The more achievement I experience in my life and the more I study high levels of personal achievement in other people's lives the more I am convinced that self discipline is the key to moving toward being more productive, effective, happy and fulfilled.
It's not immediately intuitive, for many the thought of having to give up certain things and create "rules" around other things sounds painful – certainly far more painful than having the freedom to do whatever you want.
Yet the lure of floating through life, not exercising self discipline is really a wolf in sheep's clothing…
Here are some of the rather disastrous impacts of lack of self discipline in your life:
- You end up following someone else's agenda 99% of the time
- The chance of getting what you want is slight to none unless you have the discipline to make that happen
- Your guilt build over time knowing that you are consistently failing to do what is most important…this guilt eats away at you over time leading to emotional and physical challenges in your life
- You fail to attract people who can help you most get what you want…they are most attracted to people they see are capable of self discipline
- You end up frustrated, exhausted, angry and sad…not exactly the outcome you had in mind
Oddly enough, from self discipline comes enormous benefit including:
- Massive self confidence as you regain control and faith in your ability to lead your own life
- Results…you no longer have to dream and talk about your results, you can SEE and show them
- Lower stress and frustration…you are no longer dependent on others to make progress, you are now on a disciplined path toward the outcome you want
- Momentum…making progress on a consistent basis means that you built forward momentum that becomes almost unstoppable
- Meaning and Fulfillment in your life…very suddenly, with your self discipline you will fill that deep void many of us struggle with in our lives, that search for meaning and fulfillment rather than just temporary happiness
HOW TO BECOME MORE SELF DISCIPLINED
Ok, so how does this "magic" happen?
How can we turn around years or even decades of neglect, procrastination and avoiding self-discipline to becoming a highly effective, motivated and results-oriented self discipline master?
1. BELIEF – As with everything we achieve in life, it must start with a 100% committed belief that the key to improving our life and achieving highly desired results is self-discipline. Further, we must KNOW that we will achieve mastery over discipline in our lives and experience daily a life that IS a reflection of our desired transformation. Only when we can see it, feel it, breathe it and live it will it come true
2. CLARITY OF PURPOSE...Only when we clearly see and believe in the purpose (our own improvement and a purpose that is bigger than ourselves) can we instill the emotional state that will allow us to almost automatically navigate toward self-discipline. Here's an example, many people who live without purpose, in a world of total lack of self-discipline change dramatically when they have kids. Why? Mainly because the vision you live with in your head is of your child in 15-20 years, how will they view you then if you don't change your ways? We need to bring this level of clarity to each of our desired outcomes
3. MAKE TOUGH CHOICES. You can't achieve everything (even most) of what you may wish or think you want to accomplish each day so get better at developing lists of MUSTS. We usually always get what we must but rarely what we want. If your objective is to lose 20 lbs and lower your blood pressure then the tasks you identify as critical to that goal need to become MUSTS, everything else is secondary.
4. PUT EMPHASIS ON GETTING STARTED/RE-STARTED. We all know that getting started at anything is tougher than keeping it going. Recognize that fact and make sure you take the attitude of just doing it in the beginning. Maybe you aren't feeling 100%, aren't 100% certain about your ability to make things happen or the environment isn't perfect…you just need to get moving.
5. KNOWING WHAT'S NOT A MUST IS MORE IMPORTANT. Many people who are not self disciplined are "Yes" people. They don't want to upset or hurt anyone, don't want to disappoint and feel that if they can just please most people that will get them through life. The problem, of course, is that this comes at the expense of getting your own MUSTS attended to. Have faith that when you become self-disciplined and have to turn other people or tasks down, this is better for everyone in the long run. Living a disciplined life will leave you more energy, happiness and health to contribute more than those who lack such discipline.
6. COURAGE. For many people entering a new phase of self discipline comes with something they have avoided all of their life – responsibility. The fear is that they will NOT be able to remain self-disciplined and will fail themselves. This is very powerful isn't it? How we learned to deal with this is to clearly separate your tasks from yourself. If you slip one day and go off the rails, know in your soul that you are still in control and that you can regain your discipline – despite slipping on one task. Separate the task from your ultimate power as a human being. That's how you gain the courage to continually drive for added self-discipline.
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN
Let us know what you think by leaving a comment…what is the toughest part of being self disciplined for you? Have you found something that works or are you still struggling to have more will power and discipline in your life?