To achieve your dreams you’ll have to be discontented, mad, and really mad; but a controlled mad. You do not want to be out of control like a madman. And if madness runs in your family—forget it. You’ll also need the discipline, the passion, and you’ll need to practice, practice, practice…over and over and over again.
Real change happens, and can only happen when you’re finally ready for it. And only you know when that time is. As for change, I’m not talking about change for the sake of change. I’m not a politician. Change is the transformation from okay to mediocrity, mediocrity to good, from good to great, and from great to excellence. And believe it or not this change can occur immediately; that is, if you truly want it and you are willing to work hard to get it.
Remember, you are out there alone. Get mad at yourself; get mad at the people around you. Get mad at the world, and get off your seat and do something about it. Get to work—stop at nothing. I realized long ago that if you want success, great success, you will have to put in the time, put it all on the line, the sweat, the sacrifice, everything. There is simply no other way around it. You’ll have to do what others won’t do, can’t do, unwilling to do. You’ll have to take chances, risks—sometimes big risks. But who cares? It’s only money—only money, that’s all it is—nothing more. It’s not your life is it? I hope not. Most people are stuck in a minefield, paralyzed, mentally crippled—crippled with fear—fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of “what if,” excuses, excuses, riddled with excuses. I’m sick of hearing them. Get off your seat and get to work. Make something of yourself and make it big—make it great. You have the ability.
Ability is a strange thing—virtually everyone has some of it. But all the ability in the world won’t do you a lick of good if you don’t apply yourself and take action. If it sounds like I’m angry—you’re right. I am angry, ticked off, I’m steaming, boiling. I’m boiling inside from seeing laziness, incompetence, vision-less people, thieves and crooks, and liars and politicians who are beyond help. People, who have settled for the status qua, settled for mediocrity, people without dreams, without goals, without passion. People without a mission and without purpose, don’t have a chance; wandering aimlessly, hour after hour, month after month, year after year until there are no years left…wanderers, wasting time. Move over. Get out of my way; get out of my life! You’re moving too slowly, you purposeless people. We need speed. And we need positive people who are not afraid to take action, not afraid to take chances, who want to be successful, who want to excel, who want to go beyond good, who want to live in greatness. I’m talking about “go-getters” real American “go-getters”—fearless men and women, teens and young adults. Are you going to step up to the plate? As Ted Williams said, “God gets you to the plate, but once you’re there you’re on your own.” Believe it; youare on your own. He gives you the power, but it’s up to you to take full advantage of it. So move along and get on with it, or get off the road before you get run-over, because here I come and I’m not stopping, I’m not slowing down, not for one minute, not for one split second. “Do not go gentle into that good night…Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Thomas had it right. Do you?
Get Mad with Discipline
Now that that’s said, let’s get mad with discipline and explore how you are going to change your life by making your life a life built with discipline. In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell showed the power of 10,000 hours. This was a study of how extraordinarily successful people (billionaires) became hugely successful. The theory of 10,000 hours shows us how people from various and diverse backgrounds achieved greatness. The 10,000 hours of disciplined activity in ones field or occupation made for success. What was the determining factor to Bill Gates success, the Beatles, Steve Jobs—they spend time, more time than anyone, practicing, experimenting, and working diligently; they were impassioned—they were disciplined in their field of interest. They started very early in life and honed their interest because of an overwhelming passion for what they were doing. Simply put, they enjoyed their work and practiced at it over and over again.
Baseball great, Ted Williams was disciplined, too—all hugely successful people are. Ted Williams was not only one of the greatest hitters in baseball; he was the greatest hitter, no doubt about it. He practiced, studied, and explored every facet of hitting. He turned hitting into a science. He turned hitting into his passion. Becoming the greatest hitter in baseball history was his goal. “A man has to have goals—for a day, for a lifetime—and that was mine, to have people say, ‘There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived,’” he said. And to heaven if he wasn’t right!
Do you know what greatness is? The following story epitomizes the Ted Williams discipline and character:
“Twelve weeks later, on Sept. 28, Williams delivered the most telling six hits of his career in a season-ending doubleheader at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. Unfazed by a 3-for-15 slump and not interested in going into the record books as a .400 hitter who actually hit .39955, Ted refused manager Joe Cronin's offer to sit out the twin bill. He then took the field and went 4-for-5 in the first game and 2-for-3 in the nightcap to finish the year at a more respectable .406.”
“Ted Williams was what John Wayne would have liked us to think he was," said sportswriter Robert Lipsyte. "Williams was so big, and handsome, and laconic, and direct, and unafraid in that uniquely American cowboy way. To me he epitomized the sense of the athlete as gunslinger."
Tom Wolfe, in his book on the early years of the United States space program, called that singular quality "the right stuff." For much of his tour in Korea, Williams flew alongside his operations officer, a five-time Distinguished Flying Cross winner named John Glenn, who would later become one of the seven original Mercury astronauts and the first American to orbit the earth. "We flew together quite a lot and got to know each other very well," said Glenn. "Ted was an excellent pilot, and not shy about getting in there and mixing it up."
"For the last half of their flights together, Williams was Glenn's wingman," said biographer Ed Linn. "You don't pick a wingman because he can hit a baseball. You pick him because he can save your life."
Talent may get you there, but discipline will keep you there.
Ted Williams had the talent, but without a focused discipline in baseball or flying he would have faded into the twilight like many before and after him. Hitting was also Williams’ passion. It had to be.
Discipline Never Hurts
What can be said about discipline? “He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.”—Proverbs 15.32 Everyone knows they need discipline, but few follow its path to a point of achieving exceptional success.
“Your work isn’t a job, it is a responsibility.” I’m not sure where I first heard or read that, it may have been in the book, Good to Great, by Jim Collins. Here he explores the premise of creating a culture of discipline and how good companies became great companies by creating a “culture of discipline” within the organization.
Discipline is what is going to get you through the tough times—it is what will transform you from good to great. The more disciplined you are, the more you will achieve; it is as simple as that.
The Curious Nature of Passion
Are people curious about passion? I think people who have it aren’t curious about it, and people who do not understand it, until they first recognize it in others are curious because they don’t understand it or they wish they had it in their lives. Passion possessed by friends, family members, co-workers, or leaders of organizations and companies, is not, typically understood by the unimpassioned. For each of us has our own interest. And this is what causes many organizations to stagnate, move sideways and to fall into malaise of mundane growth. What makes some people passionate and others routine or dull? All of us have a passion, something we desire to achieve, and something that brings joy to us; perhaps it is something we aspire to be.
Are you compelled to follow your dream, your venture into the unknown? All greatness is achieved by passion—it is a love that cannot burnout until you let it. It is the match that sets the fire that ignites you to achieve your dreams, to endure when failure in never an option. Passion is another word for love. It gets you up in the morning—it gets you going late in the evening when everyone else is asleep. Passion is the feeling, the action that all is right and there is no other way for you to live, no other thing for you to do.
You have to be a little obsessed with your dream to make it your passion. You have to be obsessed with your passion. Passion can be adjective, descriptive and wild. It can be a noun, a thing. And it can be a feeling you get, an, enthusiasm, an energy, a burst of alertness of being alive. Passion can be many things to you and it can do many things for you. You have to be compelled to follow your ambitions even when you are having a tough time making a living at it and it seems it might take years to develop. That is all right. The real tragedy is when you do not follow your gut instinct and fall to fear and the temptation not to follow and go with your passion.
It doesn’t have to be normal or practical, logical or interesting to anyone but you. As long as you have the fire in you to go after it and you are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve it, you’ll be all right—you’ll be better off than all the others living in dull, passionless lives.
Passion and love for what you are doing run in the same circles; they are synonymous with each other. Passion keeps you up at night. Passion keeps you focused. Passion will absorb your day, your thinking, your mind, and nothing in the world becomes as important as following through, day after day, month after month and year after year.
True passion lasts a longtime; it lasts a lifetime. Your passion will build the creative juices in your experiment, to live on the edge, to go beyond your comfort zone—beyond your fears. Passion is all encompassing and can take you to the land of milk and honey, deliver you peace of mind, that there is nothing more important than what you are doing. Sacrifices are made and dreams are achieved by passionate people.
Be discontented—then find your passion. Don’t give in to comforts, dullness, and unimaginative—don’t give up simply by not having found your passion. It’s out there, you merely have to try new things, experience more of what you love to do, and make that your lifelong endeavor. Follow the path great men and woman follow.
Follow your passion and own your life. Steve Jobs said, “If you are working on something exciting that you care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” Yes, the vision pulls you in the right direction. And with true passion, the vision will continue to pull you for the rest of your life or until such time you find another passion.
Discipline, passion and getting mad all work together to make you better. They get you off your seat and allow you to achieve more in less time. Ted Williams, the greatest baseball hitter who ever lived believed in discipline, in getting mad and getting focused—he believed in baseball, in hitting. Hitting was his passion. Passion is love.
When you have the passion, you’ll get mad. When you are disciplined, you’ll get mad (mostly at yourself). Change your life—become disciplined. Change your life—find your passion. Get on with it—get mad. _____________________
When you get mad about your situation, it's time to sit down and revisit your goals. If you haven't written goals in a longtime, begin today. If you really get serious about your life there are two books that can help you on your journey to successfully living: Mini Goals Huge Results and The Mini Book of Magical Manifestations with Affirmations. Both are available at Amazon.