The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Three keys to success

On October 2nd, 2017, posted in: Just Because, Uncategorized by

three antique keys on black backgroundI’m a fan of three keys to success:  discernment; deductive reasoning; and the newly added third “D”—discipline.  I’ve talked about two of them over time, maybe even discipline has been discussed, but never have I hooked them all together to create the “Triple D” to success.

Discernment is key and speaks to common sense.  I heard someone recently remark to an individual’s “uncommon common sense” and thought WOW, what a compliment.  To have uncommon common sense ensures that there are good decisions being made over bad.  To know the difference between right and wrong seems clouded more than ever before.   Discernment is desperately needed.

To “discern” (the verb), is to actively think about consequences.  There was once an employee who came to work late.  I mentioned to her that she can’t keep coming in late.  She noted that the city had changed the sequencing of the stop lights on her regular route to work resulting in her being delayed.  She reasoned (wrong, I may add) that the city was the problem.  I mentioned that leaving for work a little earlier may help to alleviate the problem.  She had never thought of such an option.  She doesn’t work here anymore.

Deductive reasoning comes in number two on my hit parade to success.  Can a person get from point A to point B in a reasonable manner seems to be a good working definition?  Again, a person’s effectiveness in understanding their current position and their need to proceed to an end is important.  There is always a best way to do something.  Learn how to figure it out.

And newly added to my list for success is “discipline.”  Here’s the best definition I’ve ever seen. Like many other pearls of wisdom I have encountered over the years—it was scribbled on the wall.  The graffiti artist had some real talent and displayed a deeper thought process than many who default to sophomoric humor usually ending with the perfunctory curse word.  Discipline, he/she wrote is “the difference between what you want now versus what you want most.”  WOW.  If someone says about you, “you’re disciplined,” take it as a compliment.

Discipline is the biggest obstacle to success in so many examples: weight loss, fitness, budgets, grooming, homework, relationships, work performance, retirement savings, etc., etc.  We are a society that emphasizes the right now.  Instant results and immediate gratification dictate the actions of so many.

Long-term ramifications for imprudent action(s) in the here and now seems never to be a worry.  The “we’ll worry about that bridge when we come to it” has resulted in an overweight, sedentary, credit strapped society worried about if and when they can retire.  We’ve traded a lifetime of peace of mind for the feel good moment du jour.  Enjoy that fancy wardrobe and overpriced car— you may regret it when you turn 70.

All kidding aside, discernment, deductive reasoning and discipline should be a part of the curriculum in schools right alongside reading, writing, and arithmetic.  Critical thinking is a learned behavior.  Practice makes perfect.

 

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