Happiness and the achievement of goals in life results from having a wide range of positive qualities. And no quality is more important in the attainment of long-term sustainable success than self-discipline.
Whether you seek to enhance your relationships, work ethic, or health, nothing beats self-discipline as the principal trait needed to achieve your goal. However, self-discipline doesn’t always come naturally. The good news is that it can be a learned behavior.
Removing temptation from your environment is a necessary first step. For instance, if you are looking to cut down on distractions (such as social media) and focus on your job, you need to turn off your mobile notifications and block all social media until you get off work. In the example of weight loss, you would want to remove the unhealthy foods from your cabinets and pantry to make achieving your goal that much easier.
Kick the habit of waiting for all things to align perfectly before embarking on your journey to self-discipline. If you are looking to enhance self-control, it has to start with you. Embrace simple things such as changing your daily routine, breaking bad habits such as negative thinking, and instead actively developing new habits even if it does not feel right in your mind. But simply start now, instead of thinking there will be a better time.
Rigid self-discipline can lead to becoming miserable or adopt a cold-turkey, drill sergeant type of life. In fact, by being too rigid, you are opening yourself up to disappointment, failure, and the possibility of falling back into the old habits.
Instead, have days when you relax your regimen. When you reward yourself, you relieve the tension that may result from self-disciplined living.
Some Common Misconceptions about Self-Discipline
Sure, it feels good to be able to do whatever we want at the time we choose. However, self-discipline is all about knowing what you should or should not do and employing prudence in this knowledge. As kids, most people found teachers who followed up on their activities to be boring, and the same is the case with grown-ups who lack self-discipline.
However, self-discipline is the opposite of boring. People who are self-disciplined do not necessarily live boring lives; they have fun when it is the right time to. Having fun in the right doses is not only genuinely enjoyable, but self-disciplined people find it easier to really indulge in fun because there is usually a highly likely case that they have less to-do items on their lists than those who are not.
Self-discipline is difficult
Being independent makes many people feel entitled to do whatever they want whenever they want to. This freedom makes it seem very difficult to desist from doing something especially when there is nothing stopping you. However, many people eventually find out that it is much easier to be self-disciplined as time goes by.
Case scenario: an outgoing college student has the time of his/her life and blows his/her college money travelling and socializing, and another outgoing college student resists the urge and clears tuition fees. The former student will have a difficult time trying to get the money to pay for college, but the latter will have a higher chance of getting a job and a reliable source of income to party once in a while. Self-discipline makes a person organized and ensures there are little uncertainties about one’s future.
Self-discipline is not for everyone
Self-discipline is not a genome that is unique to only a few people; it is a practice that begins with good judgment and decision. Anyone can be self-disciplined, and all it takes is practicing self-control in one simple aspect and observing the resulting benefits. Many people are fascinated by how much they can achieve by being self-disciplined that they take it notches higher to cover almost all aspects of their lives.