House of Destiny Part II

octopus on roller skates

“Wisdom has built her house she has hewn out its seven pillars…”.  The ongoing theme for the  personal leadership development class I teach has been the need to build your “House of Destiny”.  The “House of Destiny”, like Wisdom’s house, has seven pillars. In an earlier post we examined a pillar called Renewal.   In our most recent leadership circles, discussions have centered around self-discipline/self-management.  Self-management is one of the pillars of the “House of Destiny”.  Three components are identified as making up this pillar: self-discipline, priorities and process.

Self- discipline: The importance of self-discipline is highlighted in the following statements: “Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward,backwards, or sideways.” [H. Jackson Brown, JR.] “The first and best victory is to conquer self.” [Plato].  We  seem to be able to exercise the most self-discipline in the area of our passion [John Maxwell].  Therefore finding our passion is important.  I know a young basketball player in whose life this passion – self-discipline link is well illustrated.  His passion for the game has led him to spend numerous hours working on his game and developing his skills.  This discipline in his area of passion is spilling over into the rest of his life. As a result his entire life is becoming more focused and effective.  The reality is if we can’t lead ourselves we really can’t lead anyone else.


The matrix

Priorities:  Managing ourselves is not about prioritizing what is on our schedule but rather about scheduling our priorities. [Stephen Covey].   Covey and other utilize the following matrix as a way of helping us to separate out the signal –  the important stuff- from the noise – everything else that clamors for our attention.  The challenge for us is to identify the things that  are not urgent but are important because they help determine the long term direction for our lives.

Process: Process speaks to the need for us to apply what we have come to understand and is illustrated in the story told of five frogs floating on a log. Four of the five frogs decide to jump off the log.  How many frogs remain on the log?  The answer is five; because deciding to jump off and jumping off are two different things.  Knowing and recognizing the need for self-management is not the same as taking the first small steps to see self-management realized in our lives.  The journey always begins where we are standing.  The person who lacks self- control / self-management is as defenseless as a city without walls; or in our modern times as defenseless as a computer without a firewall and virus protection software.  How are you building your “House of Destiny”?

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