The Power Of Self Discipline


“It is not enough to have great qualities; We should also have the management of them.”
La Rochefoucauld

Discipline is freedom. For many people discipline is a dirty word that is equated with the absence of freedom. In fact the opposite is true. As Stephen R. Covey said, “the undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions”.

Self-discipline involves acting according to what you think instead of how you feel in the moment. Often means sacrificing the pleasure and thrill of the moment for what matters most in life.

In the past self-discipline has been a weakness of mine. But I have improved, and I can say that it is self-discipline that got me out of bed this morning at 5 am to write this post. Believe me, I would love to be curled up in bed right now, but this desire is checked by my inner sense of purpose.

If you struggle with self-discipline, the good news that it can be developed. For example, it is only in the past two years that I have trained myself to wake early. The following are what I have found to be traits of self-discipline:

Discipline means behaving according to what you have decided is best, regardless of how you feel in the moment. Therefore the first trait of discipline is self-knowledge. We need to decide what behaviour best reflects our goals and values. This process requires introspection and self-analysis.

It is not enough to simply write out your goals and values. You must make an internal commitment to them. Otherwise when your alarm clock goes off at 5am you will see no harm in hitting the snooze button for ‘just another 5 minutes….’ Or, when initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away from a project you will struggle to see it through to completion.

If you struggle with commitment, start by making a conscious decision to follow through on what you say you are going to do – both when you said you would do it and how you said you would do it.

Self-talk is often harmful, but it can also be extremely beneficial if you have control of it. When you find yourself being tested, talk to yourself, encourage yourself and reassure yourself. After all, it is self-talk that has the ability to remind you of your goals, reinforce your commitment and keep you conscious of the task at hand. When I find my discipline being tested, I always recall the following quote: ‘The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret’.

‘Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

3 thoughts on “The Power Of Self Discipline

  1. Was going to give it a like, but seems to be having problems with the site. So just wanted to let you know I enjoyed reading it. Hope you are doing well.


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