No personal success, achievement, or goal, can be realized without self-discipline.
It is singularly the most important attribute needed to achieve any
type of personal excellence, athletic
excellence, virtuosity in the
arts, or otherwise outstanding performance.
What is self-discipline?
It is the ability to control
one's impulses, emotions, desires and behavior. It is being able to
turn down immediate pleasure and instant gratification in favor of
gaining the long-term satisfaction and fulfillment from
achieving higher and more
To possess it is to be able to make the
decisions, take the actions, and execute your game
plan regardless of the obstacles, discomfort, or difficulties, that may come your way.
Certainly, being disciplined does not mean living a limiting or a restrictive lifestyle. Nor, does not mean giving up everything
you enjoy, or, to relinquish fun and relaxation. It does mean learning how to focus your mind and energies on
until they are accomplished. It also means cultivating a mindset whereby you are ruled by your deliberate choices rather than by your emotions, bad habits, or the
sway of others. Self-discipline allows you to reach your goals in a reasonable time frame and to live a more orderly and satisfying life.
How To Develop Self-Discipline
Start with baby steps. No process takes place overnight. Just as it takes time to build muscle, so does it take time to develop
self-discipline. The more you train and build it, the stronger you become. In exercise, if you try to do too much at once, you could
injure yourself and have a setback. Likewise, take it one step at a time in building self-discipline. So, begin by making the decision to
go forward and learning what it takes to get there.
Learn what motivates you and what your bad triggers are. You can begin by learning about yourself! Sometimes it is very difficult to
fight off urges and cravings, so know the areas where your resistance is low and how to avoid those situations.
If you know you can't
resist cake, fries, or other temptations - stay away from them. Do not have them around to lure you in moments of weakness.
If you also know that putting pressure on yourself does not work for you, then set yourself up in an environment that encourages the
building of self-discipline rather than one that sabotages it. Remove the temptations and surround yourself with soothing and
encouraging items such as motivating
slogans and pictures of what you want to achieve.
Learn also what energizes and motivates
you. Your willpower can go up and down with your energy levels so play energetic music to
perk you up, move around, laugh. Train yourself to enjoy what you are doing by being energized. This
will make it easier to implement
desirable and appropriate behaviors into your routine - which is really what self-discipline is all about.
Make certain behaviors a routine. Once you have decided what's important to you and which
goals to strive for, establish a
routine that will help you achieve them. For example, if you want to eat healthily or lose weight; resolve to eat several servings of fruits
and vegetables each day and exercise for at least half an hour. Make it part of your daily routine and part of your self-discipline building.
Likewise, get rid of some of your bad, self-defeating habits, whatever they may be. They can put you in a negative frame of mind and hinder
your self-discipline. A poor attitude can also be a bad habit.
Practice self-denial. Learn to say no to some of your feelings, impulses and urges. Train yourself to do what you know to be right, even
if you don't feel like doing it. Skip dessert some evenings. Limit your TV watching. Resist the urge to yell at someone who has irritated you.
Stop and think before you act. Think about consequences. When you practice self-restraint it helps you develop the habit of keeping other things under
Engage in sports or activities. Sports are an excellent way to enhance self- discipline. They train you to set goals, focus your
mental and emotional energies, become physically fit, and to get along well with others.
Participating in sports provides a situation where you learn
to work hard and strive to do your best, which in turn, teaches you to integrate the same the thought processes and disciplines into your
Learning to play a musical
instrument can be another great way to practice self-discipline. The focus, repetition, and application
required in learning to play an instrument is invaluable. Achieving self-discipline in any one area of your life reprograms your mind to choose
what is right, rather than what is easy.
Get inspiration from those you admire. Michael Jordan has always maintained that his greatness as a
basketball player came
as much from his willingness to work hard at his craft, as it did his talent. It was his
desire through discipline and focus that made him one of the best
basketball players ever. If it worked for him, it could certainly work for the rest of us.
Visualize the rewards. There is nothing more gratifying than accomplishing your goals. Practice the technique that high achievers and top
athletes do. Project yourself in the future. Visualize
your desired outcome. Feel how rewarding it is and the countless benefits you will enjoy.
Remind yourself what it takes to get there.
You accomplish more, and are therefore more productive.
You are able to maintain a higher tolerance for frustration, obstacles and negative emotions.
Allows you to obtain better health, better finances and a good work ethic.
You are able to reach your most difficult goals more efficiently.
The more disciplined you become, the easier life gets.
If we are to be masters of our own destiny, we must develop self-discipline and self-control. By focusing on long-term benefits
instead of short-term discomfort, we can encourage ourselves to develop of self-discipline. Ultimately our health and happiness
depend on it.