When you lose discipline in your life, your potential is limited

Laziness is more than just a behavioral trait that we all confront at different points in our lives.

Left unchecked, it can quickly spiral into a mindset that erodes our ability to grow and achieve. When the leader of a business becomes lazy, these negative behaviors become part of the workplace culture. Progress grinds to a halt, mediocrity becomes acceptable and gradually, that company’s customers will choose to take their business elsewhere.

This is obviously a worst-case scenario. Just because you decided to sleep in this morning or put off making a call to a key client until tomorrow, doesn’t mean you’ve become a lazy leader and threatened the future of your business. However, it can be a slippery slope. Laziness is a choice and you don’t have to travel very far down that path before it becomes difficult to return to a more disciplined way of life.

Here’s a quote from J. Paul Getty, an American-born British industrialist and founder of Getty Oil Co.:

“The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might and force of habit. He must be quick to break those habits that can break him — and hasten to adopt those practices that will become the habits that help him achieve the success he desires.”

The reality is we only get one chance to be the best person and the best leader we can be. We can’t afford to become complacent and simply let each day go by without setting goals, achieving them and then setting new goals. If we’re not trying to be the best version of ourselves each day, we’re wasting the talents and gifts that have so graciously been bestowed upon us.

Benjamin Franklin is known for sayings such as, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” and “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Franklin was an ambitious man who worked hard for everything he achieved and became one of our nation’s Founding Fathers as well as a prolific inventor, among countless other noteworthy accomplishments. He died more than 200 years ago, yet his values are still applicable today.

The good news is there are simple steps we can take to keep laziness from becoming the enemy of our soul. We can make sure we eat right, find time to exercise and get a good night’s sleep. These are practices that contribute to our overall spiritual well-being. They put us in the right mindset to be productive both at work and away from the office.

The lesson is that it’s OK to stop and catch your breath from time to time. Everyone deserves to take a break once in a while. Just don’t stop for too long. You’ve got things to do.

This year we have expanded our ASPIRE conference to the Pittsburgh region. I invite you to attend ASPIRE Pittsburgh, presented by Metz Lewis Brodman Must O’Keefe LLC, on March 8. This daylong event is filled with dynamic keynote speakers, engaging panel discussions and power networking opportunities. To register, go to www.regonline.com/aspirepit2018