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The DOR Key That Opens Your Door to Success and Fulfillment

April 20, 2024
Ahmadou DIALLO

Mastering Discipline, Order, and Rules for a More Fulfilling Life

"True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline." 

Anna Garlin Spencer

My life has never been more challenging. At work, I have to put on multiple hats a day. Sometimes, I am supporting my colleagues in IT. Sometimes, I am helping them supercharge their communication skills. On top of that, I have a main job as an innovator to bring new digital solutions to life for our customers.

Off the job, I am a dad with two young boys. I am a husband. I am a part-time creator. I am juggling between all those hats all the time in a VUCA 2.0 environment: more Volatile, more Uncertain, more Complex, and more Ambiguous than ever before. 

Each day is exciting and overwhelming. I get chats, emails, and phone calls where people are requesting my immediate attention and support. I have to attend meetings and take action. 

At home, I need to be present with my family. My kids want their fair share of my undivided attention. 

My being wants its part also. I have to feed both my body and my mind. I need time to sit down and reflect.

I am not talking about all the other activities: sleeping, eating, resting, and just doing nothing. 

I would be overwhelmed if I did not have a way to handle all those situations 24/7. That is why I have been stacking habits to deal with an ever-changing world. 

I am not trying to control it. Anyway, I can’t. I am trying to build systems to handle the incoming, relentless flow of waves hitting the shores of my mind. 

I have created a DOR system as a filtering gate to my mind:

1. Discipline,

2. Order,

3. Rules 

I invite you to enter my DOR so that you can unlock yours to keep you sane and successful in life.

1. Discipline

In January of every year, you set new resolutions in your life. You define goals that you want to achieve. And this year will be the one.

Each time an event happens, your first instinct kicks in, and you overreact. Each time you fail, you fall into the pit of self-doubt and give up everything because you are overwhelmed.

You like setting goals and resolutions. You fail each time because you never follow through. You navigate life with blinders. You hope for the best. You might even be so positive that it is toxic for you. You don’t know how to handle failure and missteps. 

All those situations can be solved by implementing discipline in your life. With discipline, you fall in love with the process of achieving goals. You might not achieve all your goals. Yet you are (positively) biased toward action.

With discipline, you are not a thermometer; you are a thermostat. You set the temperature in every room you enter. Discipline is the space between action and reaction. 

With discipline, you are more resilient. You learn more to be flexible on the path while locking in your objective. You are not fixed. You are agile. You are not rigid. You are antifragile. You are not an unmovable object. You are an unstoppable force.

2. Order

You have too many goals and priorities. Everything is a priority on your list. Every day you wake up, you have a lot on your plate. You have so many things to do you don’t know where to start. 

You are overwhelmed by the disorder both in your physical and mental environment. 

Everything is piling up before your eyes. You are paralyzed and remorseful because of your cognitive dissonance. 

You doubt yourself, and you are lacking focus. 

Don’t rely on motivation. Rely on systems and routines to get things in order. Those systems and routines will give you more energy to think about reaching your objectives. 

Start by putting in order in your physical space. Get rid of the unnecessary. Learn from Minimalism and apply some of the rules. 

Build habits, routines, and systems that can help you sustain the order you created. Use the 1 in and 1 out rule in your physical space.

Each time you buy one item, get rid of another item. Each time you subscribe to one service, unsubscribe to an existing one.

Don’t use the To Do lists. Instead, use the Two Do List. Every day, put on a sticker note two things you want to achieve: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. 

Having order in life will make you more focused and less stressed. It will free up more mental energy that helps you be more productive and confident.

3. Rules: Automatic Rules setting

You have one bucket of energy daily. It is said that you make 35 000 decisions a day. Each decision drains your brain energy from what to wear to how to respond to that co-worker. 

You are a victim of decision fatigue. The more you go through your day, the more drained you feel. Each interaction, every decision, and the smallest choice will put you down. 

There is a hole in your daily energy bucket. You are irritable. You are irritated. You are frustrated. You feel like you are stagnating. You feel like other people are taking advantage of you.

That is where automatic rule setting is a great energy saver. For each of your objectives in life, explore ways to set automatic rules that can help you get closer. 

It can be saving money, losing weight, or spending less time with your phone. Use automation to your advantage with the help of technology where applicable. 

Another automatic rules setting is about your interactions with other people and life in general. You can set up rules on how and when to answer a solicitation. For example, you can have a rule that states that you never say “yes” over the phone when making big decisions.

There is a certain magic of having rules and sharing them with others. As a society, we are used to obeying the rules. So people will be more inclined to accept your decision just because you frame them as rules.

Of course, those rules have to be consistent and not made up on the fly. You must define rules for every situation, especially for challenging situations. Hence, thanks to your predefined life rules, you have already carved your way out at the bottom of the pit.

Those rules should not be carved in stone. Try, adjust, and adapt your rules. Don’t be afraid to delete rules that do not work for you.

Final Thoughts

Living in a VUCA 2.0 world is a challenge. Yes, you should love your fate or Amor Fati. There are just too many variables in life. You cannot just decide everything on the fly.

It is not the most efficient way of handling life's constant change. It is not sustainable to always try to figure it out as the situation arises. It can be draining to be smashed by the wave of entropy in life constantly. 

Yes, there are many challenges to implementing the DOR (Discipline, Order, and automatic Rules setting) in your life.

It can be challenging to stay disciplined 24/7. That is OK. Cut yourself some slack. You are human, after all. It is more about consistency than rigidity.

It can be time-consuming to keep things organized because entropy is the universe's natural state. Use the 20/80 or Pareto principle to your advantage. Identify 20% of the areas where you can maintain order to maximize your 80% outputs.

It can be daunting to identify the appreciated rules to set in which area of your life. That is OK again. Just be agile on the path. Try new rules. Eliminate old rules that do not serve you. Enforce your rules even if they make you uncomfortable now and then.

Carving that new DOR into your life will take time. Be patient. It can seem like a monumental task. Just start small and be consistent. Not everything you will try will succeed. Failure is part of learning. Be kind to yourself. 

Having a DOR system is the most sustainable frame that will open the doors for your success in life. 

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#BIOS #BringInyourOwnSoul #LeadHeartship #Leadership 

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