Last Friday I referred to discipline as an investment, a lens I introduced on January 30. If you haven’t read those Daily Disciplines, go read them quickly after this.
Whether it’s money or discipline, the value of your return is directly correlated to the timing and amount of your investment. We’ll leave timing for another day. Today let’s address amount.
There is no “right” amount of discipline just like there is no “right” amount of money. Discard that notion. It’s worth pointing out there’s also never “enough” of either. It’s only whether the amount delivers the desired things you want.
With discipline, it’s best to think in ranges of overinvestment and underinvestment. Like money, it’s up to you, your priorities, and the life you actually want.
Where are you overinvesting in things that don’t deliver valuable returns? Where are you underinvesting in things that would deliver more valuable returns?
Here’s a quick list of where I see people overinvest and underinvest.
At a high level, people tend to . . .
- overinvest in external approval and underinvest in internal mindset.
- overinvest in motivation and underinvest in discipline.
- overinvest in planning and underinvest in execution.
- overinvest in short-term desires and underinvest in long-term priorities.
- overinvest in predictability and underinvest in uncertainty.
- overinvest in comfort and underinvest in struggle.
At a specific level, people tend to . . .
- overinvest in Netflix and underinvest in reading.
- overinvest in judging other people and underinvest in creating the best version of themselves.
- overinvest in eating and underinvest in physical exercise.
- overinvest in political opinions and underinvest in personal relationships.
- overinvest in social media scrolling and underinvest silent self-reflection.
- overinvest in emotions when driving and underinvest in emotions when listening.
What if you built your own personal list of overinvestment vs underinvestment? Would you like to try that?
Embrace the chase. Do the work.