Self-discipline is one of the most important and useful skills everyone should possess. This skill is essential in every area of life, and though most people acknowledge its importance, very few do something to strengthen it.
Contrary to common belief, self-discipline does not mean being harsh toward yourself, or living a limited, restrictive lifestyle. It means using common sense, making priorities, and thinking before acting.
This skill gives you the power to stick to your decisions and follow them through, without changing your mind, and is therefore, one of the important requirements for achieving success and accomplishing goals.
The possession of this skill enables you to persevere with your decisions and plans until you accomplish them.
This skill also manifests as inner strength, assisting you in manifesting a stronger willpower.
When this ability is well-developed it becomes easier to overcome addictions, overeating, procrastination and laziness.
Self Discipline Definition
To understand this topic better, here are a few definitions.
- Self-discipline means self-control, the ability to avoid unhealthy excess of anything that could lead to negative consequences.
- It is the ability to reject instant gratification and pleasure, in favor of some greater gain, which requires spending effort and time to get it.
- It means perseverance and not giving up.
- It is the strength not to give in to negative feelings.
- It means overcoming one’s weaknesses.
- It is the ability to pursue one plans despite temptations to abandon them.
A disciplined person is more punctual, invests more time and effort in what he or she does, and is more likely to take control and responsibility for his or her life. Such a person can set goals, and take concrete steps to achieve them.
Self discipline is one of the important ingredients of success. It expresses itself in a variety of ways:
- The ability not to give up, despite failure and setbacks.
- self control.
- The ability to resist distractions or temptations.
- Trying over and again, until you accomplish what you set out to do.
Life puts challenges and problems on the path to success and achievement, and in order to rise above them, you have to act with perseverance and persistence, and this of course, requires discipline.
The possession of this skill leads to self esteem and confidence, and consequently, to happiness and satisfaction.
On the other hand, lack of self discipline can lead to failure, loss, spoiling of relationships, health problems, obesity, and to other problems.
- How do you feel if you are trying to lose weight, yet cannot resist eating ice cream?
- How do you feel, when you react in anger or act impulsively, and therefore, hurt the people you love? How does this affect your personal life?
- Are you addicted to the social media and cannot put your smartphone away for a little while? How does this affect your work or sleep or studying if you are student?
- If you cannot persevere with your plans or carry out your decisions, cannot keep your promises, and unable to curb your anger you can meet failure and happiness.
- If you cannot control bad habits, cannot stop overeating, and lack the inner strength to exercise your body, you will hurt your health. In fact, one of the main reasons for the inability to lose weight is lack of discipline.
This skill is important for overcoming eating disorders, addictions, smoking, drinking and negative habits. You also need it to make yourself sit and study, exercise your body, develop new skills, and for self improvement, spiritual growth and meditation.
As said earlier, most people acknowledge the importance and benefits of self discipline, but very few take real steps to develop and strengthen it. However, you can strengthen this ability like any other skill. This is done through training and exercises.
Self Discipline Benefits and Importance
Being disciplined would help you:
- Avoid acting rashly and on impulse.
- Fulfill promises you make to yourself and to others.
- Overcome laziness and procrastination.
- Continue working on a project, even after the initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away./li>
- Go to the gym, walk or swim, even if your mind tells you to stay at home and watch TV.
- Continue working on your diet, and resisting the temptation of eating fattening foods.
- Wake up early in the morning.
- Overcome the habit of watching too much TV.
- Start reading a book, and read it to the last page.
- Meditate regularly.
Accomplishing even just a small part of this list is a great achievement, which can have positive effects on your life.
It will be easier for you to strengthen your self discipline, if you:
- Understand its importance in your life.
- Become aware of your undisciplined behavior and its consequences. When this awareness increases, you will be more convinced of the need to make a change in your life.
- Make the effort to act and behave according to the decisions you make, regardless of laziness, the tendency to procrastinate, or the desire to give up and stop what you are doing.
- You can strengthen your self disciple, even if it is currently weak, with the help of special simple exercises, which you can practice at any time or place.
How to be Disciplined
To be disciplined does not mean that you act according to other people’s rules of conduct or being obedient to others. It means being obedient to your own self, and acting according to your common sense and reason. It means sticking with your plans and not changing them due to laziness and difficulties.
How to become more disciplined?
- Strive to take more control of your life.
- Think before you act.
- Wait a moment before you react.
- Set small goals and plans that you can carry out during the day. Stick with them until you carry them out, despite the tendency to procrastinate or give up. This will give you, in time, the strength to handle bigger goals and plans,
- Whatever you are doing, do not give up easily.
“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.”
– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Start with Simple Small Actions
Carrying out small actions, especially these that create some degree of inner resistance, is one of the most important things you can do to improve discipline and self-control. It is often overwhelming and daunting to take care of big projects, but easier to tackle small ones, so start with small ones. This will strengthen your confidence and faith in yourself.
You can, for example, take a walk when you prefer to stay at home and watch TV, cook dinner instead of eating some junk food, or clean one of the drawer of your desk.
You will improve and get stronger when you start small and focus on small tasks.
“The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term is the indispensable prerequisite for success.”
– Maxwell Maltz
As in everything in life, practice is most important. I hope this short article will give you the motivation and inspiration to develop this useful skill. This will require some effort and spending some time on your part, but the results would be most useful in every area of your life.
Do you wish to develop self discipline? Even a few minutes a day of practicing simple exercises can take you far. For full guidance and simple exercises, please check out the book mentioned below.