“The first and best victory is to conquer self” ~ Plato
Why Is Self-Discipline Important?
Your level of success is highly hinged on how disciplined you are. In other words, you need self-discipline for success. Highly successful people do not possess extraordinary powers, they only have the discipline to pursue their goals adamantly.
Every aspect of your life is connected to how disciplined you are, or can be. Have you ever asked yourself why some people do better, act better, achieve better than others in the same field? It’s simple: they have the will and discipline to go way farther than their peers are willing to go. Disciplined people do not see the need for cutting corners.
They believe that there is dignity in labor. They work hard to get what they want and do not sit somewhere waiting for life to just give it to them.
In one of the greatest books ever written on the subject of discipline, Brain Tracy, author of No Excuses: The Power of Self-Discipline, explicitly gives details on the need for discipline and how it is linked to being successful in different aspect of one’s life. If you do not have this book yet, I would strongly advise that you grab a copy.
The common denominator of successful people around the world is the ability to withstand fire when their peers are swimming in a pool of water.
H. L. Hunt who at a time was the richest self-made billionaire in the world was once asked by a journalist, what his secret of success is. His response: There are only three requirements for success. First, decide exactly what it is you want in life. Second, determine the price that you are going to have to pay to get the things you want. And third, and this is the most important, resolve to pay that price”.
When I read that statement, the first word that popped into my head was “willingness”. To succeed, you must first be willing. The will to be unique in your field will be a major drive for your discipline. And so, essentially, willingness and discipline must work hand in hand.
I remember when I started with this space. I discovered that I had a passion for writing and so I started writing inspiring and self-development articles (never wrote articles on self-discipline though). It was blissful and interesting until I realized that at a point, I would need more than just passion.
I would need discipline. I would need to cut off every form of distraction, focus solely on my goals, be committed, and pay the price all through the process. At that point, I decided to choose: to depend solely on passion or to back my passion up with discipline. I went for the latter and to date, this is one of the most amazing decisions that I have ever made.
Of course, it was not easy. I mean, I had to work for extra hours, almost every night for six months, while still being a student.
It was not easy, but today, the story is way different. That uneasy but beneficial route that I took, led to Afam Uche today. This could be your story too. You might have a brilliant idea or skill but are not making the best of it. This is usually because of a lack of self-discipline.
In this article, I will explain some amazing tips that can help you know how to build self-discipline, good enough to help you aggressively go after your dreams and change your story to a success story.
I must warn that these tips would not sound interesting but if you are willing to follow through with them, you will be on your way to grand success.
So, dear reader, join me on this journey. Roll up your sleeves, we have work to do…
1. Develop The Spirit Of Willingness
What is self-discipline? There are several definitions of the term but one thing is certain, self-discipline is connected to your level of willpower. You are only as disciplined as you are willing to be.
If indeed you want to go hard at your dreams, you must first be willing to pay the sacrifice for it. There is an ancient saying that “if there is a will, there is a way.” I have tried living by that saying recently and it has worked so many times.
If you are willing to grow and be better at what you are doing, you must first build an internal strength hinged on your level of willingness. Now, you also have to realize that willingness can wear out.
You can get tired of being willing to do something, however, you can also renew that strength because motivation and self-discipline work hand in hand. Developing a spirit of willingness is an important factor in learning how to build self-discipline.
2. Remove Temptations
This is also key in knowing how to build self-discipline. You can never out a square peg in a round hole. They do not work together. If you make up your mind to fight against indiscipline, you have to take out everything that encourages it.
Sometimes, these things could be some of the dearest things to us. They could even be some of the closest people in our circle of friends. Whatever they are, you have to ensure that you are aggressive about taking out every form of temptation.
Waste no time to cut that friend that fuels your indiscipline off because, whether you like it or not, they are not healthy for your growth. They will hinder you from moving up the ladder of success.
3. Have A Deadline For Your Goals
If you are genuinely interested in mastering how to build self-discipline, you must know how to work with deadlines. This is something I do regularly and it helps me a lot. You MUST always set goals, challenges and work with deadlines.
I have realized that discipline can come from two sources: external and internal. The external source of discipline refers to the discipline imposed on you by your parents, friends, mentors and so on.
However, the internal source of discipline refers to the discipline that you impose on yourself. It is hinged on the resolutions made from your own mind. Of the two sources, the latter is the most important.
It is what sets leaders apart from followers. At a point in your life, you have no option than to impose discipline on yourself and that includes being able to stick to the deadlines you set for yourself.
4. Have An Accountability Partner
Knowing how to be accountable is one of the major characteristics of a disciplined person.
Have someone you can always be responsible to. When I was in college, I had an accountability group. It was a beautiful experience as we would always remind ourselves of our goals and the dangers of not fulfilling them.
The act of being accountable to someone or a group of people will put you on your toes and spark up the sense of responsibility to pursue your goals and desires.
You can do this too! Have someone you can share your goals, dreams and aspirations with. This person will be able to ask about your progress as you proceed in your pursuit. Although, having an accountability partner is not a necessity, it is however important.
5. Develop It As A Habit
Yes! Discipline can be turned into a habit. Confused? Well, I was too until I realized that it takes just 21 days of constant and recurring action to form a habit. Write out your goals and be deliberate about going hard on them.
If you can be consistent enough, after about 21 days, your body will be in tune with your goals and you will find out that subconsciously you are already connected to the goals. I have tried this so many times and it works.
If you can be consistent enough in your pursuit, you will see that over time, your physical and mental sides will have no option than to agree with you. If you are keen on mastering how to build self-discipline, you must, at a point, know how to make it a habit.
6. Start Small
Rome was not built in a day. You are not a robot, you are a human with emotions, feelings and instincts. There are times when your emotions will betray you. And so, you do not have to go all hard at first.
Building a life of discipline is not an easy thing to do, honestly. This is why you are advised to start from the little things. Do you want to be able to have a full bedtime routine? Start from something as small as sticking to your closing hour daily. As little as that might be, if you can build the discipline to stick to it all through, you will be able to focus on other areas, with courage.
7. Reward Yourself
When you achieve your goals, ensure you reward yourself. Tell yourself encouraging words. Treat yourself to a good meal. Ensure that you commend yourself for a job well done. Now, for this particular area, you have to be careful.
You cannot reward yourself for spending one hour in the library by spending 4 hours in a restaurant. Ensure that the reward is commensurate with the act itself. In mastering how to build self-discipline, you must also know that rewarding yourself is key.
8. Forgive Yourself And Move On
This is another important thing to do. There are times when things will not go as smoothly as you want, but you have to realize that you are human. You do not have to sit back and whine over your failures, instead, stand on your feet and tell yourself that you are not a failure. Forgive yourself as quickly as you can, and move on.
9. Read About And Listen To Content About Discipline
In the military, soldiers are told stories of predecessors and seniors who showed traits of discipline and it worked.
They are not just told these stories for the thrill of it, rather, they are told so they can always have their mental space in tune with it. If you want to master how to be disciplined, you have to constantly consume content about discipline.
10. Put In The Big Rock First
Developed by the legendary time-management expert, Steven Covey, this is basically facing the hard tasks first before focusing on the less important ones.
Get up as early as you can and go hard on your goals. Upon waking up, your mind is still fresh and ready to process the necessary information. Utilize it properly.
So, there you have guys: 10 amazing tips on how to build self-discipline and up level your life. Wondering how you can develop self-discipline or self-motivation? Then this article is for you.
Remember, discipline a continuous journey. You do not stop until you get to the point where you are sure and satisfied with your goals.In the words of the icon Brian Tracy: “when you are not working deliberately, consciously, and continuously to do, be, and have those things that constitute success for you, your default mechanism is at work. You end up doing those fun, easy, and low-value things in the short term that lead to frustration, financial worries, and failure in the long term.”
And that is nothing but the simple truth. There is always more than one option present to anyone seeking to achieve success in life, but he or she must be disciplined enough to know what and what not to do.
I’d like to know your thoughts on the list. What do you think of the tips? Have you ever been overpowered by indiscipline? How did you fight it? I would love to read your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.
Pick a pen (it’s ok if you want to fill it digitally, too) and fill the blanks on the 56th page of The AfamUche Self-development Journal (Here: The Life Compass Workbook). With your new resolve to be as disciplined as ever, write out everything you need and should be. You can also go through some other personal development exercises in the book.
Hey there! Thank you for reading this article. I am certain that you have learned a thing or two. As always, remember that reading is not the only step to take in your journey to self-development, the real growth lies in your actions.
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HELLO! I’M AFAM UCHE