Why Different Takes Discipline?

Written by Larry Fehd, CEO & Founder / HPS

“You can start your day over at any time.” – Patty Sheehan. Each dawn is the fresh start of a new day. In the midst of a challenging (or really bad day) we have the freedom to shift our mindset and choose a fresh start. Good and bad events tend to attract more of the same and much like the momentum and power of falling dominos. The driving force, momentum and power dramatically increases.

It’s only natural to want to move beyond uncomfortable places or situations. There is a tendency to go faster during those times. Rather than defer to our common default, to speed up, I’ve found the best remedy is to simply STOP! This is not the same as fight, flight or freeze. It is a moment of mindfulness that positions us to assess the situation and chart a new course with a fresh start and a more positive, productive and fulfilling course of action.

I read a quote from Halley Bock recently on LinkedIn that was very sobering: “The opposite of connection is addiction.” I commented on Halley’s post and told her how much it had resonated with me and would likely do so with my clients, colleagues and friends. Does it resonate with you, too?

“The opposite of connection is addiction.”     – Halley Bock

I’ve got a theory about Halley’s quote. My theory is that it’s true for most of us. While technology and especially social media offer many benefits, I also believe it offers an even greater amount of distraction (and tends to thwart real connection) with what truly matters most in our lives. I hate to admit my penchant for keeping my iPhone nearby, but it’s true and borders on an addition in and of itself.

One theme that emerges from and parallels the “…opposite of connection is addiction” is PARETO’S 80/20 PRINCIPLE. Pareto’s research suggested that 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. He encouraged a focus on the 20% of the essential few while avoiding the 80% of the trivial many. I observe a significant decrease in the amount of real connection – despite social media’s efforts to enhance it – which does not temper the addiction to the trivial many. THE POWER OF THE OTHER: REAL CONNECTION

So, how does this connect with WHY DIFFERENT TAKES DISCIPLINE? If we are committed to creating more joy-filled days in our lives, deeper connections with those who matter most, and the 20% of the essential few then we must exercise greater discipline in order to produce different outcomes.

80% of our results come from only 20% of our efforts. Focus on the 20% of the essential few and avoid (or at least minimize) the 80% of the trivial many.

Tips and Practical Applications:

  • The next time you find yourself plummeting in the abyss of a bad day, STOP! Assess the situation and chart a new course to move you out of the abyss and into the realm of a fresh new start. We are not dominos and our fate is not determined by what transpired before we became aware of our plummet and potential falling even deeper into the abyss. We can start our days over anytime.
  • Do you recognize any patterns in your life that may be interfering with the 20% of the essential few? If yes, do you realize that you will never recover this lost time? While it may take a little practice to come to a complete STOP, it will be worth the effort in shifting your mindset and charting a fresh new start and course or direction.
  • Like many words, “discipline” takes on a negative connotation to many people. My discipline comes natural to me and is liberating, not limiting or restrictive. When you exercise discipline you stack the dominos in your favor and shift the momentum toward a different set of results.

Special thanks to Mike Bown, Master NLP Practitioner, for his valuable contributions to this post.

About Mike Bown: Mike is a Master Practitioner of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programing) with hundreds of hours of advanced training in coaching, consulting and training. In Mike’s words, “In my working life I am witness to my clients’ discoveries of their own magnificence and provide them the tools to live and work from that place. I seek to expand my clients’ innate potential and possibilities.” Mike’s specialties: Belief and Identity-level exploration, behavioral modeling (for performance enhancement), training and dependable states of excellence.

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Larry Fehd


Larry Fehd is CEO and founded Human Performance Strategies (HPS) in 2000 following a successful career with Johnson & Johnson where he led executive leadership, team and organizational development. He is masterful at helping clients to break through inertia and the status quo.  He conceived the new and proprietary concept of Invitational Leadership™. He envisions the future of leadership as a passage beyond inertia and status quo and works with clients to develop invitational leaders at all levels of the organization.  He consults to a diverse group of U.S. and international clientele, and speaks and writes about, building high-performance leaders, cultures, teams and organizations.

(512) 415-0748

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