Self-Mastery: The Door to Success?

By Seamus Anthony

Self-mastery, so my pet theory goes, is the common thread in the lives of successful, self-determined people that I have studied, both famous and obscure.

By self-mastery I mean “the power to control one’s thoughts and actions” and if self-mastery is the door to success then self-discipline is the key that opens the door.

seamus self-discipline

Me. Rehearsing in me man-cave.

I think a lot of C-suite executive types would find this so obvious as to be mundane, however, I doubt many musicians and other types of “creatives” ever give this much thought, let alone effort. The ones that do stand out via their achievements.

Self-discipline in thought and deed had long been my failing. I am very interested to see if I can truly, consistently reverse that trend and see what difference it makes in my life.

Having said that, here is my list of:

Things What I Gone And Done Yesterday

Thursday October 3rd, 2014

By the way, should you be thinking: “What, is that ALL you got done yesterday?”, let me point out that I run a business and have little kids, so great swathes of my day is necessarily taken up coping with revelling in all that this dumps at one’s feet blesses one with.

  • Up at 6am. Full body workout 45mins.
  • All health food, no booze, no sugar, wholegrains only, no processed crap
  • 1 blog post
  • Discussed Zuiiza CD launch on phone with Peter O
  • Rehearsed for solo gig, 1.25 hours (after kids in bed)
  • Organised with Barry for him to attend gig tomorrow which is a) fun and b) means photo record of gig for purposes of self-promotion (god that sounds tacky but hey, it’s what you have to do)
  • Texted Jarra from CFTB, asked him if he’d like to play tomorrow
  • Answered call from Jarra at 10pm and organised for him to accompany me at tomorrow’s gig

I mention the last bit about answering the phone late at night because this is, for me, a surprisingly dedicated action that requires some self-determination. Not because Jarra is anything other than a delight to converse with but because I struggle with “doing phone” and especially later in the evening when I am winding down. I tend to view the phone as an energy sapper, not least because between bad reception up here in the hills and my less-than-perfect hearing it is sometimes technically a struggle to hear people properly.

But here’s the thing: self-discipline means remembering what you want. And by this I mean remembering what you REALLY want in the big picture, not just what you want right now.

For example, when, in the moment, I don’t want to get out of bed at 6am and exercise, I remember what I really want in the big picture (to be fit and healthy and, frankly, to look good on stage ha ha) and this motivates me to swing my legs over the side of my bed and grumble up and at ‘em. Same goes for the phone, if it rings late at night and answering it helps me get what I REALLY want in the big picture, then I need to remember this and resist the Monkey Mind’s urgings to go for the immediate gratification of chillaxing on the couch, sans phone.

Hi, I'm Seamus Anthony. I am an author, artist and musician from Australia. Here at Rebel Zen, I document my journey as an creative artist and human and in doing so, hopefully help you in your own progress through your life of creativity. Go get your free E-book by me: "Taming The Monkey Mind".

2 comments Write a comment

  1. Tomorrow when my alarm goes off I shall think of the big picture (and this blog post)… is sleeping an extra hour (I seriously snooze for that long or more) more important than achieving my goals?
    No excuses… Thanks for the reminder.

    • Hi Victoria,

      Too much sleeping is a waste of time, yes. But I reckon there’s a middle ground. There’s no point getting up early on any given day if you’re too tired to be constructive. In that scenario the most constructive thing to do is to sleep in 🙂

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