This is the fourth in a four-part series dedicated to helping you create the right mindset for success. 

Henry Ford once said that “Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.” Today we are going to discuss “getting ready” by developing a strong sense of self discipline.

So far in this series, we have covered self esteem, self image, and self confidence. In this final article, we are going to change direction somewhat as we discuss possibly the most important component to the mindset of success—self discipline.

Self discipline gives you the ability to turn raw potential into success. Self discipline allows you to convert your gifts and your experience into action. Self discipline keeps you on track and allows you to follow through on your plans.

Just as success is rarely the result of a single brilliant accomplishment or idea, neither is failure a result of a single failure. Rather, “big” failure is caused by a long list of repeated “little” failures.

For instance, showing up five minutes late to a sales presentation may not be the end of the world—but do it enough and it will have a real negative impact on your business. Failing to correct poor performance by an employee isn’t a big deal if you do it once—but if you make a habit of letting things slide, before long you’ll lose control. And if the failure to follow through on your ideas becomes a habit, before long your visionary ideas are completely wasted.

Let’s be honest—none of us are perfect when it comes to self discipline. We all miss deadlines. We all fail to follow through.

Perfection isn’t a requirement for success… but progress is. Below are three ways to boost your self discipline.

  1. Conquer your least appealing tasks first thing in the morning. It’s always tempting to leave the least pleasant task for last. Force yourself to address it first—it’s a great way to build self discipline.

  1. Turn your weaknesses into strengths, one at a time. Are you terrible with paperwork? Do you have trouble being punctual? Is staying under budget a challenge for you? Identify these natural weaknesses and work to correct them. This process demands self discipline!

  1. Be accountable. In many ways, self discipline is a habit that you create. Therefore, the hardest part is getting started—once the habit is established, it’s much easier to maintain. So hold yourself accountable. Set goals and share them with your spouse, employees, or other professionals. Have them check your progress periodically. Before long, you won’t need them… and that, my friends, is self discipline.

You can be the most gifted, talented, visionary individual ever born—but without the discipline to turn ideas into action, you won’t find success.

Are you a disciplined person? What are some of the techniques you have used to develop your self-discipline? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!