Wrap Up

“Persistence is self-discipline in action. Your ability to persist in the face of all setbacks and temporary failures is essential to success in life.”

-Brian Tracy (No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline./Chapter 7)

This book was a great read and I really enjoyed blogging about it. In the beginning, I thought I was reading a bunch of cow manure! Glad this was assigned to us, because honestly, I would’ve put this down in a heartbeat, and I did for a little while. Upon reading and reading and reading, I actually started to learn something, and I was intrigued, so much in fact that I couldn’t put the book down. I tend to ramble about things that interest me, so to wrap this up, no pun intended: I would like to thank Brian Tracy for such a great literary work and providing these disciplines and I will definitely apply them in the future as I now strive down my own path to become successful and happy in life. I would also like to thank Ms. Aldridge as well! You told me to trust you, that you knew what you were talking about. I didn’t want to listen and for that I apologize, seems like you knew what I needed and how I would respond all along.

Chapter 21: Self-Discipline & Peace of Mind

“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound. The man who does not shrink from self-crucifixion can never fail to accomplish the object upon which his  heart is set. This is the true of earthly as of heavenly things. Even the man whose object is acquire wealth must be prepared to make great personal sacrifices before he can accomplish his object; and how much more so he who would realize a strong and well-poised life.”

-James Allen

1. Take the forgiveness test: Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?

100% Honesty. I want to be both. Being right makes me happy but after reading in this book, self-happiness is more important than just being right.

2. Identify the people from your past who you feel have hurt you in any way, and then make a decision today to forgive and let go of those negative feelings.

Cadarious Gaines, Justen Little, Darius Morton, Josh Harris, Tevin Lowe, Kelvin (last name unknown at the moment), Clarke Prep Baseball Team, Former Head Coach of Echols Middle School Baseball Team, Brent Rogers, Brylon Fowler, Jaaron MacMillian, and these are just a few. As a young kid, most of these people bullied me because I was short and fat, or not athletic enough, or not “black” enough for them. At the time I was really hurt and insecure and felt like I didn’t fit in, like I didn’t belong, and I didn’t want to belong; on this Earth that is. I have now grown up, “manned up”, and have harbored hatred or a certain level of dislikeness for all of these people. If I said I forgave them I’d be lying, but maybe one day I can, but right now I’m at the point of where I am my own man and if I saw them again, the words that I would have for them would not be appropriate for television airwaves.

3. Find reasons not to justify your negative emotions of blame or anger, and instead, use your intelligence to accept responsibility.

(1) I guess I could have dropped a lot of weight, I’m sorry that I was fat, oops my bad, AM FAT! (2) I guess I could have been more “black” and cooler, but I’m sorry that I was lame, oops my bad again, AM LAME! (3) I could have tried to improve my athletic skills, but I did not and that is my fault, I accept responsibility for that. I guess if I improved these things I could have had more friends, I could have talked to girls easier, and I guess I would of at least been happy to the pint where I actually cared if I lived or not.

4. Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and then resolve to let go of any thoughts or emotions that disturb you in any way.

5. Begin today to read something spiritual and uplifting each morning before you begin your day. This habit will change your life.

6. From now on, refuse to take things personally. Ask yourself how much it will matter five years from today.

I know after reading this book I have habits and disciplines that teach how to do so. And I have applied them to an extent, however they did not work completely, because for some reason, a small very small part of me still remembers the hurt.

7. Practice the Buddhist method of detachment from money and material things, and refuse to become upset or worried about anything.

Chapter 20: Self-Discipline & Friendship

“Everything you want in life has a price connected to it. There is a price to pay if you want to make things better, a price to pay for leaving things as they are, a price for everything.”

-Harry Browne

1. Make a list of the most important friends in your work and personal life. What could you do to make them feel better about themselves?

My whole senior class. I could offer to do a nice gesture for them or I could offer words of encouragement to them and be kind to them.

2. Identify the first thing you could do in every meeting or encounter to make the other person feel important.

I could greet them with elation and state something such as, “Hi, it is great to see you. How are you?”.  By doing this, you show interest in the other person instead of in your own self.

3. Resolve to make each person feel more valuable and worthwhile because he or she spoke to you.

4. Practice nonjudgementalism in all your relationships. Always assume the best of intention on the part of others.

5. Imagine that each person you meet has only a short time to live and you are the only person who knows.

I would be devastated to be aware of such news, but I would feel special to that person, and I would try to make their little time left the best time that I possibly can.

6. Find something about each person that is impressive to you, and the  tell the other person how impressed you are.

Each person in my senior class is about to graduate, and we are all going to split up pretty soon. I could tell them things that I think are impressive about them and offer those words of encouragement to them so that they can reflect on them and remember that I always respected them.

7. Imagine that there is a hidden camera and microphone recording every interaction you have with other people. How would you behave differently?

I would try to be nicer and obviously try to look my best (haha). But honesty is the best way to go about things, so what you see is what you get and what you hear is who I am.

Chapter 19: Self-Discipline & Children

“Right discipline exists, not in external compulsion, but in habits of mind which lead spontaneously to desirable rather than undesirable activities.”

-Bertrand Russell

1. What two qualities would you like your children to identify with you by observing your behavior?

When I do have some, I would like for them to be like me in the sense of always wanting to do the right thing and help those who can’t help themselves.

2. What two qualities would you like to instill in your children, and how could you achieve this?

Intelligence and kindness. I can be kind to them and to others while around them and I can teach them at home more about the lessons they are learning at school just as my father used to do with me.

3. If you were an excellent role model for your children, how would your behaviors be different, starting today?

I would watch the things that I say, not that I use profanity, but things like crap, OMG, and other stuff of that nature, I would try to refrain from using such language.

4.  What mistakes have your children made that you should forgive and forget about, starting immediately?

Well I do not have children, but mistakes I made as a child that I know my parents have forgiven already could be when I one time skipped my first period class one day in my senior year. I was late for school and my cousin was as well because him and his brother were stranded on the side of the road because their truck had broke down. So since I was his original means of transportation, I felt guilty for him  being late and missing the bus, so I took him to the bus’ intended destination and then headed back for school. I realize my decision had good intentions but was wrong. My parents were very upset, especially my mom, but my dad understanding that I had good intentions showed compassion but was still stern with punishment.

5. What actions are you going to take immediately  to spend more time with your children?

I don’t currently have any, but applying the habit and discipline of time management, I could one day still balance my responsibilities and quality time with my kids.

6. What actions could you take to instill the quality of truthfulness in your children?

Teach them the ways of the Holy Bible. The Bible tells of God’s love and his rules and how we should strive to follow them even though He knows we will mess up.

7. How could you encourage and reward your children so that they practice greater self-discipline, self-control, and self-mastery?

Well as young kids, it is simple to get their attention. Candy, money (a dollar), fun activities and such for good things they do well. As they grow and mature I could still do the same with rewarding them with things of their preference but they must be reasonable and fit the tasks completed to the point where they get old enough and just do good things just because they are right.

Chapter 18: Self-Discipline & Marriage

“It is better to control yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or demons, heaven or hell.”

-Buddha

1. What is the most important single action you could take, right now, to increase the love and harmony in your marriage or relationship?

Surprise my girlfriend with a romantic gesture such as roses, jewelry, or a dinner.

2. What disciplines or practices could you develop that would improve the quality of your marriage for the other person?

I could learn to be more patient, kind, generous, caring, considerate, and to listen to my partner and respond to her and compromise.

3. Identify one behavior you could engage in that would improve your communications in your marriage.

I could listen more before I form my own opinion and I should try to understand things from her viewpoint.

4. Sit down with your spouse and ask him/her for ideas for things that you should do more of, less of, start, or stop doing.

5. Identify the two qualities that you most admire in your partner.

Her beauty: physically and spiritually. Her intelligence. She is a smart caring girl and she supports me with unconditional love and my love for her grows stronger and stronger for her everyday.

6. Identify the areas in which you and your partner are the most compatible.

Humor, positive attitude, and fashion.

7. Identify the most important values that you and your partner share.

The value of  not just love and what not that a boyfriend and girlfriend have. But we were friends for a good while before we dated and I believe that is why we have been together for so long now because our relationship is not boring, and both of us love to be with the other person.

Chapter 17: Self-Discipline & Physical Fitness

“Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self denial. Also, and most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It is a state of mind that you could call character in action.”

-Vince Lombardi

1. Today is the day! Make a decision that you are going to achieve the best physical condition of your life in the months ahead, and then take action immediately.

2. Get a complete medical examination so that you know your condition and limits before you begin.

3. Start walking thirty minutes each day, preferably first thing in the morning or, if not in the morning, right after work.

4. Join a gym or health club, pay for a year, and make an appointment with yourself to work out five times a week, sixty minutes each time.

5. Hire a personal trainer and have him/her guide you through an exercise program that includes aerobics, strength, and flexibility exercises each week.

6. Invest in a treadmill, a LifeCycle, or an elliptical machine and put it in front of your television so you can exercise as part of your home and family life.

7. Start gradually and work up slowly, resolving to exercise for several weeks before you notice a major difference. Be patient, persistent, and determined.

Chapter 16: Self-Discipline & Personal Health

“Self respect is the root of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.”

-Abraham Joshua Heschel

1. Idealize with regard to your health: If you could wave a magic wand and make your health perfect in every way, how would it be different from today?

I would be 225 pounds. With even more muscle definition and less fat body mass.

2. Resolve to make the rest of your life the best of your life. What is the first thing you should change or do?

Finish out high school with the best of my ability so that I can have fun and enjoy my summer break and be proud of myself and my accomplishments.

3. Get a complete medical examination and ask your doctor for advice on how to enjoy superb levels of physical health. Then follow that advice.

To take all my antibiotics and to take probitics along with them because it will cure my bacterial streptococcus infection (strep throat) and the culturelle probiotic would also balance out the side affects of taking the amoxicillin antibiotic.

4. Determine your ideal weight and set it as a goal. Use the goal-setting process you learned in Chapter 4 to make a plan to achieve it and keep it there for life.

5. Use mindstorming (described in Chapter 4) and write out a list of at least twenty answers to the question, “What can I do every day to enjoy superb levels of health and energy?”

(1) Eat vegetables, (2) eat fruit, (3) exercise regularly, (4) exercise different areas of body, (5) use different types of exercise: aerobics, cardio, weights, etc., (6) balance a healthy diet of foods from the food pyramid, (7) eat at appropriate times of the day, (8) eat up to 2 to 3 times a day, (9) water is the preferred beverage with meals, (10) eat a balanced breakfast, doing so starts your daily metabolism, (11) cardio is a preferred exercise for weight loss, (12) weights and strength training is preferred exercise for muscle gain, (13) a balanced sleep schedule is important, (14) in between meals, if hungry a serving size of fruit is best to eat, (15) exercise through fun activities would be more enjoyable and efficient, (16) meats can be eaten idealy if grilled or baked, (17) steamed vegetables is a very healthy way to eat them, (18) after a night’s dinner, don’t lay right down on it, (19) a light workout in the morning to start your day could help,  (20) and working out twice a day 3-5 days a week would really hasten the affects of a new health kick.

6. Review the health habits and research discussed in this chapter and give yourself a grade ranging form one to ten on how well you are practicing them.

7. Decide on one specific action that you are going to take immediately to ensure that you live to be age eighty, ninety, and beyond.

Chapter 15: Self-Discipline & Happiness

“No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.”

-Harry Emerson Fosdick

1. Identify the areas of your life in which you feel the happiest and the most in control. How could you expand them?

Hanging out with my friends, playing baseball and football, and spending time with my family.

2. Identify the areas of your life in which you feel controlled by other people or factors. What could you do to resolve these situations?

Driving in traffic in a sense controls you, you must obey and follow the rules and regulations of the road. You must stop at stop signs and red lights, you must yield, turn, slow down, speed up, etc. Whatever the rules are, you must do so for your and other people’s safety.

3. Identify those areas in your life in which there is a gap between your current levels of accomplishment and what you would really like to achieve. What could you do to bridge these gaps?

In academics I am a very good student but I am not the best but I would love to be. I could work harder and smarter to build the bridge over the gaps that are between me and my friendly rival classmates.

4. Identify the most pressing needs you have today that are not being fulfilled. How could you begin to satisfy these deficiency needs?

I really need to start a graduation invitation list. I could apply the already learned habit of time management and set aside an appropriate time to think hard about the family, friends, and friends of the family that I would like to invite.

5. Identify those activities that give you the greatest feeling of personal happiness, your “peak experiences” in life. What could you do to increase these moments of happiness.

I have probably been the most happiest in life when I am on the field. I love sports and the feeling of making a tackle or a sack or hitting a homerun or throwing a no hitter is the greatest feeling I have ever experienced in my life.

6. Identify those areas in life in which you feel the most discontented. What steps could you take immediately to resolve these feelings of discontent?

I have felt the most discontented in the times of failure whether that be athletically or academically. Steps I could take to resolve these feelings are to try to see the “silver lining” and lookin toward the future and be optimistic.

7. Define “happiness” for yourself. What does it mean? What would have to happen for you to feel truly happy? What could you do immediately to create this situation?

Happiness to me is the personal excitement that you have with in yourself. When you are happy, negative vibes cannot bring you down. Several situations could happen: athletic achievements, academic achievements, fun events etc.

Chapter 14: Self-Discipline & Problem Solving

“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”

-Aldous Huxley

1. Solving problems is like solving mathematical equations: It is learnable with practice and repetition. Start by determining the biggest problems facing you today.

Trying to play and finish this baseball season without giving into the pain in my throwing arm.

2. Accept complete responsibility for solving the problems you encounter in your daily work, and then think about the solutions. 

3. Define your biggest business or personal problem clearly. Write it down. What exactly is the problem?

The pain in my throwing arm while playing baseball games.

4. Why is this a problem? Could it be an opportunity in disguise? If so, what opportunity or lesson could this problem contain?

Because the pain could become worse and I could really hurt myself beyond repair. I do not think so. This could teach me new ways to help protect myself and discipline me to tell someone that I am in pain.

5. What else is the problem? Perhaps the real problem is something else, something you might not want to face?

I am also afraid that I have already hurt myself to a extreme sense and I may require intense therapy or maybe even surgery.

6. What are all the possible solutions? What else could be a solution?

I could finish the season out without letting anyone know that I am in pain. I could tell someone that I am in pain so that I can protect myself from injury. At the time, I do not know any other solutions but I do know I need to decide soon.

7. Select the best solution that available to you right now, and take action immediately.

I cannot decide right now, but the best decision would probably be to just pick the option that protects my arm from pain. In such a case, one should think about more than just the present moment, one must carefully consider the future.

 

Chapter 13: Self-Discipline & Time Management

“If you do not conquer self, you will be conquer by self.”

-Napoleon Hill

1. Make a decision today to become absolutely excellent at time management.

2. Before you begin each day, make a list of everything you have to do that day. As new tasks arise, write them down before you act on them.

3. Organize your work list by priority by using the A B C D E Method over and over until it becomes a habit.

4. Identify your A-1 task each day and resolve to work single-mindedly on that task until it is totally complete.

5. Identify the one task that only you can do and that, if you do it well, can make a real difference.

6. Determine the 20 percent of your tasks that can account for 80 percent of your results, and then discipline yourself to work on them most of the time.

7. Every minute of every day, ask yourself, “What is the most valuable use of my time, right now?” and then discipline yourself to work on only that task until it is complete.