Tom Izzo is one of the most successful college basketball coaches ever.
But you don’t have to care a lick about basketball to benefit from the two Tom Izzo quotes I’m about to share.
Here is the first, which I heard him say a few nights ago:
Discipline is the greatest form of love you can show someone.
And here is the second, which I am paraphrasing since I don’t remember his exact wording. He was in a press conference responding to a question about how he viewed his role as a coach:
My job is to hold players accountable to their dreams.
The reason why Izzo has been such a successful basketball coach is because he provides a consistent source of discipline for his players, which in turn helps them achieve their individual and team goals.
It’s a simple formula. Not easy, of course. But simple.
And it got me to thinking …
What if we thought about self-love this way?
Most of us don’t have a world-class coach working with us on a near-daily basis like Michigan State basketball players have. The benefit of playing basketball for a coach like Izzo — or being coached in anything by someone like Izzo — is having that constant source of reinforced discipline that we are often unable to maintain on our own.
But what if we could?
What if we could show ourselves the kind of discipline that holds us accountable to our goals? Would that not be the greatest form of love we could show to ourselves?
Each of us already does this to some degree. But what if we could do it better? Or more consistently?
What if you could be your own Tom Izzo?
What if I could be that for myself?
I found the following passage interesting. It’s from a post entitled 5 Leadership Lessons From Tom Izzo, by Molly Fletcher:
Have you ever wondered why [Izzo] can light a player up during a game? It’s because he spends so much time with them. And spending time with a player gives you the ability to discipline.
Perhaps that is the key to each one of us becoming a better and more consistent source of internal discipline and accountability.
Perhaps we need to spend more time with ourselves.
Real time with ourselves.
I’ve started journaling recently. I want it to become a daily practice, though I haven’t been quite that consistent.
I keep it simple. I just sit down with a small notebook and a pen, and I fill up one side of one page. I don’t plan what I’m going to write, and I don’t judge what I end up writing.
I just write. And I try to listen to myself.
Interestingly, the topic of journaling has been coming up on a number of podcasts I’ve listened to recently. (Or maybe I’m just noticing it because I started doing it?) It seems to be a habit that many successful people have.
I am starting to understand why.
Tom Izzo cannot discipline his players in any meaningful way over the long term unless he shows them he cares first. Izzo has to listen to a player, and get to know a player, and learn what a player’s dreams and goals are to know what dreams and goals he is supposed to be holding that player accountable to.
Why would we think it’s any different for ourselves?
We have to listen to ourselves. We have to know ourselves. We have understand what our dreams and goals are to consistently hold ourselves accountable to them.
And let’s acknowledge that life gets really fast and really loud sometimes, even when it’s really good (some might say especially when it’s really good). Those are the times when true self-love — which sometimes doubles as tough love — is the most important.
You may already understand all of this. For me it’s been a revelation. I understood it in a cognitive sense, but now I feel like I get it in a much more visceral way.
I was hearing myself, but I don’t think I was really listening to myself. I’m finding it makes a big difference. Journaling is one practice that is helping.
What about you?
Do you feel you truly understand your own goals and dreams? Or could you listen closer? What strategies help you do this now? What might you try next next?
And, stepping outside of yourself, who else could you listen closer to? Who could give you give a nudge of
discipline love to … a nudge in the direction of their goals?
I’d love to get your thoughts. The comment section awaits.
Flickr Creative Commons image via Shafi.