Why Self Discipline?
"Your level of success is determined by your level of discipline and perseverance"
What do you think about when you hear the word 'discipline'? Well, let's check the official meaning of it first. According to the Collins dictionary, discipline is " the practice of making people obey rules or standards of behavior, and punishing them when they do not". Doesn't sound nice, right? Especially with the mentioned in the definition words such as 'obey', 'punishing'... Somehow, discipline is often perceived and associated with something negative. Still, when I personally think about discipline - I often think of it as a combination of two words "self" + "discipline", rather than the "discipline" alone.
So what is self-discipline? Self-discipline is the ability to control yourself and to make yourself work hard towards achieving a specific goal without needing a motivational booster or anyone else to tell you what and why you should do it. People who have self-discipline often have higher chances to succeed in study, work, achieve better results, and eventually materialize their dreams and goals. It's about deciding that I want something so much that no matter how badly I DO NOT want to do something, I would still DO IT because it is required in order to achieve the goal. It's the preparedness to undergo an inner struggle, break yourself if necessary, and resist the temptations. You might think - why would I willingly limit myself in the things that I like? How would I get happier from it? But, did you know that in fact, people who are limiting themselves and have high self-control are happier than those who don't?
It has been confirmed in the study of Wilhelm Hofmann (see the link: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/study-people-with-a-lot-of-self-control-are-happier/277349/). It's mainly because self-disciplined people are the least likely to act on impulses, and more likely to stay focused on the long-term goals. Therefore, their actions are not contradicting their goals, and they don't get to regret "eating a doughnut while on a diet" (as an example), meaning they would stay satisfied with their decisions, so with themselves.
Awareness and long-term focus help us to make the correct decision. We are often too tempted in our daily life. Tempted to buy a certain thing without considering whether we need it at all, tempted to postpone studying for an exam because a friend is calling to invite for a Friday drink - there are too many temptations, but does it worth to sacrifice the ability to become who we want to be today, tomorrow, in 1, 3- 10 years? Are you ready to sacrifice the Friday drink, study for an exam, and pass? Because if you do - the chances that you would succeed are much higher!!
Discipline helps to build your character, develop your mind, build a sense of importance, establish the priorities that would be in line with your present and future goals. Discipline is self-confidence. It is the ability to turn yourself into who you want to be. Just as the quote of Robin Sharma says " Maximum performance is a lot more about desire and discipline than talent and brilliance". Self-discipline is a learned behavior, NOT a born-trait, so everyone can become one.
So, here are 7 TIPS on how you can become more self-disciplined.
1. Set a Goal
Think of what you want to achieve in life. I would recommend writing your goals down on paper and hang this list somewhere where you could see it every day. Maybe a wall or the door of your refrigerator?
Think of why you want to achieve particular goals? Why is it important? Would it make you happy?
3. Power of Habit
I believe you have heard many times the opinion that if you practice something 21 days after each other - it will become a habit. I would recommend starting with a little, maybe.... 10 min. meditation every morning, not taking your phone first 30 min. after you woke up, taking a cold shower... It can be ANYTHING. The most important - is the consistency that would smoothly flow into a habit.
4. Do things that you don't like to do - First!
If you know that you have to contribute to the report and it has to happen today and you really don't like it - do it as a first thing after your breakfast in the morning and get it out of your mind—the same with the rest of the tasks. The quicker you are done with the functions that do not bring you much pleasure - the least you would have to think about them during the day, and the rest of it could be dedicated to more pleasant tasks.
5. Distractions - Out!
If you know that you are quickly getting distracted by something - either it is your phone, or for example, dishes in the sink - turn off the phone, clean the dishes and only then start working. Create an environment that supports you in achieving your goals.
When you are hungry, it is difficult to concentrate and perform well.
7. Find someone to help you
It is always nice to have someone who could keep you accountable, especially at the beginning. If you don't want to get distracted on your phone while making an assignment, ask your friend/partner to take away your phone until you are done ( Personally verified!).
Let's go for it!