Climbing The Ladder Of Success

One of the common denominators to achieving success is discipline. Self-discipline is like a muscle. The more you train it, the stronger you become

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By Ashu Khanna


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Everyone wants to know the formula for success. There is a common saying that there is no free lunch and that holds true to achieve our goals. One of the common denominators to achieving success is discipline. Self-discipline is like a muscle. The more you train it, the stronger you become.

We are inherently passionate; and we have the capacity to channelize our passion by consciously giving direction to our emotions. When we discipline our thoughts, we can conquer our emotions that run amok and train our mind to stay focused. Everyday habits such as exercise, planning, eating carefully gradually train the mind to get disciplined. Our school timetable is a fine example of how by following a schedule, we can accomplish learning several subjects and activities.

Developing champion's mindset

There is no short cut to excellence. Leadership is all about doing what's right rather than what's easy. Sportsmen like Sachin Tendulkar and Roger Federer, and maestros like Pandit Jasraj and Zakhir Husain practice for hours to perfect a stroke or hit a note and achieve championships. To maintain a champion's mindset, leaders read motivational books, associate with successful people and make time each day to reflect and review. A disciplined approach helps in performing with ease and achieving success.

Also Read: 7 Key Steps to a Growth Strategy That Works Immediately

Transitioning to higher roles

One of the challenges of transitioning senior executives is learning to let go to fit in new responsibilities. Our mind habitually keeps going back to the comfort zone and it takes discipline and effort to let go and delegate work that can be done by others and move up to focusing on responsibilities of the next role. Some years ago, I was coaching a professional who asked me what the best way was to change his habit of poor time management. Through the coaching, he realized that time management was a symptom arising due to deeper emotional issues such as need for perfection, fear of losing control and fear of failure. After identifying the limiting belief and letting go of the need to step into every detail, the leader was able to change the thought pattern.

Staying focused to achieve goals

Any change in process, behavior or relationship, takes time. A desire for instant gratification often takes away the ability to stay on course. My clients from financial and infrastructure sector are significantly affected by the fluctuations of the regulatory and economic environment. To stay committed to long-term goals, leaders require a disciplined approach to pursue targets and stay focused on motivating the team to keep moving forward.

Conquering emotions

Our emotions play a significant role in the effective utilization of time. Effective utilization of time is an art and a science. Art because it requires creativity to juggle various elements of life and a science as the law of cause and effect applies to how we use our time.

Ask yourself—How productive am I? Am I waiting for miracles, am I being fearful? Am I utilizing my time in line with my vision of life? By believing in our abilities rather than being dampened by volatility requires a disciplined habit of starting the day on a positive note with meditation, yoga, exercise, reading, etc. When we introspect regularly to inquire our emotions, we can achieve clarity and decide where and how to focus our efforts. The more we live with awareness, the more we are able to balance and make the most of life.

Also Read: 15 Ways to Grow Your Business Fast

Calm mindset

When I started work at Arthur Andersen, everyday would start and end by making a to-do list to track the work at hand. This allowed me to juggle multiple clients and meet various timelines. Maintaining an activity log of things to do on a regular basis assists in prioritizing what's urgent and what's important. This habit allows a person to assess and accomplish without going into a flap all the time. Also, a calm mind can be creative in identifying opportunities and solutions easily.

Ashu Khanna

Founder and CEO, Arka Leadership

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