Self-discipline is a pattern of behavior where you choose to do what you know you should do, rather than what you want to do. It’s the inner power that pushes you to get out of bed to exercise rather than sleeping in. It is the assertion of willpower over more basic desires and is synonymous with self-control.
It includes having the personal initiative to get started and the stamina to persevere. Being disciplined gives you the strength to withstand hardships and difficulties, whether physical, emotional or mental. It allows forgoing immediate satisfaction, in order to gain something better, but which requires effort and time.
Discipline is one of the cornerstones to living a successful and fulfilling life and something we should all strive to master.
Benefits of becoming a disciplined person
When you are consistent in doing the things you know you should do, when you know you should do them, here are the benefits you will enjoy:
- You will achieve your goals. When you are consistent in doing the things you know you should do, your odds of achieving your goals will be dramatically increased.
- You self-esteem will soar. Every time you push yourself to do something you know you should do, you are building your self-esteem.
- People’s respect for you will grow. This includes everyone from your spouse to your employer who witnesses your efforts.
- You will influence the lives of others. Every good and right thing you do, influences the lives of those who are watching and can have a ripple effect on future generations.
- You will see greater success in all areas of your life. Jim Rohn said, “For every disciplined effort there is a multiple return.” Think about it.
- You will enjoy a more rewarding and satisfying life.
Downside of lacking discipline
When you consistently neglect to do the things you know you should do, when they should be done, here’s the downside:
- You won’t achieve your goals. I’ve never met anyone who achieved any worthwhile goal who lacked discipline.
- You won’t feel good about yourself. No matter how hard you try to justify your actions, you know what’s right and wrong. Lying to yourself only makes it worse.
- You’ll lose the respect of those who are dependent upon your actions.
Making the decision to become a disciplined person may prove to be one of the most important decisions you make because of its powerful influence on every part of your life.
A commitment to discipline
The first step in becoming a disciplined person is to make a commitment to yourself that from this day forward you are going to do the things you know you should do, when you should do them. As part of this commitment, you cannot allow yourself to make excuses or justify not doing what you should do.
If you struggle with discipline, start small. It’s how we all got started. Start by taking out the overflowing garbage, answering an email, changing the light bulb, or cleaning your bathroom. Start today doing all the little things you know you should do, but don’t feel like doing.
When you need to do things that make you uncomfortable, remember the wise words of leadership expert Dr. John Maxwell who said, “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”
When things come up that are scary, heed the experience of Dale Carnegie who said, “Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.”
Becoming a discipline person will likely be the hardest thing you do, but it can also become the most rewarding. All successes in every part of your life are built on the foundation of discipline.
I want to challenge you to start doing the little things you know you should do. As you do, recognize yourself for each thing you do. With constant awareness and sustained effort you can actually train yourself to become disciplined.
This is not the first time I have blogged on the importance of discipline, and it won’t be the last. Of the over 1000 little things on my list, nothing has a higher dollar value to the market than discipline.
Discipline is one of the key differentiators separating those who live successful and fulfilling lives from those who don’t.
About the Author: Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 30 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts. (Todd’s podcasts are ranked #25 in America’s top 100 podcasts and #1 in the personal and development field.)