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Work On Your Game Content/Podcast/#4: Self – Discipline [WOYG Podcast]
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#4: Self – Discipline [WOYG Podcast]

Self – Discipline

Discipline is often treated like a dirty word, mainly because people don’t really like to be disciplined. However, it’s one of my favorite topics. The root of discipline is in doing the things that you need to do, but don’t necessarily want to do. There are no secrets to discipline.

With this topic, however, I can’t just walk into a room and tell people,

“Hey, I’m going to talk to you about discipline.”

Everybody is going to roll their eyes and think,

“This person is telling us what we need to do even though we already know that we need to do it, and we’re already done with it”.

When I get into the topic of self-discipline, the first thing that I share with people are my achievements and accomplishments; I’m the type of person who is supremely driven by achieving, accomplishing and getting things done. If you looked at the stuff that I’ve done over the years — all the YouTube videos, blogging and books — you’ll see that I like making mass amounts of anything that I have decided to produce.

The question that I like asking myself is, “What am I doing that nobody else is doing?”

This is a concept that I use with athletes all the time. Once my name and brand started to build on YouTube, the athletes would ask me,

“Dre, what is your motivation to go in the gym and keep working out? There are times when you don’t have a playing job overseas. You’re an unemployed basketball player, but you just still show up to the gym every day, working out, working hard, being dedicated, being disciplined and working on your game.

What’s your motivation to do that?”

My motivation is very simple. As a youth, I knew that all the other players in the neighborhood were better than me. To me, this meant one thing – that I had to be “realistic” about where I was. It’s not the type of “realistic” that people refer to a lot these days; A lot of people associate “being realistic” with “being negative”. However, the reality was that I was one of the worst players in my age group in the entire neighborhood.

Since there were no YouTube videos to watch in the mid-90s, no programs that I could buy, no DVD, nobody I could email and ask for tips, no Snapchat and no Instagram, the only way I could change that was to work on my game. All I could do was to work on my game more than everybody else working on their game. That was the only way I can close the gap between where they were and where I was, and then I eventually passed them. I could have written a book about it back when I was a teen, but I have written a book about it now – it’s called “The Mirror of Motivation”.

When I asked myself, “What am I doing that nobody else is doing?”

I asked myself this question back then as a basketball player and, even today, as a blogger, YouTuber, and when I am doing anything else in business as an entrepreneur. If I can’t answer that question, then the next question I ask myself is,

“What can I do that no one else is doing?”

”How can I separate myself from everybody else with the actions that I’m taking?”

If you plan on being ahead of everybody else or to be a person that stands out from everybody else in the crowd; whether it’s in your team, in the industry, in the field or against all the competitors who are trying to take you out in business, you have to be doing something different. This means that you have to own something, you have to be something and you have to represent something that no one else is being, doing, representing and putting themselves in front. That’s the number one thing you have to understand when it comes to discipline.

Once you become that person who is doing something that no one else is doing, you know what’s going to happen if you’re successful at it? A lot of other people will come in and will try to copy your actions because they see that it works.

If you want to hold on to that spot, you need to keep innovating to stay ahead of everybody; You need to keep raising the bar and to keep reinventing yourself to the point that no one else can say they’re doing the exact same thing that you do.

Disclaimer: This only applies to the type of individual who was asking themselves,

“How can I separate myself from everyone else?”

“How can I make myself stand out?”

“How can I be the one person that people remember?”

“How can I be a person that people remember, recognize and know about because I’m doing something distinctive and something that is separating me from everybody else? So that when I say this sentence, the only name that can be an answer is mine.”

This is only for the people who fall into that category. If you’re the type of person who is satisfied with blending into the crowd, being part of the group, or being one of the boys, and you don’t want a lot of attention, you don’t want to stand out, and you don’t want people looking at you and say, “Hey, what is this guy/girl doing that makes them so special?”. If you don’t want that type of scrutiny, the fans, and the criticism that will definitely come with it and you just want to be a normal person who blends into the wallpaper, that’s absolutely fine.

There’s nothing wrong with those type of people.

BUT I’m sharing this topic for the people who want to stand out in the group.

They want to be the person who says,

“I want to make myself different from everybody else; I’m going to stand out.”

Simply telling yourself that you are going to be disciplined; that you are going to get up, run 5 miles every day, go to the gym to shoot a hundred mid-range pulled up jump shots and one dribble to the left; or that you are going make 10 phone calls to make sales in your business every day; or clean 10 bathrooms every day to get your house cleaning business off the ground – even though you don’t feel like it. It’s hard to keep forcing your brain to do something that you don’t want to do.

Is it impossible? No, it’s absolutely not impossible.

If you have ever worked a “regular job” or a nine-to-five job where you had a boss, supervisor or anyone who was above you who could tell you what to do with the threat of you losing your job if you didn’t do it, you know that people are very capable of doing things that they don’t really feel like doing when there is a penalty for not doing it.

However, it puts a heavy weight on our mental capacity when we’re forcing ourselves to do something that we don’t want to do. Those who have worked at a regular job, and struck out on their own entrepreneurial journey, and completely left that job, can tell that there’s a completely different feeling, mentally, when someone is doing things for their self instead of doing it for someone else. When you’re forcing yourself to do something that you don’t want to do, there’s only so much energy you can call on from your brain before your brain is going to need a rest.

Ask yourself a better question, “What can I do that no one else is doing?”

Even though I consider myself a pro basketball player, there was a time when I was in the situation of not having a job for playing professional basketball. During that period, I had no prospects, nobody looking at me, no options and nothing in front of me that said, “This is going to work out.” All I did was ask myself a very good question, “What can I do that no one else is doing?” I asked myself that question in the fall of 2009 when DreAllDay went from being a website to being a brand; It went from just being 50 YouTube videos to the point that I now have almost 5,000 videos on that site; It went from me being viewed maybe 100,000 times to gaining over 35 million views, and that led to: the books, TED Talks, and to you – who knew my name.

If you’re ever at a point where you don’t feel like disciplining yourself, ask yourself,

“What am I doing right now that no one else is doing?”

When young athletes come to me and they say,

“Dre, how do I make myself stand out?”

“How hard do I have to work in my sport?”

“How many hours should I spend working on my craft if I want to be the best in my sport?”

The answer is very simple.

When you see a lot of other people doing and putting the same level of effort as you, and producing the same level of results that you are producing, you are not doing enough; None of you want to stand out.

You’re in the perfect spot if you want to blend in, be normal, be average, and have no attention drawn to you. You are in your comfort zone and you should stay there. If that’s what you’re aiming for, you already got it; If you want to stay where you are, keep doing the same things that you have been doing.

If you want to be the person who stands out and separate yourself from the crowd…

If you want to be a person that people look at and say,

“Wow, look at what she did.”

“Look at what he’s doing.”

“How can we be like that person? Let’s go over there and ask him how he did that so we can learn how to take something from what that person’s doing and apply that to what we’re doing so we can be better.”

If you want to become that person, you have to ask yourself a question,

“What am I doing that no one else is doing?”

When those young athletes ask me how hard they should work, I say,

“You look around. You’re not doing enough if you see a lot of other people doing the same thing. When I was 14 years old, nobody was coming to the park at high noon in the middle of the summer in Philadelphia because it’s 95 degress and it’s hot. But I knew that’s where I wanted to be, even though I could never have explained that to anybody as a teenager.

I knew that if I was working out when nobody else was working out, I was going to eventually reap some results that those people were not reaping. It took a damn near 20 years for me to get those results. But I guarantee you this, there is no conversation as to any comparison between me and any of those people who used to walk past me to go to the mall or hang on a corner and go talk to some girls back in the mid-90s.

There is no comparison when we’re talking about basketball achievements between him and me. We don’t even have a conversation and they see that I’m willing to talk about basketball because there is nothing to talk about.”

Over the last 20 years, I asked myself the question,

“What can I do that nobody else around here is doing?”

I didn’t know the answer to the question, but I did it.

That’s what discipline is.

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