in: Character, Habits

• Last updated: March 14, 2024

Be Your Own Butler

Discipline is essential to every success in life. It establishes the stable, well-ordered ground that allows an individual to set and achieve goals. It prevents the ensnaring, vice-filled traps that torpedo advancement. It creates the consistent habits that forward progress. And it develops the authority that influences others. 

As behavioral analyst Chase Hughes shared on the podcast, when an individual not only puts on a good face in public, but is truly disciplined in their private life, they project confidence and competence. Whether or not you’re disciplined when the metaphorical cameras are off is something you can’t help but exude and that others instinctively pick up on. People intuitively trust and follow individuals who embody discipline and reflexively take a step back from those who don’t.

Chase defines discipline “as the ability to prioritize the needs of your future self ahead of your own.”

If you’re a college student, and you stay up all night drinking even though you have exams the next day, that’s a failure on the discipline front. As Chase observes, you’ll wake up the next morning thinking, “‘I can’t believe I did that.’ And [you’ll be] mad at your past tense self because you didn’t have concern for your future self.”

If, on the other hand, you spend the night studying and hit the hay early so you’re well-rested for exams the next day, you’re taking care of your future self, and leveling up in your discipline.

As an encouragement to prioritize your long-term aims over your short-term desires, Chase advises thinking of yourself as your own butler.

While few people can afford a full-time, live-in manservant, your present self can act as a butler to your future self. 

When, in the evening, you do things like pack what you need in your backpack or briefcase and set out your clothes for the next day, you serve as a butler to your future self, who, the next morning, will really appreciate the fact that his past tense self set up his present tense self for success. 

Chase described how this works regarding his own evening routine:

I’m about to go to bed, and I’ll be sticking one of those little Keurig coffee cup pods into the coffee maker and sticking a coffee mug there, ready for the next morning. And out loud, I’ll say, ‘Man, Chase is gonna love this.’ So I will continuously speak about my future self in a way that I am prioritizing his needs, and I will talk about him in the future.

When you develop a relationship between your present self and your future self, where the former serves the latter, you arrive at a point, Chase says, “where you’re looking forward in time with concern and . . . looking backward in time . . . with gratitude.” You develop a more holistic, integrated character.

By prioritizing the needs of your future self by becoming your own butler, you build the discipline that allows you to act, lead, and move forward in the way you desire; you build the discipline that grants you greater freedom, which, at the end of the day, is the ultimate luxury!

For more insights on how getting your stuff together will not only improve your personal life but increase your influence, listen to our podcast with Chase Hughes:

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