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Success = Choice + Discipline

By AICC Staff

December 4, 2017

Here it comes, another trip around the sun.

The start of a new year is regularly described as a chance to start fresh and create a new beginning. I choose to look at the new year with a different set of glasses. I put my why glasses on and ask myself why I got the results I did in the year that’s coming to an end. Why did I have the successes I achieved? Why didn’t I get the results I wanted? Reflection is a powerful tool.

More often than not, the reflection reveals either a lack of, or strong focus on, the basics that yielded my results. In that vein, rather than trying to come up with a list of new and innovative ways to find success in the new year, I want to take this opportunity to remind myself about some of the easy things to do that will continuously lay a solid foundation for success.

The best part is, most of these points we’ve known for years, even decades, but sometimes a reminder is needed to put them back into focus.

Keep your eye on the ball.

How come sometimes we don’t watch the ball? Football, golf, baseball … it doesn’t matter what the sport is, if your eye comes off the ball, your chance for success will be significantly reduced. Now think about your work. What is the ball? A lot of us are busy being busy and are trying to operate with a mile wide and inch deep approach without the laserlike focus on the important things, the needle-moving things, and the exponential change things. For success in 2018, identify the ball that you need to keep your eye on.

Keep weeding.

In all areas of our lives we have weeds. Just as in the garden or lawn, if you ever decide to stop weeding, then the weeds will take over. Weeding isn’t fun, and it takes a lot of daily work, but the discipline of weeding is rewarded with a beautiful landscape. Find your weeds and get rid of them.

Sharing is caring.

Society is shifting more and more to a protective state, where sharing and opening ourselves up to others generates a fear that we will be vulnerable or taken advantage of. I say that the vast majority of people in the world are good people, and we’re all waiting for someone to go first. So, go first. Don’t wait for the other person to offer, say hi, or show compassion. Go first!

Do the little things.

If you take time to complete the little things each day or week, this will set

the stage for taking on the big things. I recently listened to a podcast that

cited making the bed every morning as a great steppingstone for accomplishment in the day. The little things may seem just that—little—but when compounded over a life or career, the impact can be significant.

Stay curious.

Life doesn’t stop teaching, so don’t stop learning. The only way growth can happen is by increasing your value, and as best I can determine, the only way to increase your value is to learn and do more and bigger things. And the only way to learn is by being curious. Books, courses, seminars, and peer mentoring are just a few of the pathways to success.

What’s easy to do is also easy not to do.

And the easy things, including the stuff mentioned above, are usually the important things.

  • It’s easy to keep your eye on the ball.
  • It’s easy to read (audiobooks, too).
  • It’s easy to weed (when done daily).
  • It’s easy to do the little things.
  • It’s easy to share.

Thankfully, you’re not a tree, which means you have the ability to write your script for success, and you don’t have to stay rooted. All of the above and what you do today, tomorrow, and in the new year, is a choice. Your choice. Success = Choice + Discipline.

MikeMike Nunn is vice president of operations at Ideon Packaging and is Lean Black Belt-certified. He can be reached at 604-524-0524 or, or followed on Twitter @mikednunn.