It’s no surprise that successful people have self discipline.
Without some amount of discipline people would be complete slaves to their emotions and the actions around them. Control over oneself allows for them to control their emotions and to a certain extent their surroundings.
Self discipline plays a role in many actions in your life, from waking up early or sleeping in late to whether or not you will chew your finger nails. Saying ‘no’ isn’t the problem for most people, they know how to do so and probably exercise this ability several times a day.
However, for some certain things are harder to say no to than others. Such as that cigarette, or the second slice of cake (maybe just a small little sliver), or laying on the couch watching TV instead of going for a walk.
So how can one build their self discipline so they can easily do the things they know they should do without the things they would rather do taking over?
It takes time.
Nothing in life is simple and that includes gaining self discipline. It takes time, you will fail and eat that piece of cake, you will be tempted to have a cigarette, after all we’re only human. But I believe the following “tips” will help to exercise that self discipline muscle.
I think everyone’s first goal in life should be to know yourself, and I don’t mean knowing your favourite colour. Take some time to really ask yourself the hard questions. You might just be surprised by the answer. You also may not like the answer. Be tough. Really look at yourself, identify your flaws and work out how you can better yourself. Then look at areas where you shine. Interview yourself and be ready for what you discover. Knowing your true self is the first step to reaching any goal.
It takes more than just saying you will quit smoking or get up early. You need to make a commitment to yourself that you will stick with your goal. However you need to do this to make sure you remain accountable for your actions you should do so. This may mean writing a personal contract, or telling friends, maybe even posting it on your facebook.
Every change, no matter what it is required courage to embrace it completely. It’s much easier to sit on that couch and watch TV as your life moves by than it is to get up and do something. It’s a lot less scary too. Don’t try to pretend that something is going to be easy, if you’re prepared to work and ready to do so it will be less likely that you will back out half way through.
No one else is going to congratulate you for doing a good job at not smoking. Okay, well some might, but if you don’t acknowledge and compliment yourself on a job well done it will be much harder to stay focused. Keep positive and remind yourself of the good that will come from your disciplined nature. Write in a journal about how you feel each day, tell yourself you’re proud of your hard work. Just as bad thoughts can have a negative effect, so too can positive thoughts and words have a great effect on your life.
Not only is it important to know yourself, it’s also just as important to know what you’re doing and what you’re not doing. You could be doing something right now that is undisciplined without even knowing it. Perhaps you’re chewing your nails, or sipping on a soda? If you don’t know what actions you take are undisciplined how will you learn to become disciplined?