just common sense that you need to have discipline, and that you are able to discipline yourself when it comes to spending money you don’t strictly need to. For example, if, for some reason, your company doesn’t offer direct deposit, you are going to have to make a trip to a branch (or ATM) of your financial institution in order to deposit your check. Most people, in an effort to reduce the amount of trips to the financial institution will take out some money for the next week or two. I’m guilty of this myself sometimes, but I kind of guesstimate how much I will need, and hope I’m right. Of course, if I’m off, there’s always the ATM, right?


That’s where discipline really comes in: Technically, there is an abundance of ATM access for me, but I’m disciplined enough not to abuse an ATM (as it stands, there is an ATM standing no further than 5 feet away from me) whenever I want. Part of that discipline is because I want to save money to buy nice things. The other part is this nagging voice in the back of my head that tells me I can’t spend money (sometimes, she’s not in the back of my head, but on the phone, standing beside me, wherever you can generally find wives).

When at work, discipline can be the deciding factor between a screw-up and a good employee. Your boss shouldn’t have to sit on your lap, watching you do your job. When they hired you, they hired you with the expectations that you would be able to do the job necessary without their interference. Of course they want you to come to them when you come up to something that you don’t know how to do (especially if it’s something completely new to you, that they have never covered before), and of course they want to be able to oversee what you are doing on a random basis, just to make sure you are performing up to the promise you showed when they hired you.

At some point in your job, you will be alone in your job assignment. You have choices there. You can either do what you were hired to do, and impress the heck out of your boss, or you can screw around, talk on the phone, go on MySpace, or something else that isn’t what you should be doing. Most of the time, you will probably get away with it. In fact, I am willing to say that you will almost always get away with it. But that really isn’t the point. The point is, that you need to be able to discipline yourself, to focus intently, on the goal that you have set for yourself: Success.

Once you have put yourself into the habit of disciplining yourself in one situation, you will see that it becomes easier to adapt to other situations, and that you are adding a lot of prestige to your reputation and name. While this may not sound as important today, as you advance in the workforce, you will eventually learn this fact: More important than your education, more important than your experience, even more important than anything else you will do, your reputation will either build or destroy your career.

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