I write to remember the life experiences of my past. I write to learn from what I’ve lived through. I also write to share my experiences with others, now and in the future. I am only able to do this because of the habits I’ve nurtured over the past decade. The most important habit is that of self-discipline.
Basically, self-discipline refers to the ability to resist feelings, temptations and other weaknesses that would otherwise tempt you to procrastinate, be lazy or handle tasks head on despite weaknesses or hardships. Self-discipline can also be defined as the ability to control one’s body and will it to carry out a task, or a decision even when you feel you would rather indulge in some other activity that would give you instant gratification.
Many people are often struggling to complete tasks in time, to follow through with decisions and plan and even to wake up on time. they will often succumb to the need to sleep a little longer or to go out with friends or lie a little longer on the couch watching TV instead of doing something that needs to be done. As a result, they take a lot of time to complete a single task and leave other tasks for as long as possible. Such people often fail to meet deadlines and even when they do, they rarely excel in what they do. This is because being constant procrastinators; they leave work undone for as long as possible and in the end, they have to rush to meet deadlines.
I know of what I am writing here; discipline was not a concept I embraced for most of my life. Just hearing the word made me thinking of being forced to do things I did not want to do. Then I began my online business in 2006 and soon discovered that the power of self-discipline would bring the joy I was dreaming of into my life. I write to remember my life experiences, and sharing this one with you is one I am hoping you will embrace.
The Power of Self-Discipline
To become the best you can be you must learn to exercise self-discipline and deny yourself things that would bring you immediate satisfaction so that you can get a better reward at a later date. It is true that sometimes, it may seem appealing to sleep or go out but willing your body and mind to work harder or to persevere even in the face of hardship, obstacles and temptations makes you stronger and is ultimately more rewarding. Not only will you be conquering your body and feelings, you will also achieve more in less time and also develop more self-respect.
There is immense satisfaction in exercising self-control and completing more work than you would have thought you were able to. You can be surprised how much more you can achieve by being self-disciplined.
Most successful leaders, business people, and entrepreneurs confess that they have learnt to conquer their bodies and their minds and practice self-discipline every single day. The ingredients of success include setting goals, knowledge, showing up, putting in a lot of effort and perseverance. All these things require a lot of self-discipline without which achieving set goals, meeting deadlines and persisting even when there are obstacles becomes impossible.
However, self-discipline is not only important in achieving success financially or in becoming a leader, it is actually the key to becoming successful in every single aspect of life. People who have mastered the art of self-discipline ultimately conquer themselves and are more likely to become successful in all other aspects of their lives. Below are some of the multiple ways that you can get a better life and become a better person simply by practicing self-discipline.
Play the Long Game
If you sacrifice your time and use it to become more productive rather than indulging in activities that would give you instant satisfaction, you will be able to get a set of deferred rewards. For example, whether you are an author, an artist or a business person, at one point or another, you may be tempted to postpone returning a call to a problem client or maintaining book-keeping records (for a business person) , skip practice ( for a musician) or skipping a week before writing that extra page (for an author). Either way, you will take longer to complete tasks if you keep postponing them. However, if you strictly adhere to your writing, practice, or business plans, you can be sure that you will be able to achieve more success and rewards later in the long-run.
If you practice self-discipline, you will be able to get things done on time and, as such, you will begin to make your life more stress free. For example, when you discipline yourself to wake up earlier, you have more time to effectively prepare for your day. If you have children, you can spend time with them before they head off to school. You can also prepare yourself for the workday ahead by having a nutritious breakfast and having the time to order the day’s tasks. These seemingly small things can lead to a smoother and more productive day for all involved. That more productive day, in turn, increases your inner happiness because, overall, you are exposed to less stress. As they say, from little acorns tall oaks grow.
Develop Inner Strength
Most people do not realize how much inner strength they have. They are unaware of their ability to overcome issues or hardships that set them back in their personal lives, in business and in daily interactions with other people. Practicing self-discipline enables you to recognize the inner strength that you possess and this makes you a better and stronger person.
Command More Respect
Many people actually lack self-discipline and as a result, they easily lose track of their goals. This means that they are often late to appointments, they miss deadlines and generally let the people around them down. People who possess high levels of self-discipline avoid this trap. They are able to easily earn the respect of their colleagues, partners or clients because they do what they say they will do no matter what. It becomes a point of honor among the self-disciplined to show that they respect others. This, in turn, earns them respect as well.
Be More Efficient in Terms of Managing Your Time
Being self-disciplined means sticking to set goals no matter what. If you do this, you will be able to achieve more in less time and consequently, you will be able to find more time to indulge in other activities. This will definitely make you a better person.
Wasting time is one of the major causes of failure. Most people do not adhere to timelines or set schedules and end up missing deadlines on important tasks. Remember that time waits for no man and to prosper, you have to make every second count. Self-discipline will help you use your time constructively and achieve your goals. If my goal is to stick to my “I write to remember” precept, then there is no excuse for procrastinating with my writing, Instead, I look forward to the hours of solitude I spend each week in writing and creating my legacy.
Surround Yourself with Positivity
Show me your friends and I’ll tell you the type of person that you are. I wrote about that in an article entitled Tell Me Who You Walk With… you may enjoy reading. When you keep bad company, you are likely to do the same things as them. Good friends will help you stay focused, while bad ones will derail you and keep you from achieving your goals. When you are disciplined, you avoid the vagaries of peer pressure. You are able to choose the people who surround you.
When you are disciplined, it’s possible to stay focused and stick to your set goal. This is the best way to achieve success and happiness. A number of people fail to realize their dreams because of an inability to focus on the bigger picture.
Value What Really Matters
There are so many issues that will demand your attention or interest. It’s up to you to value what really matters because that’s the only way you’ll prioritize your tasks on a daily basis. Chasing after every single thing indiscriminately will only leave you frustrated.
Set Specific Goals
Setting life goals is like having a blue print to prosperity. You can only pursue success when you know exactly what you are going after. Without that, you’ll be all over the map.
Develop a Moral Compass
We are all able to choose between right and wrong. It’s simply a matter of set of personal morals or values. When you are self-disciplined, you’ll always want to make the right choices even without supervision. This will save you a lot of pain in the end, as a real moral compass can help you to avoid the bad or negative consequences of poor choices. I write to remember when my personal values have led me away from the people and situations that would have brought heartache, and when I have been prompted to go in another direction that worked out very well and in my best interest.
Sometimes fate has its own agenda, and as a self-disciplined person you should be able to accept the things that you can’t control. Choose an alternative path if the one you are pursuing becomes untenable. It doesn’t make you weak or a failure.
Be Willing to Learn, From Yourself and Others
No single person has a complete command of knowledge. It’s no use acting like a know-it-all, instead be willing to learn from people who have been there before you. A disciplined person knows that.
Waste Not, Want Not
It’s good to treat yourself to the fine things in life, but don’t waste resources. Use what you have wisely. Conserve what you can for the future. Efficiency is the opposite of wastefulness and self-discipline is an efficient philosophy.
Go the Extra Mile
Lazy and tired are two different concepts. You must be ready and willing to go the extra mile even when nobody is pushing you to do it. Hard work pays, and sometimes it even makes up for lack of natural talent. I often share how I only went over and above what was expected of me as a teacher during about a quarter of the twenty years I served in this capacity. Evidently, I was too intimidated by what others would like and how I would be perceived to go the extra mile of my own accord. I am ashamed to share this personal observation, but I write to remember and this is an excellent reminder of how I have changed at the core level because I have become self-disciplined over the years.
Self-discipline can help you stay the course you have set, as well as set you apart from your peers. It can help you achieve great success. It is what makes the difference. It is what makes you different.
Why Self-Discipline Equals Happiness
Contrary to popular belief, self-discipline doesn’t necessary mean self-denial. When you think of self-discipline, what comes to your mind? If your answer is an uptight way of living that translates into less fun and lack of happiness then you might be missing the point. Recent reliable research has proved that self-discipline leads to tons of happiness and life satisfaction. A great number of research experts have concluded that indeed self-discipline will ultimately lead to long-lasting happiness.
Why are self-disciplined people happier?
- Achieve Goals
Self-disciplined people are more likely to achieve the goals they have set. It is quite obvious that the more goals you achieve, the happier you become. I write to remember this fact and how it has manifested in my own life experience. Many times individuals set goals and are unable to achieve them because they lack the necessary will power. This leads to self-pity and they think that the goals were too big for them. The truth is that there is no goal too big for the self-disciplined individual. Amazingly, having a clearly defined vision will lead to self-discipline and greater joy.
- Affect Mood
The human mind is simply fascinating and I write to remember who I am and how I show up in my life. Another research has shown that self-control improves your mood. From the research, those who had a high degree of self-control were less likely to experience bad moods. People with high self-control will always do things that bring them happiness. They will therefore avoid temptations and cravings that might lead them down a slippery slope. These people are therefore always happy about their decisions. Submitting to cravings may give you a temporary high but it is simply a miserable pill that is sugar-coated.
- Life Satisfaction
Every person wants to reach that utopia where they are completely content. Unfortunately, for the masses this is simply an achievable dream because there is always something extra to do. There is always some weight to lose, debt to pay, friends to make and the list goes on. Self-disciplined people understand that they are in control of their own happiness so they don’t just let things happen. It is not just about deprivation but also about control. Most people who opted for temporary satisfaction are now faced with the consequences that lead to frustration and unhappiness. Having control over your life will mean that you will live a healthy lifestyle and you will not make any decisions that may compromise your tomorrow.
Happiness has never been about money but the ability to manage your life and to be responsible for your actions. High self-discipline does make you happy.
I’m Connie Ragen Green and I write to remember who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I wish to go in the future. Come along with me on this journey, if you will, and we will walk arm in arm along the path that makes sense, and one that we will carve out for ourselves. Peruse all of my titles here, and let me know if you’d like to download one as my gift to you.