Discipline is having the strength to say No

Ian Cassel Blog, Educational 15 Comments

Goals are accomplished through hard work and great discipline. Discipline is choosing what matters most over what you want now. Whether it’s in life or investing it’s often the individuals that have the strength to say No that succeed. When I was on vacation last week, I was thinking about broad areas in life where it’s important to say No. I wrote them down and combined them with a few of my tweets from the past couple years. This isn’t an exhaustive list, so feel free to add to it:

Say No to being a Loser

Losers give up on their dreams and then sit back and become critics of people that win. Don’t give up on your dreams. It’s easy to become bitter and fall into a loser’s mentality. Don’t live a defeated life, always thinking the worst of everything and everyone. Live in expectation, anticipation and possibility of what tomorrow brings.

Say No to Complexity

Many like to sound smart by making things complex. These people usually work for other people. Successful people simplify things.

Say No to giving your kids EVERYTHING you didn’t have

It was the scarcity and struggle in your life that made you who you are today. When you have it easy you don’t appreciate opportunity. We all want to give our kids more than we had, but often times the more we give them the less they appreciate it. Give your kids what they need. Your time. Don’t give them all the stuff they want and desire.

Say No to Negative Distractions

Your inability to focus will stop you from being consistent long enough to be successful. Get rid of the negative distractions in your life. Work hard to eliminate negativity, self-doubt, addictions, etc. that are holding you back from reaching your full potential.

Say No to Negative People

The person who has never done anything is the one who is sure it can’t be done. You only have so much energy. Get rid of the naysayers and people that only “take from you” and drain your tank. Surround yourself with people that bring out the best in you, not the worst. It is impossible to live the right life with the wrong friends.

Say No to Useless Sparring

Don’t respond to trolls and critics. Responding to negative people only empowers them. You can’t win a pissing contest with a skunk. Don’t waste time fighting battles with small-minded people. Walking away from an argument is a sign of strength. Focus on what is important.

Say No to Comfort

To grow you have to stretch for things. It’s rarely comfortable. You have to develop the ability to be effective in discomfort. In most cases to step toward your destiny you have to first step away from your security. You have to risk who you are for what you can be.

Say No to Comparisons

Don’t compare yourself to others. You aren’t running their race. Compare yourself to yourself two years ago.

Say No to Creating an Image

We are often so busy selling an image of what we would like to be that we have no time left to work on who we really are. In addition, we spend so much time trying to impress people that don’t matter that we risk losing the people that care about us most.

Say No to Selfishness

It’s hard to be happy if you’re selfish. If you don’t feel joy in your life it’s because you’re not giving enough time, love, and/or resources to others. Complaining and blaming is a derivative of selfishness. You never know when a winner is struggling because they are too focused on other people. They don’t have time to complain because their purpose is bigger than themselves.

Say No to Jealousy

Jealousy can destroy you if you don’t kill it. When you are fulfilling your purpose in life you are happy when others are fulfilling theirs.

Say No to Procrastination

We all have a purpose. It’s that thing that stirs your spirit. Have the courage and sense of urgency to go after it before someone else does.

Say No to Dwelling on Past Mistakes

You may have made mistakes but that’s in your past. It’s not how you start the race, it’s how you finish. Sam Walton at age 44 opened his first Wal-Mart and during his lifetime dominated the industry. Ray Kroc took over McDonald’s at age 52 and built it into a global enterprise. Colonel Sanders first franchised his secret recipe, “Kentucky Fried Chicken” at age 62. It’s never too late to accomplish your dreams. Your story isn’t finished yet. Make the next chapter a great one.

Say No to Mediocrity

You weren’t put on this Earth to be average, so stop thinking like everyone else.

Say No to Blame

Your best bet for a successful future is to fully own your past mistakes. Quit thinking about what’s wrong with your life and be thankful for what is right. Opportunity always presents itself to a grateful heart.

Say No to Self

Don’t waste time thinking you have all the answers. Most of us think we know more than we really do. We think we are more talented than we really are. Fake it until you make it works until you go broke. You don’t have all the answers. Be a sponge and learn from everyone.

Say No to Giving Up

Keep working hard no matter your current situation. When you start doing the small things right, doors will open to bigger opportunities. Every day, people rise up from incredible hardship & prove they aren’t a product of their circumstances, they are a product of their decisions. The power to endure is the winner’s quality. You learn from the journey, not your achievements. You learn that if you don’t give up you win. And that will stay with you a lifetime.

Say No to Talking and Overthinking. Say Yes to Doing.

Most people talk too much and do too little. It’s great that you can talk a good game. It’s great that you read 1,000 books last year, and you have an IQ of 160. It’s all useless unless you apply what you learn to your life, business, family, charity, friendships, etc. Stop overthinking everything. The reason why the kid with a 90 IQ is outperforming you is because he/she wasn’t afraid to take the first step and figure it out as they went. Find a problem, cause, or issue that bugs you. Chances are it annoys a lot of other people. Don’t just sit there and complain about it. Do something about it. Now.

Success takes an incredible amount of discipline. Discipline is having the strength to say No.

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Comments 15

  1. This article is a nice kick in the ass. Thanks for all the reminders, its easy to forget some of this stuff when you’re in it.

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  2. I almost, kinda, sorta wish you guys would post articles more regularly, as they rarely fail to make an impact. However, I think the relative scarcity and the (by comparison) mostly long-form nature makes the wait worth it.

    I’d rather a once a month deep-dive on micro-cap vs nano-cap returns or the perils of over-diversification to a daily or weekly missive pumping a given stock or sector.

    Great article, great list, look forward to the next one – whenever that may be…

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      Thanks Mick, glad you enjoyed the article. Yes, we actually go out of our way Not to talk about individual equities on our blog. We try to stick to educational postings because they are useful forever.

  3. Ian, thanks for compiling and sharing your experience and learnings on a platter. I read and re-read your posts. I must admit they are treasures for life time. Wonderful!

  4. Thanks Ian, for compiling this into one article. I have been following you on Twitter for sometime, and though I have seen some of them, this helps me to keep in a document or print in a sheet of paper that’s always available to me, so that I can keep revisiting to help me to stay on course! Thanks a ton!

  5. Thanks Ian for another great post. I loved the following:

    “It was the scarcity and struggle in your life that made you who you are today. often times the more we give kids the less they appreciate it.”

    I can relate to these very well. Like all good teachers, I draw more Non Investing lessons from your teachings 🙂

    Thank you!!

  6. It’s so refreshing hearing from you.

    Thanks for sharing them….all of these posts….will be taking some time going over them slowly and sharing with my friends!!!!!

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