A Success Building BLOG (part VI.c)

A Success Building BLOG (part VI.c)


BLOG postings: (link to Achieving Success BLOG for all posts and PDF downloads)

Discipline to Success:

The Components of Well-Roundness

So they committed themselves to the will of God and resolved to proceed.
William Bradford of Plymouth Plantation, 1620.

continuation from BLOG post: part VI.b

Our character has five distinct character attributes or disciplines: physical, physical temperance, education, social and spiritual. These attributes make up our individual personality.

Last week, we were discussing making character changes to build the discipline we need for success. We continue our discussion here.


Each character attribute carries equal weight — meaning that each attribute is equally important and must be equally developed to shape a well-rounded character. But the levels of energy and motivation will vary for each attribute. One attribute may require less energy to develop than another. And a second attribute will have a greater impact on motivation than another. These are important concepts to remember.

We turn to the Inverse Pyramid Model to demonstrate these concepts. The model uses the X,Y coordinate axis to measure energy and motivation among the five character attributes. Let’s begin measuring energy using the X-coordinate illustrated below.


There are two types of energy forces: internal energy and external energy. Internal energy are the forces (or actions) that you control or manage — such as the self-when, self-where, and self-how. External energy, on the opposite end of the scale, are the forces (or actions) that are controlled or managed by outside influences — such as other people or external factors. I’ll use several examples to explain these concepts further.

We can approximate the amount of total energy required to make a character change on the horizontal X-coordinate using two segments: internal and external energy (measured in units). Any character change will require both internal and external energy. The combination of these two energy forces equals total energy required to make a character change.


Let’s take the physical character attribute and plot it in the model above. The model will measure the amount of total energy required to develop and strengthen the physical attribute. We begin with the following example.

Susan is a young graduate student who landed a nice research position with a Fortune 100 company. The job will be demanding on her time and she will need to utilize her time more efficiently. Susan tires easily by late afternoon and often feels sluggish. She decides to strengthen her physical attribute to become more active and alert.

Her physical development begins with an early morning jog. What energy forces will she need to achieve this physical development goal?

Internal Energy Forces:
Factors you control — the how, when, and where.

1) Susan will need a good pair of running shoes. The amount of energy expensed to obtain a pair of running shoes is very little. Susan can simply buy a pair of shoes at a local department store.

2) Susan will need to find a place to run. If Susan doesn’t live near a field and running track, she can simply jog along a side road that is safe. The energy expended to secure a mile of running ground is very little.

3) Susan needs to schedule the time to run. She needs to allocate time to awake, dress, stretch and jog the necessary distance before going to work. There is little or no energy required to achieve this step.

4) Finally, Susan will need to “. . . do it.” She will need to —

— Draw her legs out of bed when the alarm sounds.
— Stretch a little to get the circulation flowing.
— Dress in a jogging outfit that’s suitable for the weather.
— Tie her shoe laces.
— Stretch for 5-10 minutes before her jog.
— Open the front door of her house.
— Begin her run.

External Energy Forces:
Factors controlled by other people or outside influences.

1) Susan might need to schedule her jog around other people. She won’t have any problem if she lives alone. But if she is married or lives with other people, she will need to schedule her morning jog so that it doesn’t conflict with her house mates. This should require little to no energy.

2) The weather is an external factor to consider. If Susan lives in inclement weather conditions, she will likely expend more external energy to achieve her physical goal. She might join an indoor jogging club, enroll for an aerobics class, or jog standing in-place during bad weather.

Let’s now approximate the amount of internal and external energy required to develop Susan’s physical attribute goal and plot the amount in the model below:

Internal Energy:
Jogging Shoes: No Energy Required
Jogging Ground: No to Little Energy Required
Jogging Schedule: No to Little Energy Required
Jogging Preparation: No to Little Energy Required
Jogging: Moderate to High Amount of Energy Required

External Energy:
Scheduling w/ People: No to Little Energy Required
Weather: Little to Moderate Energy Required

Total Required Energy:
Low to Moderate Amount of Total Energy.
(internal and external)

We can see from the scale (this is an approximation only) that Susan will expend more internal energy than external energy. Most of the forces necessary to complete this goal are internal — it’s dependent on Susan’s willpower. By totaling the two energies, Susan will expend a low to moderate amount of total energy to achieve her physical development goal.


Next time, we plot another example that we take more energy to achieve.

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Krayton M Davis

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