Self Discipline and Getting it Done

Elmore Leonard, one of my very favorite authors, wrote many wonderful books such as Get Shorty, Rum Punch, Out of Sight, La Brava, Maximum Bob, and Three-Ten to Yuma. More recently, Leonard was involved with the hit TV show "Justified". It is based on Elmore Leonard's novels Pronto and Riding the Rap and his short story Fire in the Hole. The show’s creator even gave the writing staff a WWED bracelet meaning What Would Elmore Do. He was 87 and had recently suffered a stroke so his death was not unexpected.

Leonard had an interesting start to his career. He was apparently successful in the world of advertising but, instead, he wanted to be a writer. He wanted something different than what he had. In one of the newspaper stories about his life, the following was related:

“Famously, Leonard started writing Western-themed novels from 5-7 a.m. at home before going to work at the Campbell-Ewald agency, where Chevrolet trucks was one of his accounts. He developed a ferocious work ethic, writing every day in a bleak, cinder block basement office in their Lathrup Village home that son Peter described as looking like a prison cell. After he quit advertising, he kept up the discipline in his monk-like office, writing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. without a lunch break.”

What caught my eye about this story?

--He wanted to reach his goal so badly that he was willing to get up and work from 5 until 7 each morning before going off to a full day of work in a difficult industry. He sacrificed sleep just for the possibility of becoming a writer.

--He wanted to reach his goal so badly that, even after he became successful, he locked himself away in isolation for 8 hours each day and kept working.

Yes, Elmore Leonard became a famous writer but he would have never achieved that goal without the capacity for what I call “sitting down and getting it done.”

It seems to me that if you want to become successful on the CPA Exam (or anything else), there are two truly important keys.

You can go a long way in this world with just two things:

- Desire

- Work

Sometimes, it takes a long time to achieve success. Unfortunately, desire and work are not the same as fast. But, before you get too far into this study business, you should really consider whether you sufficiently want to pass the CPA Exam and whether you can muster the effort it takes. The CPA Exam is not for the weak-willed.

In life, if you have desire and work, there is very little that you cannot accomplish. It might take a while but you can make good things happen. Including the CPA Exam.






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