Achieving Economic Development Success Takes Self-Discipline

Psychology and philosophy are vital ingredients to economic development. This article shows how that is the case.

Nobody likes to be told what to do in life, but that is exactly what happens when we fail to exercise discipline over our own lives. It takes discipline to succeed in life, whether we are talking about becoming a better athlete, sales professional, council member, student, or parent. Economic development success depends on many key factors; one of which is self-discipline. That is the message of this short article.

Self-discipline is always preferred to discipline provided by others. Self-discipline is learned, and sometimes we need others to remind us to use more self-discipline. Often it takes a major personal, organizational, or community wake-up call to motivate us to develop more self-discipline. Financial and economic health require self-discipline, whether we are talking at the community, organizational, or individual level.

How can we develop greater self-discipline to improve the economic health of Ashtabula County? Here are some guiding principles that can help. I don’t want to be prescriptive on how you apply these principles. Think about what they mean to you.

1. Start with small things that contribute to important priorities: Tackle those things that are important and you also have some immediate control over, such as physically cleaning up the county. Unleash the county’s near 100,000 residents to spend 10 minutes every day cleaning up their homes, places of business, and public areas.

2. Get yourself organized. Figure out what is most important to your personal life, your work or business, and your community. Organize each day to do what is most important to moving you, your work or business, and your community forward. Exercise effective time management. This is not busy work; it’s work that inches you forward each day.

3. Keep your word. If you say you are going to do something, do it. But be careful not to overcommit yourself. That leads to frustration and failure.

4. Do the most difficult tasks first. Many people do just the opposite, spending their time doing the easier, low priority tasks. But when they run out of time (and energy), the difficult, high-priority tasks are left undone.

5. Accept advice on improvement. It helps us develop self-discipline by showing us what you need to avoid. Thus, it should not be rejected, but accepted gladly.

6. Practice getting past yourself. Instead focus on doing more for others. Helping others is a surefire way to improve ourselves and to develop effective self-discipline. Hold a higher vision for yourself. A higher vision helps us get past yourselves.

7. Accept responsibility. First for yourself, and then for others. Own up, show up, don’t give up. Be accountable and hold others accountable.

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