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The Pursuit of Greatness

I was scrolling through social media and I came across a tweet from the Global Leadership Summit.

Greatness is not a matter of circumstance. Greatness is a matter of conscious choice and discipline.  Jim Collins

This two sentence tweet kicked-started my mind.

It is essential to embrace both conscious choice and discipline in your pursuit to accomplish something great.  Conscious choice focuses on what you are mentally processing.  It is critical to have a mental picture of who you want to become and what you want to accomplish. The mind is a powerful tool that has the potential to point you towards greatness or mediocrity.  The mind has the ability to create a crystal clear picture of what can be, or it can sabotage every thought and dream that surfaces.  Seth Godin talks (Video: Quieting the Lizard Brain) and writes (Blog Post Quieting the Lizard Brain) a lot about the power and danger of our Lizard Brain. The Lizard Brain is the resistance in the back of our brain telling us to compromise, go slow, and to stop.  Tommy Newberry wrote a great book titled The 4:8 Principle.  He uses Philippians 4:8 as a foundation for how we should mentally approach leadership and life. The condition of our mind is critical to greatness. But if that mental picture isn’t connected to discipline, the hard work and difficult decisions, then the mental picture will never come to fruition.

  1. Conscious choice is facing obstacles, no matter the intensity, head-on. Discipline is the will to push through the obstacles even when you don’t want to or do not think you can.

  2. Conscious choice is committing to pursue the important when everyone else is pressing you to do the urgent. Discipline is the actual act of saying “no” to the urgent, so that you can say “yes” to the important.

  3. Conscious choice is embracing the necessity to maintain a healthy rhythm of work and rest.  Discipline drives you to make critical decisions in the rhythm of you life to experience a healthy rhythm.  (Read Lance Witt’s book Replenish.)

  4. Conscious choice is embracing who you are, how you are wired, and what only you can do. Discipline chooses wisely what only you can do, and then empowers your team to do everything else.

  5. Conscious choice is the resolve that if you attempt great things, you will fail.  Discipline is when you fail, you fail forward.

  6. Conscious choice is to constantly defining reality within your leadership sphere. Defining reality is one of the most important roles of a leader.  Discipline is determining what parts of reality need to be changed and then implementing the strategic plan.

  7. Conscious choice is realizing that you need timely, diverse, and constant feedback. Discipline is creating systems to receive feedback and then actually listening to it.

  8. Conscious choice is being intentional within your relational world. Discipline is turning off your cell phone and eliminating other distractions to maximize the conversation.

  9. Conscious choice is actively pursuing a live a life of physical health. Discipline is going to the gym when you don’t want to and choosing wisely what you eat.

Q: What is the condition of your mind? Maybe today, you need to memorize Philippians 4:8.

Q: Is your Lizard Brain hindering the one thing you are supposed to do – you need to do – today? Overcome and get it done!

PHOTO CREDIT: Francesco Gallarotti via Unsplash

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