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Discipline and the Desire to Succeed

By Marty Callahan

“You probably haven’t thought much about your grades since you left school, and that’s okay. Your report card doesn’t matter in the real world, but your desire to succeed and discipline do. We don’t have to be smarter than the rest; we have to be more disciplined than the rest.”

-Warren Buffett

How important is it to you to succeed, and how much discipline are you willing to apply to achieve it? Your answer to this question will play a significant role in determining the course of your life and perhaps that of your child.

I believe that, as human beings, we are made to succeed. We are made to climb, to explore, to make discoveries, to invent, to create new things, to help others, and to succeed. But success is not a given, we need desire and discipline if we’re going to get it.

Warren Buffett was only an average student but he had anything but an average amount of discipline. He is considered by some to be the most successful investor of all time. His net worth is currently more than $82 billion. He’s the second richest person in the U.S. He now plans to give away 90% of it to worthy causes and he’s encouraging other wealthy people to do the same.

Another quote of his you might consider is, “It won’t hurt you to have a Harvard Business School education but the keys to success can be learned elsewhere.”

School and grades are important but keep them in perspective. The real world doesn’t care about them. The real world cares about desire and discipline.

So, yes, encourage your kids to do well in school but give them desire and discipline. Ask us if you need help with this.



Marty Callahan has spent his life understanding and improving the lives of students both young and old. His passion led to the founding of Shotokan Karate Leadership School in Santa Rosa, CA in 1981 with a dream to awaken the extraordinary leader in his students. Having inspired, taught, coached, supported, and trained over 15,000 students in 40,000 classes in Santa Rosa, Marty has become Sonoma County’s preeminent martial arts leadership instructor. His students, hundreds of whom have gone on to become leaders in their chosen fields, appreciate his engaging, student centered approach to teaching and they believe you will too.