As I work with more and more companies working hard at growing, I have landed on one attribute that separates the struggling versus the successful: discipline. While we may each have our own definition of discipline, mine is a mindset around a routine or belief that is so strong it exceeds one’s own will. It is like our natural rhythm would be out of place if we were not abiding by it.

I know the dictionary says discipline is “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.” But discipline is much more than rules and punishment; it is understanding something so thoroughly that no one could be harder on you than yourself.

Two things are foundational to achieving a discipline: a healthy mind and surrounding ourselves with a healthy tribe. Let’s start with Healthy People. I like to say, “Discipline is winning the great battle of our lives, the one between our ears.” (I certainly adapted that from someone.) How can we win this battle if we do not have the right people in our lives? Others influence us. The wrong people negatively influence us. The right people know better, and their presence calls forth only our best. So step 1 toward discipline is Healthy People.

Next week, we’ll address step 2.