At PCHS, we help our students become successful farriers while being successful in life too. The biggest cause of failure as a farrier or any self-employed person is a lack of self-discipline. The inability of a person to control their impulses and distractions and stay focused on what needs to be done to be successful is the number one downfall we see in our students.
People without self-discipline, create self-inflicted obstacles in their path to success. They allow themselves to lose their focus, and their purpose, but they've got a way of saying it's not their fault.
Lots of people walk around with armfuls of obstacles that they've created themselves, steadily dropping them in front of themselves. Then they stumble and fall, saying, “See?? If it wasn't for this obstacle, I could have made it.”
Giving up and quitting is a lack of self-discipline. It’s a self-inflicted obstacle. Quitting becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that people use over and over again to explain why they haven't been successful. They very cleverly avoid the responsibility of their failures. It's always somebody else's fault.
A lot of people see a mistake as an insurmountable obstacle. It freezes them in their tracks. They don't understand that we learn through mistakes. By making mistakes, we can narrow the pathway to success. Mistakes are part of the growth process.
Limiting your potential is a self-inflicted obstacle that lots of folks have. They tell themselves that they’ve made too many mistakes, so obviously this is not for them. They just quit and walk off.
These are the folks that hero-worship people that are very successful. They hold others at such high esteem, at the same time building excuses as to why they can't succeed at that level.
They tell themselves that these people are special, they're unique. Successful people have special gifts or special talents that they don't possess, so why even try? They don’t understand that successful people are just like them, except they haven’t put limitations on themselves and what they can achieve in their lives.
Successful people have mastered self-discipline. Bob's favorite is the perfectionist. A perfectionist is someone who maintains a false illusion that they are so committed to the task at hand, that they demand perfection from themselves. They won't move from step one to step two until step one is perfect.
Perfectionists are just fooling themselves. The perfectionist and the lazy procrastinator always end up in the same spot. The job never gets done, so they never move forward. Both rarely become successful people.
So what is Self-Discipline?
Self-discipline is your ability to control your desires and impulses and stay focused. Sometimes all you need to do is put in the time. Self-discipline is committing to the long term games in your life, your marriage, or your shoeing practice without falling prey to distractions that offer instant gratification. Whatever you are trying to accomplish, you have to keep your eye on the prize.
If you want to develop self-discipline, you need to start small and work your way up. To gain control over your life or your business, you need a plan. What do you want to accomplish? Then you have to evaluate why you want to achieve that thing. Why is this so important to you?
You've got to be able to eliminate distractions and obstacles. Getting clear on why this goal matters so much to you will help you do that. You’ve got to prioritize the tasks that are the most important for you to achieve your goal.
Write out a timetable for accomplishing the tasks and keeping track of your progress. And you want to hold yourself accountable. Let’s break it down into something simple. Let's say, for instance, that you decided that you want to read The Hoof of the Horse by Dr. Simon Curtis.
That’s probably one of the best-written books to come out on the hoof and what we do as farriers. It’s 188 pages long, and it has 12 chapters. Let's say you want to read this book in 2 weeks. If you work on horses' feet, this book is packed with information that you need.
Let's Get it Done:
Step 1 Eliminate distractions - Pick a place that will give you uninterrupted time to read. A place free of distractions. No radio, no music, no TV, and no cell phones. It should be just you and the book.
Step 2 Get Clear On Your Goal - You want to finish this book in 2 weeks so you can become a better farrier and improve the quality of your service.
Step 3 Make a Plan - At 8:00 every night, you’re going to sit in that distraction-free place and read one chapter of that book.
Step 4 Accountability - You've got to make a promise to yourself that you're going to accomplish this goal. You need this information to be a better farrier. Becoming a better farrier will help you grow your business. Tell a family member or a friend that you are going to accomplish this goal so they can hold you accountable if you start having trouble making yourself push forward.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The same goes for breaking down huge tasks or goals. Aristotle said, “we are what we repeatedly do.” Excellence then is not an act. It's a habit. Self-discipline is a habit, and it has to be learned. You have to teach it to yourself, and you have to adhere to its principles.
Learning self-discipline takes time and commitment, but I promise you that it is going to give you huge dividends in your farrier, practice, and your life. Self-discipline is about being proactive and training yourself to follow a particular set of rules and standards that align your thoughts and behaviors with the tasks that will make you successful.
If you want to learn how you can develop your self-discipline into a successfully self-employed career, apply for farrier school at PCHS today. Apply Now