3 Principles and 3 Practices for Better Discipline


  • “Be responsible for the energy you are projecting onto others and into this world.”
  • It’s hard to stay disciplined as you strive. Learn the 3 principles and 3 practices to generate even MORE discipline in your day-to-day life!
  • “If we can bring the intention for two things every day, we win that day.”
  • Learn how to apply these principles to your schedule so you can show up, ready to tackle your to-do list with greater focus and intention.
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

Brendon: I’ll give you three principles for greater discipline. And then I’ll tell you the actual three things to do to generate more discipline in such a way that your personal growth grows, that you feel alive and connected and meaningful and joyous on this journey, because that’s what really matters. I mean discipline sucks unless in some ways the outcome is progress, greater engagement and aliveness of life and greater success in whatever way you measure that.

1. Mastering Your Schedule

So the three principles of discipline come down to number one, mastering your schedule. I know that sounds so boring but it is so absolutely fundamental to your focus, to your progress, to your health. It doesn’t matter if you say, “Okay, I only want to schedule one thing today.” That’s fine with me. I’m not trying to own every hour of your life. But that one thing better be awesome and it better be a needle mover.

2. Show Up

Show up when it’s scheduled.

3. Social Connection

And then the third thing, which is most important is a principle for all of discipline. No discipline happens on a real consistent basis unless you have social connection. All of the research shows the most productive people, the most focused people, the people who are most fulfilled in doing meaningful work have attached a meaning that their focus, intention, their hard work is attached to social connection.

Meaning, “I’m going to show up for this because it’s going to make me a better mom or parent. I’m going to get healthy so I have more energy for the kids. I am going to do this project so my team and company grows so we serve more people and we make an impact.” The hard work must be attached to impact. But the impact isn’t just self, like “oh I’ll get this.” It has to have a social connection. You have to have a reason to show up over and over and over for others.

This is what we always teach in High Performance. You have to have a little card that says, “Who needs me on my A-game today?” I am disciplined because I wouldn’t be less disciplined doing a “Morning Show”. I’m more disciplined doing the “Morning Show” ’cause Jamie’s there. She’s waiting on the other end. If I don’t get there, I feel like a chump. So that’s important, you know?

There are three principles, right? Schedule it, show up, and attach social connection. But now here’s the things I would do. If you said “Brendon, if you could only be disciplined about three things, what would you do?” And it’s not what you all think. It’s totally not what you all think. And this very much makes me happy and progress in life. So they’re not sexy.

Practice #1: Whole Life Review

The number one thing if I could give anyone a discipline to always do, on the first of every single month, you do a whole life review. When that calendar hits one, as in the first of the month, you look at every major area of your life, you score yourself, you ask how you’d like to improve that and what could you do this month? Because most people never improve their life ’cause they never face their life. You have to look at it. So every first of the month, for those who are new to us, GrowthDay actually began because I said let’s do our personal development on the first of the month. So I go live for two hours on GrowthDay. So if you’re not a member, go to growthday.com because I do a full personal development seminar on the first of every single month because I feel like if we start the month off, we nail that, we start it with good attitude and energy, but also you’re looking into the month and asking, “Is the way I’ve scheduled this month going to help me move towards the lifestyle I want or the accomplishment of the major three projects I’m working on in my life?”

Jamie: And also if we don’t do this, I feel like it is so easy—how many people can relate to this, where if you don’t do this, all of a sudden you blink and you’re like, “Oh, it’s halfway through the month, or “Ohm three months have gone by. How did this even happen?” Right, how many times have we done that? Like, “wait a minute, it’s Thanksgiving. Wait a minute, it’s spring break” and it’s like your life just slides by in a blur.

Brendon: For those who have the High Performance Planner, you know this page super well. This is your monthly review section in the High Performance Planner. And what it does is it makes you look at the 10 major areas of your life from health, to mental, emotional, partner, love, family, friends mission, experiences, spirit, finances, learning, growth, and it helps you reflect on the things you learned in the last month, learned about others, learned about yourself, what you’re grateful for, the main priorities coming up, the decisions you needed to make or could make, your monthly review and orienting yourself to your year goals and three-year goals.

If I don’t do that on the first of the month, what happens in the middle of the month? What am I doing? I might be showing up, but I’m showing up in a hot mess all the time ’cause I don’t have direction. So if I could give you anything, start the first of the month super clear about that month. If that’s all you did, I promise you’d be more engaged with your life.

Practice #2: Sunday Review

Second thing I do, I believe another review is needed every Sunday. So Sunday, do your weekly review and your weekly planning. I don’t care if it takes 10 minutes or an hour. Some of you all are crazy. I don’t know what the heck is going on. I think it’s important to go, “Okay on Sunday, is this upcoming week, am I clear about what I want? Am I clear about how I can serve? Am I clear about these little slots of time? Do they make sense to me?”

So third thing, if I could give you three things to move the needle in your life, number one is a monthly review. On the first of the month, look out at the month. And notice, please don’t think that this or the Sunday review, which is the second point, is just about your schedule. You are reviewing the major parts of your life, you’re connecting with them, you’re scoring them, you’re asking what more you desire there, and what’s something simple you can do to improve that area of your life each month? It doesn’t have to be a huge life transformation ’cause look, transformation takes time. But being aware of it, that’s important.

Practice #3: Bring Intention

So the monthly, then the Sunday, and then I know everyone already wrote this in their things and they just know it to be true—you’ve got to win your mornings again and bring intention for I think two things every day.

If we can bring the intention for two things every day, we win that day.

To me, the first one is: I’m going to bring the joy to this day. I’m going to choose my attitude. I’m going to develop a mindset that is unshakeable, that is joyful. In every room, it doesn’t matter if I’m the loudest, I’m going to try to be the most generous and grateful person in that room. I’m just going to bring good energy.

Be responsible for the energy you are projecting onto others and into this world.

So I think for me, that intention of: I have an intention to have joy each day. I’m going to have some fun. I’m going to make that happen because sometimes life doesn’t do it for you. It just doesn’t. So I’m going to bring the joy. So that’s an intention.

So what I’m saying is the third discipline is every day, you have intentions for feeling life. For me, feeling life means bringing joy. That’s number one, I’m going to bring the joy.

And number two, I’m going to make a moment with somebody today. Maybe I send them an audio message. Maybe it’s the way I look at my wife. Maybe it’s, I call up my mom or I send a beautiful appreciation email or text to somebody. But every day, I’m going to bring the joy into the day and I’m going to make a moment because at the end of your life, I learned this, I’ve faced my death twice in my life, you remember these moments and scenes with other people. It’s so important to realize that.

And so you have to ask, are you going to have enough of those moments and scenes? At the end of your life, if it’s true, if you see a movie, what are the scenes of that movie going to be? You get to direct that. And I promise the scenes in the movie almost always have these beautiful connections with others. It’s like most people don’t realize the ending movie of their life is love scenes and connection scenes with other people where these meaningful moments if you will, let’s just call them meaningful moments. That’s what you see at the end, meaningful moments. So if that is true, then you have to purposely structure and build in meaningful moments so you love the movie at the end, you know? You love the movie, you want to watch the movie again, you appreciate it and you’re going to bust out the good wine and have that good popcorn with that meaningful movie. And so every day, now that’s mine. I’m going to bring joy to this day and I’m going to make moments.

Jamie: Yeah, that’s so good.

Brendon: You might have different intentions. Maybe your intention’s like, “I’m going to do this thing as a mom or as a leader,” or as a whatever. It doesn’t matter to me. But if you don’t have the intention, the days just blaze by, and nothing. You could be working hard. You can get your schedule down. You can have your calendar prioritized with all the tabs and all the different marker colors and everything else. But if there’s no intention for feeling into the day, you were a good robot today but you didn’t feel.

Jamie: Yep, and we’ve all had days like that where we feel like a human doing, right, not a human being. That’s so good, Brendon, that’s so good. And a meaningful moment can be different for every single person. But how many days do we go through and we forget? And a meaningful moment’s free. And it’s like how many days do we forget to do that? It’s so powerful. I love that.

Brendon: So to me, that’s funny, the discipline is to have the intention, right? Every day, when you have the intention or every moment or every experience when you have the intention, it turns out better. Like this morning, Jamie and I before we started, we talked about what’s the show about today? What’s our theme for the week? Our theme for this week is focus and discipline. Our theme for the month in GrowthDay is confidence. And if you’re not a GrowthDay member yet, please sign up at growthday.com because last week I taught two hours on confidence, Jonathan Fields from the Good Life Project taught over an hour and a half on confidence and so did Dave Hollis. And they took questions and did coaching. And upcoming, we’ve got Mel Robbins, Jenna Kutcher, Jamie, oh my gosh, David Bach is this week. I mean, it’s going to be epic, guys. So go to growthday.com ’cause you can get live coaching twice a week with us and you get the replays for less than a dollar a frigging day for the year. I mean it’s unbelievable. So go to growthday.com. It’s my favorite thing, my favorite thing.

Jamie: Yeah, it’s amazing what you’re doing. Glo Atanmo, Prince EA, there’s so many incredible people in there, so super excited.

Brendon: Anthony Trucks is coming up. He’s just fire.

We’re overtime. I love you guys. Listen, I want to remind you every day you can choose a new attitude, you can improve, you can take that step, you can show up for your schedule, just show up. Remember to do the things we talked about today.

But remember, you’re stronger than you think, the future holds good things for you, and every day is a good day to grow.

So go have an awesome week.