We all have discipline, but it may not be focusing on what it is we want. You may say, “Well, I’m not very disciplined.” Yes, you are. You just haven’t learned how to focus it toward a specific goal to do what you want to do. Discipline means doing something that is going to move you closer to your goal.
You know, here’s an interesting thing about discipline. I was watching the golf channel the other night and Gary Player was on. If you don’t already know, Gary Player’s an older golfer, but one of the greatest golfers of all time. He was talking about the thought process of discipline.
And one of the things he said was that he hit a great shot one time in a tournament and one of his fans told him, “Boy, I wish I could hit a shot like that!” Player turned to that fan and said, “No, you don’t. Because if you did, you would do what I do: Hit ten thousand golf balls a day.”
See, it’s easy for us to say, I want to be something. But the discipline makes the difference in wanting it and doing it. Here’s what I ask people: “Do your habits, your attitudes, your beliefs and your expectations move you closer to your goal or away from your goal?”
Let me give you something to think about. It’s a great lesson that I have learned in my life. We don’t always get what we want, but we always get what we expect. If you expect to be mediocre, you’re going to be mediocre. If you expect to be great, you’re going to be great. If you expect things to be safe, they’re going to be safe.
But if you want your life to truly be extraordinary, you’ve got to take a risk.
When Tiger Woods first came on the golf circuit, he told people, “I believe I’m going to win all the time.” And right away, the media had a field day with this. The old players said, “Well, wait until his wheels come off.” When Tiger Woods went out and played an extraordinary game in a tournament and won, they held a microphone in front of his face and said, “Are you surprised you won?” He said, “No, I expected to win. Every time I come out here, I believe I’m going to win.”
Two weeks later, he won another tournament. They held the microphone in front of his face again and said, “Are you surprised you won?” If you go back and look at the tape, you can see that, this time, he was a little irritated when he said, “I expect to win. I didn’t come out here to be second or third or in the top ten. I came out here to win. I play to win. I expect to win.” And the old guys said, “Oh, he can never keep that up. There’s no way he can do that.”
About a month goes by and Tiger Wood’s playing at the masters. He wins the masters by twelve strokes. He kills the field. Unbelievable. And they hold a microphone in front of his face again and say, “Are you surprised you won?” So he tells them again, “I expect to win. I believe I’m going to win in everything I do.”
Two weeks later, he missed the cut. Didn’t even make the tournament. That was bigger news than the guy who won the tournament. I don’t even know who won the tournament.
Tiger Woods said, “Don’t worry about it. This happens. Sometimes things don’t go the way you want them to. Sometimes it doesn’t work. But I came out here expecting to win. I’ll win next week.” The next tournament he played was in Las Vegas and he won.
Do you know what the old guys were saying? “You can’t win a tournament when Tiger Woods is playing in it.” Now they expect him to win! They had to change their expectations.
If you live your life expecting to win, you can accomplish great things. If you expect to be just average, to be mediocre or to just survive, then you are being disciplined at being mediocre. But to be great, you’ve got to think great. You’ve got to do the things that move you closer to your goals.
You don’t always get what you want, but you get what you expect.