Success has different meanings to different people. Whether you strive for success in your career, family or personal life, you must exercise discipline and delayed gratification to accomplish your goals.
To be successful in any area of your life, you have to set goals, and work hard to accomplish them. All goals need to be written down, and they need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.
Success requires daily exercises in:
1. Discipline. Just as athletes must keep their bodies in top physical condition to be proficient in their sport, it takes discipline to be successful in all areas of life. To accomplish any goal requires discipline.
A basketball player who wants to perfect his free throws must practice taking free throws everyday. By practicing daily, he develops discipline and successful free throws become a habit. Therefore, when his team is behind by one point, and he needs to make a free throw, the well-disciplined player goes to the line knowing that he can make it because he has practiced so much so that he can throw the ball in his sleep.

Discipline develops good habits and good habits yield good results.
With practice, you can perfect your skill, and rewards will come after hard work.   Anyone who is very good at their job had to perfect their skill first.  After winning in an International tennis meet, Serena Williams recently said that she does not like working out, yet she is well-conditioned and she is a world class tennis player because she perfects her skill by practicing hard long before each game.
This clearly illustrates that liking a part of the process has nothing to do with achieving success. You might not like mathematics; however, if it is required in your career field, you have to develop the discipline to study mathematics in order to accomplish your goals.     
2. Visualization.
Athletes use visualization to see themselves scoring a touchdown, blocking a field goal or throwing a winning strike. It is equally important to visualize yourself accomplishing your goal.
We too, must learn to use visualization techniques on a daily basis. It is important to visualize yourself accomplishing your goal. This will help reinforce your sense of purpose and help to keep you motivated as you strive to accomplish your goals.

Visualization will also help you to stay on track as you learn to deal with those critical parts of the process to success that you don't like.

3. Delayed Gratification.
In the pursuit of your goals, you must understand the importance of mastering the ability to delay your gratification. Sometimes, in the midst of completing the prequisites to attain your degree or your desired job position, it seems as though, time stands still. It requires continued discipline to accept that delayed gratification is part of the process to becoming successful.

While it seems that there is sometimes not enough time to accomplish our goals, we must work to understand that success requires delayed gratification, and making wise choices. Sometimes, we have to decide to pay for a class that will prepare us for a career move instead of purchasing the car of our dreams.  Too often, people choose to buy unnecessary material products instead of sacrificing and taking the class. However, it is important to remember that you can always purchase the car of your dream, after you invest in yourself. 
A doctor or lawyer cannot finish medical or law school before completing college. Likewise, a teacher must first complete their prequisite coursework before they can teach students. There is a process with everything, and one must acquire the discipline to delay his gratification in order to complete the process and become successful.
However, each day will put you closer to reaching your goal if you continue to work on your goals daily. Rewards come to those who stay the course.  
Success can become contagious. Once you accomplish one goal, you will develop the discipline to work on other goals because each success will give you the confidence to work the next goal.    
Make one free throw, then the second one is easier. Complete one course, and completing the second one is easier because you will have the confidence to move forward.
Start achieving success today by exercising discipline, visualization and delayed gratification to accomplish your goals.

©2012 Winifred D. Bragg, MD. All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Winifred D. Bragg, MD is a business owner, keynote speaker and author.

She has taught thousands why staying strong and maintaining a strong mental toughness are essential to overcoming adversities. She has been featured on NBC, ABC, FOX and CBS news television segments.

As a physician, Dr.Bragg has treated thousands of patients with physical pain. She now teaches leaders from various industries how to overcome the growing pains in their personal and professional life.

She delivers powerful messages through teaching the Bragg(sm)Factor. Through this system, Dr.Bragg shares methods on how to achieve your maximum potential.

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