Updated: Jul 15
Creating a bigger, better future in your business and life requires sacrifice and discipline. To help you with those, you’ll need to develop these essential five abilities.
If you’re an entrepreneur or solo professional seeking to elevate your scene (impact, influence and income) to the next level, I’m confident you’ve tapped in a few Google searches on the topic of goal setting. No doubt in your search, you’ve probably read a lot about sacrifice and discipline.
How do you feel about the words “sacrifice” and “discipline”? When you read the opening line of this post did those words feel like prison or freedom to you? Your feelings about those words may reveal a clue as to the speed and velocity at which you’ll turn possibility into achievement. Think about it…
To appreciate the creative power sacrifice and discipline has on the speed and velocity of achieving your goals, you need to possess a fully developed set of other abilities that will enable you to make the right decisions about what you want, and the action necessary to make it happen. I call them “The Five Abilities”.
Many years ago when I was starting my own marketing communications agency, I was starving for knowledge on personal achievement and success. I had no confidence (over blind ambition) that I knew how to be successful or even processed the ability to be successful. I knew my craft well; but that was no guarantee I could grow a successful business and feed my young family.
After long and laborious pre-internet searching (“seek and ye shall find”), I finally came across five timeless principles ( on a cassette tape recording by motivational guru Jim Rohn) that deeply resonated with my ambition to achieve my early goals. I never forgot the teaching about the specific abilities all extraordinary achievers throughout time have in common.
After studying these first principles and integrated them into my own thinking and behavior, I began to see some amazing results. What a shock–this stuff works!
Things started (slowly at first) to move in the right direction and I began to achieve my goals. This was an extraordinary lesson for me to learn in those early years of my entrepreneurial life.
Over the passing years, with every new achievement came new challenges. Truth be told, I'm facing some exciting, yet demanding challenges right now– I can use a refresher. We call that personal growth and it has no end.
As I set new goals and face new challenges in my life, I thought I would share this knowledge with you in hopes it may inspire you to keep believing in your life goals. To this day, I continue my study and practice of these five essential abilities for any life achievement:
The ability to pay attention
Don’t miss a thing! Don’t waste a moment! Let each day of your life be a full experience. Suck everything out of every experience, encounter, opportunity that comes your way! Absorb it all! Use everything for your upliftment and advancement. Get really good at the habit of being present in the moment, pay attention to every detail, be focused and more aware and prepared.
The ability to be responsive
Let yourself feel! Let life in! Open the window and the doors! Let some fresh air into your life. Allow life in all its expressions to unfold and touch you– move you! You are not stone! Respond to what life reveals by feeling what your emotions teach you about your outer and inner life philosophy.
The ability to reflect
Take time each day to reflect on your day! Go back over your first thought of the day. What did you learn? Who did you serve? Study your own life in every day. Reflect on all the knowledge you gained today and invest that knowledge in tomorrow. Learn from your days, your weeks, your months, the past year and the past decade. Keep a journal. It’s the best tool I know of to help me reflect on my day. Solitude works wonders too.
The ability to act
Take deliberate action! Strike when the opportunity is hot. Don’t allow the law of diminished intent rob you of your bigger, better future. Start with what you have and from where you stand. There is no shortage of supply! Labor well in the garden of your life and always be planting seeds.
The ability to share
Sharing is an act of expansion. You can’t expand your capacity to be more unless you share more. Pass it along. Pay it forward. Share the love! Sharing makes you bigger, and when you are bigger, more will come to you. Elevate everyone you come into contact with. Leave everything you touch in an improved condition.
I know from my own experience, when you discipline yourself to mastery of these Five Abilities, you’ll also develop the art of sacrifice–which is to say you will appreciate the creative powers released by forsaking all other options to pursue what truly matters to you in business and in life. Every achievement comes down to sacrifice (deciding what you want) and discipline (making it happen). Developing these Five Abilities will ensure your sacrifice and discipline will be well rewarded through your life well lived.