The Discipline of Habits – 4 Lessons Learned from Unique Cases of Sustained Success

By Aaron Griffing

 Editorial Note: This article highlights a political figure as a case study but is not offered as a supporting endorsement of a particular party, candidacy, or policy. It is strictly offered as a leadership example of the impact of disciplined habits.

What do Coast Redwood trees, Barack Obama, and the University of Alabama have in common?

At first glance, not much. However, in applying the lens of the discipline of habits, they in fact share many commonalities, ultimately demonstrating to us the impact of a commitment to disciplined habits can have on our sustained growth and success.

I recently finished James Clear’s Atomic Habits while simultaneously beginning Barack Obama’s A Promised Land. I could not help but notice some of the principles Clear shares in his book on habits were affirmed in Obama’s presidential memoirs. The two books left me with four major takeaways:

  • You must remain persistent with your habits – they take time to bare results.
  • We often experience a plateau effect before breaking through toward truly impactful improvement and results.
  • The best don’t rest – even after achieving success, continue to seek improvement.
  • Establishing and employing a productive process is more impactful than establishing and achieving a goal.

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