How disciplined are you? Do you throw your jacket on a chair when you come home from work or do you immediately put it away in the closet?

If you put it in the closet right away, over the long run, you’ve effectively cut your workload in half. That’s called being efficient.

When you follow that same type of efficient logic in your workplace or with your career, you won’t rob yourself of free time that could have been used for having fun. And that brings us to the ultimate success with happiness formula: Discipline plus Efficiency equals Much More Fun and Much More Happiness.

In other words, discipline creates the efficiency that allows for more time for fun. So you see discipline doesn’t demand more work. It requires less.

Some call it time well spent. I call it a gift. And what you’ll soon discover is that there’s a rhythm to it all.

But before we go too far, let’s clarify something first. When we use the word fun we are referring to a lot of ways to productively spend our time. It may mean having a meaningful discussion with a loved one. Or it may mean going to a football game, hunting, racing, dancing, jogging, cooking, praying, sailing, reading or napping.

In reality, fun is anything you love to do that relaxes your mind. Or anything you do that ultimately re-energizes you or maybe it even exhausts you physically in a good way while recharging you mentally.

It might be building a fence or hoeing weeds in a garden for that matter. Still, despite the fact that it might appear to be work to some, it’s doing what you want to do when you want to do it. That’s what fun is, and fun leads to happiness.

Now, we all know that it’s entirely possible to have fun and be happy without a lot of money. Yet we also know that, if we don’t discipline ourselves, we can dig a very deep financial hole that will require a lot of money to climb out of.

So the question is how do we avoid that hole? And/or how do we climb out of the money pit once we’ve dug it?

The answer is one word: Save.

Save whatever you can. If you can only save $1 a week, then at least save $1 a week. Or maybe it’s $5, $10 or $100. Whatever it is, save it, and start immediately.

What you’ll find the moment you start saving is that it’ll become a habit. So that when you’re in a store and faced with an emotional buying decision, you will begin to calculate how much it is that you could save if you stop yourself from making that particular purchase. And you will feel like, by not spending that money, you are that much ahead of the game.

Then it becomes a goal, a challenge or a mountain that you are determined to climb.

American-Canadian novelist and screenwriter John Irving might have summed it up best when he said that good habits are worth being fanatical about.

So create good, fanatical habits and then, like setting the cruise control on your automobile, those good habits will run you more efficiently. It’s as simple as that.


Kevin Holten is the executive producer of “Special Cowboy Moments” on RFD-TV.