We think in images. But, since we can’t all be Rembrandt’s (I’m more a Dali or a Picasso!), we struggle to communicate those images in pictures painted with words.
There is a chapter in the book I’m just finishing that deals with what I refer to as “D” Words.
I think “D” Words are important. So important I’ve been writing about them for a very long time. So long, they found a place in the 8-volume management series I wrote and published in 2003.
But, “D” Words can be sneaky, especially if you ‘string’ a bunch of them together. Especially, when you build an entire chapter around their importance. Which is exactly what I did in the book.
The first four “D” Words I talked about were Desire, Discipline, Determination and Drive.
I suggested these four words (among a few others) are the foundational elements of character: the very core of who we are. And, that Character – an essential “C” Word – is all about the choices we make when no one is looking. When no one is around to witness those choices.
Other than myself and a dear friend who is helping me with the final research necessary to complete the book, our son, Ryan, is the only one on the planet who has seen the manuscript.
He liked it! Really, liked it… But, he did have a question. He wanted to know why I felt compelled to string so many “D” Words, so similar in meaning together.
Like all of his comments, I took his question seriously. So seriously, I eneded up rewriting the entire chapter! I rewrote the chapter, because while similar, these words are different: different enough to make them even more meaningful when used together.
Here’s how I see those differences. But, in all honesty, I’d be really interested to learn how you see them…
Desire, simply stated, is something you want: something you would like.
Think about everyone you know… Think about the human condition… There are things we’d all would like.
We’ve all got desires of one kind or another, both personal and professional.
“I want to run a marathon! I’d like to win the Lottery… I need to take my business to over $1,000,000 or $ 2,000,000 in Sales!
The question is, what do we do with those desires. And, the sad commentary is most of us do nothing more than fantasize about them.
Most of us are satisfied to use those desires to fuel our daydreams and not much else. We’re not willing to take the ‘next step’ and Do the Work!
For Desires to be more than the stuff daydreams are made of: somewhere, somehow, someone has to sprinkle them with a little Action!
Discipline is important. Critical, in fact.
Discipline is the mental toughness it takes to do what has to be done: what needs to be done, even when you aren’t motivated to do it!
But, it also implies negative consequences associated with failure.
Discipline works best when you are motivated, of course… But, it doesn’t have to work that way!
Drive is really all about motivation: self–motivation. As in, ‘I am driven to fix my business!’ Or, I am driven ‘to break that bad habit!’
Certainly, there are external forces that could drive you to do something. Even, something you don’t really want to do. But, for the most part, when we talk about Drive, we’re talking about the fire in your belly that compels you to do whatever has to be done.
Like most words, Determination can have more than one meaning. But, when I talk about Determination, you can be pretty sure I’m talking about firmness of purpose: about being resolute.
You can have Desire, but without Determination, Discipline and Drive you’ve got another “D” Word: Dreaming.
You can have Determination, but without Desire, Discipline and Drive, your efforts will probably remain unfocused: diffused.
You can be Disciplined, but without Determination, Drive and Desire you just might find yourself wondering, Disciplined to what end!
And, finally, you may find yourself Driven: propelled toward a certain goal or objective, but without Desire, Determination and Discipline, the chances are high your journey will take longer and cost more both physically and emotionally, than it would if all four “D” works were working in concert!
There is one more “D” Word that should be considered in a discussion of “D” Words, and that is Dedication. It just may be the most powerful of all the “D” Words, because it speaks to a critical “P” Word: Passion. Your Passion for whatever it is you are doing. Your commitment to see that task through to completion, regardless.
Regardless of the inconvenience. Regardless of the difficulties. Regardless of the obstacles. Regardless of the cost…”
Words matter… All the “D” Words mentioned above… Along with a bunch of “C” Words like Courage, Commitment, Character, Care and Concern. And, some “P” Words, like the Passion, Principled, Perception and Perfection!
They matter even more when they form the building blocks of a very special “L” Word: a word like, Leadership!