The three D's - Discipline, deligence and determination

Michael Dale-Asiedu
Published on: 27th February 2014
To begin and end, to start and complete, all but time defines. As earthly beings, time has been and forever will be our constant mode of assessment. As a little lad, the essence of time had been driven into my DNA so much that it came as no surprise when I crowned time as my motto in life, and later on, in my growing years. Time cuts across every sphere and facet of our daily routines. Time will certainly tell whether that dream will be realized, whether that career will be successful or contribute to the growing statistics of career failures. Time to me has the surest answer to all of life's myriad questions.

However, in more recent years, I have come to accept the fact that time alone is not enough in making our mark in this earthly sojourn. I have come to appreciate values of faith and firm belief in dreams, tenacity and perseverance, right associations, positive networking and other significant values as requisite propellers of a moving life. Three indispensable values or virtues that cannot be done away with are what I call the three "D's", Discipline, Diligence and Determination. What is it with the three D's?

Carl Zuckmeyter posits that, "One half of life is luck, the other half is discipline, and that's the important half. Discipline in this article is voluntarily adhering to specific tenets and precepts or codes of conduct to help you achieve a set target or goal. Discipline here is not induced by a second or third party; it is rather an intrinsic desire to say to yourself that this is what I want to do whether I feel like doing it or not in order to reach my destination. The destination can be marital or career success, improved academic grades, spiritual upliftment and other well thought out targets. For without discipline you wouldn't know what to do with luck.

A growing number of people say they do not believe in luck, but however and whatever they call it, without the discipline to sail through, the brightest of chances could be missed thereby dashing potent dreams that could have arrived and materialized in a resounding manner. Whether it's that car or college degree you want to acquire, you need the discipline to save an amount as and when necessary, consistently to be able to achieve that which you so much desire. Wishing is not enough, unless those fantasies are backed by a strict code of discipline in saving so you accumulate enough; there is no point if you are given a whole lifetime, or all the knowledge about college degrees and cars.

When even you become so lucky and your dream car is presented to you in the cheapest of prices, because you did not have the guts of discipline to save. Luck will elude you making you forfeit your dream as it will be rolled on to a more prepared candidate. Discipline encompasses a greater bearing on life, to be able to lose weight and get that figure and physique you so much admire, you need discipline to go through you aerobics and dietary plan, to be able to stop that addiction that is derailing you so much, you need discipline to say no and stick to it no matter how inviting any temptation that may revert you back to your old state might be. You can have all the necessary knowledge at your fingertips added to time but without the grand master of discipline, forget it. What is knowledge if not applied? And what is time if not utilized properly?
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On the other hand, Discipline should be closely followed by Diligence in work or whatever endeavor you find yourself no matter how little or insignificant. Diligence connotes careful and persistent work or effort. "What we hope to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence" says Samuel Johnson. Whether you want to be the Picasso of our time or reach the height of great inventors and scientists, whether you aspire to be a successful businessman or you want to be one of the greatest architects, is it to be a distinct statesman? It is in doing little things well that your path of greatness is earmarked. You cannot aspire to be that great man when you despise little beginnings and carry out those little duties of yours haphazardly; simply put you cannot be the greatest chef when you chop the onions anyhow, because if it must be done, it must be done well.

You can always be excited about the deft touches and scintillating runs of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but you cannot ignore the painstaking hard work and efforts (diligence) they put in their training every now and then. Usain Bolt makes sprint look so effortless but you cannot, in anyway, whatsoever, underestimate the amount of time he spends in training. The same can be inferred from world greats such as Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Tiger Woods. You go to the business field and you talk about the diligence with which world greats such as Larry Page, Warren Buffet, Sir Richard Branson, Aliko Dangote go about their businesses. In every facet of human life, those who have excelled extraordinarily have been those who have done the ordinary things in an unusual way, that little extra makes all the difference, that little extra separates the boys from the men, that little extra separates those who really mean what they are about from day dreamers and a lot of wannabes.

It is said that the height that great men achieved did not come by sudden flight but they, whilst their colleagues slept, toiled and worked in the night. Sleep, they say is sweet to the laboring man. So says John Bunyan too, but many world greats were able to deny themselves of this immediate comfort, and strive on with their dreams and convictions diligently till they reached diverse global pinnacles of recognition and admiration. Vince Lombardi caps it so beautifully by saying, "Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price. Hard work has never broken any bone in the human body; it has only made them stronger. Proverbs 22:29 to me sums it up more perfectly," sees thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before men of low estate. Moreover, anything in life worth having is worth working for. You cannot expect to have something and pray that it will fall from heaven like "manna".

The next ingredient highly required of an onward life is determination. You have to possess the firmness of purpose and resoluteness to press on irrespective of the seeming odds. The path to success is to take massive, determined action. Once your mind is made up in any endeavor, there is no retreating, you can only go one way and that is forward. A truly determined individual would not surrender to the naysayers and destructive critics. The fear of failing is even afraid to bug him because his determination to succeed far outweighs his frail prowess to withhold him.
Again, if you are bold and determined, it is said that mighty forces will come to your aid. Thus boldness and determination has pure genius. Where absolute determination and enthusiasm for a particular course exists failure can never dismantle the flag of success. A truly determined individual sees failures as learning stops that help him to be extra vigilant and guide him in making more informed decisions with regards to his way forward. You look back in history and you cannot help but marvel at the sheer determination brazenly demonstrated by countless individuals, from Henry Ford to Thomas Edison. These were all people who were not perturbed by life's difficulties; they braced the odds and challenged the conventional nature of their time with the determination to make a mark and reach their desired destinations.

Success therefore will be one's ability to move from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Determination will take you where knowledge alone will not be able to. It takes a strong fish to swim against the tides; even a dead one is capable of floating in it. Again when you have removed failure as an option, you can only but succeed. There are no secrets to success; it is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance and determination. The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. You just can't beat the person who never gives up. That is where true determination comes in. One man with courage and determination is like thousands in the majority. People who are afraid to fail can never experience the joys of success.

Margaret Thatcher opines that, "One only gets to the top rung on the ladder by steadily climbing up one at a time, and suddenly, all sorts of powers, all sorts of abilities which you thought never belonged to you suddenly become within your own possibility and you think, 'Well! I'll have a go, too.'" Crowning of the three D's of Discipline, Diligence and Determination must be our surest bet of a motto of our lives because I have come to accept and realize the fact that, after it's all said and done, it is how well we are disciplined, diligent and determined that counts. Without these key ingredients all other things in life are compliments.
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