Friday, July 13, 2012

The Three D's of Success

Teaching others to succeed is never an easy task; getting them to remember what you said is an even tougher one. In my ever pursuant goal of educating you towards success, and achieving that goal myself, I have dug up an old bit of advice that may give some structure towards your dreams. I refer to the Three D's of Success: Discipline, Desire, and Dedication.

The Three D's of Success
Those who have discipline usually have some sort of routine whether it be getting up in the morning every day at the same time, or putting some time aside for reading. Discipline is crucial if you are to see your ideas, inventions, or business plans come into fruition. Discipline is also very applicable to the rest of us Joe Shmoes who function in the real world. Consider what life would be like if we didn't have the discipline to budget our funds, feed our pets, or go to work everyday. Without such a characteristic, you may well end up broke and on the street. For me, discipline usually involves a day in which I set some time aside for creative purposes (such as writing on this blog), learning something new (I'm currently trying to learn German), and getting up in the morning around the same time everyday even on weekends (this has loads of health benefits and keeps your circadian rhythm in check). If you want to succeed, you need to have the discipline to make time for your future success every day.

This concept is easy to understand, and can often be the most abused. Desire is what makes you pursue your ideas in the first place. It's the driving force that will make you want to succeed. Now I mentioned that it can also be abused, and those who manifest this abuse usually become greedy or power hungry. Take a step back from your own ambitions and understand whether your desire is for success in it's intrinsic form or just for your own vanity.

The last of the three D's includes Dedication. Those who are dedicated will continue to persevere no matter what obstacles they may face. It's essentially discipline in the face of adversity. You will most likely fail at many things in your life, but to take the time to understand how you failed, learn from the situation, and get back in the game is what is going to make or break your success. I think most people find themselves most dedicated when looking for a job. An old professor of mine once said that you can have a whole file cabinet of job rejections, but it is just the 1 job that will set you on your career. I took his advice, dedicated myself to applying for at least 10 jobs a day after college, and found myself landing a great career at Fannie Mae after applying for 200+ positions around the country. If it wasn't for my own personal dedication, I wouldn't have been able to achieve this (at the time) great accomplishment.

I assembled a little 3 circle Venn diagram to illustrate the inter-linking of the Three D's, however I'd also like to point what would happen if you only had two of the three pieces. If you only had discipline and desire, you are what I like to call an incomplete goal setter. In other words, you have the desire to get things done and you are willing to put the time into accomplishing them, but as soon as you hit some adversity, you give up and move on. The second linkage is between Desire and Dedication. Someone with these characteristics is dedicated to their desires, but doesn't really have the mundane discipline to work on their life projects every day. I like to call these people the schemers, because they are prone to get rich quick schemes. The last linkage is between Discipline and Dedication. These people are content in their life and are therefore unknown. There is nothing wrong with this trait, but they will never maximize their potential due to a lack of desire.

Take a step back and analyze whether your actions fit all these traits. Know where you might have to work on something and take action to accomplish it...I know, easier said than done, but you have to practice and know yourself. Before long, success will follow.

Wonderful Moment of the Day: Taking a walk with my wife on a perfectly temperate evening.

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