“Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there.” — Haile Gebrselassie
At the heart of any successful person, is self-discipline. Whether it’s success in their personal lives or their professional lives, it all starts with an inherent ability for self-control through discipline. Your thoughts. Your emotions. Your behaviors. And your habits. All of them must be kept in check.
If you want to achieve those lofty goals you set, understanding how to discipline yourself is a key ingredient to the success recipe. But self-discipline isn’t something new. In fact, self-discipline has been a topic of discussion for thousands of years, and it’s been championed by some of the world’s most successful people.
Referring to our ability to succeed in life at any endeavor, Aristotle once said, “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.” Those good habits can’t be formed without having a handle on our ability to discipline our actions and behaviors.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “With self-discipline most anything is possible.” More recently, Jim Rohn claimed, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” And Robert Kiyosaki asserted that “Confidence comes from discipline and training.”
What successful people have come to understand is that discipline is the gateway to the achievement of their goals. They learned how to use discipline in their lives to achieve their dreams. They leveraged the art of self-discipline by creating a foundational set of good habits that helped them to see things through.
And so can you.
But how is discipline created or formed? What allows one person to wield what seems like total and full control over their behaviors and their actions, while others falter and fail? How can one person be so conscious of what they do on a daily basis, while others simply throw caution to the wind?
The answer to those questions lies in our habits. Since 40% of our behavior is habit-driven, if you want to control your ability to be self-disciplined, you have to control your habits.
In particular, there are 10 habits that help you to discipline yourself. If you can install these 10 habits into your life, you can create the foundation for achieving your goals. Without these habits, you’ll just be stabbing around in the dark. Habits: The Pathway to Self-Discipline
Considering that so much of what we do on a daily basis is habit-driven, developing the right habits will help to instill the right amount of discipline into our lives.
But where do habits come from and how are they developed? And why is that when we try to change our habits by either breaking bad habits or building good habits, we only follow through for so long before we give up and revert to our old ways?
The biggest problem, especially with habits that we’ve had for years and even decades, are the neural pathways that have been etched in our brains. Neural pathways help to link up neural networks to perform a particular function such as walking up the stairs, smoking a cigarette, or preparing a cup of coffee in a certain way.
Neural pathways help to automate behavior that’s constantly repeated in an effort to reduce conscious processing power in the mind. This allows the mind to focus on other things that might be going on. This stems from our early days as humans, and is part of our genetic makeup, allowing for a more efficient mind that can be used towards many other things rather than the mundane.
However, it’s the supposed mundane behaviors that are repeated, which work to hold us back in most cases. We tend to have more bad habits that are detrimental to our lives than good habits that help to move us forward. Considering that those neural pathways get etched deeper and deeper over time, it becomes harder and harder to break bad habits or make even to form good ones when the bad ones get in the way.
But, if you can install the following habits into your life, you’ll find that disciplining yourself becomes far easier. It won’t happen overnight. Remember that habits take the time to form and to break. But, if you start small, and build, you won’t be wondering how you can discipline yourself any longer since you’ll embody the particular habits that promote self-discipline in life.
We spend far too much time wanting things. The habit of gratitude helps move us away from constantly wanting what we don’t have, and towards appreciating what we do have. When we do this, some remarkable shifts begin to occur.
The effects of gratitude are far-reaching. From improving our mental health to our emotional wellbeing, and our spirituality, gratitude can do so much. But most importantly, it helps to move us away from a state of lack and towards a state of abundance.
When we live in a state of lack, it becomes downright impossible to focus on being disciplined and achieving our goals. We spend so much of our mental capacity on worrying about what we don’t have and living in a state of fear, that we forget about what we do have.
The state of lack translates into physical ailments. It produces stress and releases stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine, which impacts a number of systems in our body. When we stress, our digestive, reproductive, and immune systems are all adversely affected.
Spend 10 minutes every day writing out all the things that you’re grateful for. Even if you feel you have nothing to be grateful for, find something. Seek and you shall find.
When we spend a large portion of our days in a state of anger, regret, or guilt, we create more problems than we do solutions. Hate and anger consume far more energy than love and forgiveness. When we forgive, we learn to let go of certain things.
Without the habit of forgiveness, we couldn’t achieve self-discipline. We’re too worried about how someone wronged us to even focus on discipline or achieving our goals.
If someone hurt you, learn to forgive them. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to forget. Just forgive and release that negative energy back into the universe.
By forgiving, we let go of the negativity that zaps our ability to be self-disciplined. If you want to learn how to discipline yourself, forgiveness is surely one major avenue. While at first glance it might not seem like a self-discipline habit it’s one of the most important ones that exists.
Think about all the people that you’re angry with or that have wronged you, and write down why you forgive them. Try to put yourself in their shoes. What would you have done in their situation? Try to find some humor in it. Try to find a lesson learned in all that transpired.
I know firsthand just how hard it is to forgive some people, especially those that have really wronged me in life. But it wasn’t until I let go of all those feelings of hurt and animosity before things really started to improve. I was so busy worrying and stressing, that I wasn’t really pushing forward.
3 – Meditation
Meditation helps to put our minds at ease. It provides us with a spiritual centeredness that acts as an avenue of growth. When we meditate, we cancel out the noise, so to speak, and realize that we’re just one of very many connected beings in this universe.
Meditation also has a big impact on our ability to be self-disciplined. It clears the mind’s palette and sets the right tone for the day. It helps to improve our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health all at once, allowing you to reap some of the biggest results for minimal time invested.
Meditation doesn’t take long. It can be done in 10 or 15 minutes. Keep your mind still and don’t let it wander. When it starts to wander, reel it back. Feel your energy grounded in the earth, open your palms to face the heavens, and really feel the air as it moves in and out of your lungs.[bctt tweet=”Self Discipline Tips: How to Become An Unstoppable Force Through Self Discipline” via=”no”]
Meditation is about aligning our physical bodies with our spiritual or astral bodies. When we can align the two, we can live a more focused life by not worrying about the common things that tend to weigh us down. It helps to lighten our load, so to speak.
4 – Active Goal Setting
If you’ve followed along with my blog, you know how much I believe in active goal setting. This is different than passive goal setting. With passive goal setting, you set goals in your mind. They’re passive because they lack concrete details. You haven’t properly defined them so they live in the abstract.
Active goals are different. With active goals, they’re written out. They have a profound meaning. They’re specific and measurable. And you have a plan towards their attainment. When we set long-term goals in this manner, and we also engage in active goal setting on a daily basis, it’s far easier to achieve our dreams.
Active goal setting instills discipline […]