Some years ago, Gerry attended a conference in Washington. It was the lunch break and he was eating at a nearby food fair. The area was crowded and he sat down at the last open table by himself, even though it was a table for four.
A few minutes later, an older gentleman and a younger woman who was his assistant came along carrying trays of food, obviously looking for a place to sit. With plenty of room at his table, Gerry immediately arose and invited the older gentleman to join him. He was hesitant, but Gerry insisted. Finally, thanking him as he sat down, they began to chat over lunch.
It turned out that his name was Kop Kopmeyer. As it happened, Gerry immediately knew who he was. He was a legend in the field of success and achievement. Kop Kopmeyer had written four large books, each of which contained 250 success principles that he had derived from more than fifty years of research and study. Gerry had read all four books from cover to cover, more than once.
After they had chatted for awhile, Gerry asked him the question that many people in this situation would ask, “Of all the one thousand success principles that you have discovered, which do you think is the most important?”
He smiled at Gerry with a twinkle in his eye, as if he had been asked this question many times, and replied, without hesitating, “The most important success principle of all was stated by Thomas Huxley many years ago. He said, ‘Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.’”
He went on to say, “There are 999 other success principles that I have found in my reading and experience, but without self-discipline, none of them work.” Self-discipline is the key to personal greatness. It is the magic quality that opens all doors for you, and makes everything else possible. With self-discipline, the average person can rise as far and as fast as his talents and intelligence can take him. But without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.
“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 and disciplined.”
Self-discipline and self-motivation are joined closely. When you practice self-discipline you feel like you are in control of your life. You feel content and motivated because you’re moving toward your goals.