People have wondered why some individuals have accomplished so much in a short period of time-while others have stayed in the same place in all areas of their lives-financial, spiritual, health, relationships, career, business etc. The key to happiness and success is discipline. Many have discovered one main ingredient to success and happiness is self-discipline, and on the opposite end of self-discipline are two things that can rob you of success and happiness. They are the path of least resistance and instant gratification.
1. With self-discipline success is possible. Whatever is your definition of success, self-discipline allows you to uncover the secrets of success and implement what is required.
Why-Its not that most of us don't know what to do to become successful-but rather we don't have the discipline to make ourselves do what is required to be successful on a continuous bases, we must learn to do it even when we don't feel like doing what's required when it's required. Remember how you spend your time on Saturday, makes as much of a difference as how you spend your time on Wednesday.
Action Item- Take control of yourself. You must be able to master your own emotions, thoughts, and actions. Think of something you really want to do and deny yourself for at least one week. This is a small test of delayed gratification which shows self-discipline. Also, do something right now that you normally would put off and make excuses as to why you must wait before completing the task.
2. With self-discipline building character is possible. When you are under pressure, you see your true character. Integrity is the deepest level and it takes tremendous self-discipline to have character. Doing what's right when it is hard requires a lot from a person, and most people that lack character just do what's easy.
Why-Building character requires you to step up and show what you are really made of true grit and willpower. Most people take the easy way out or only think in short-terms and receive short-term advantages.
Action Item-Think of a recent situation where you took the easy way out and either lied or did something that lacked integrity. Now write down what you will do the next time when a similar situation occurs and be prepared to show great character by acting with integrity and taking the right way and not the easy way. If you write it down before it occurs you will see what needs to be done and learn from your previous experience.
3. With self-discipline showing responsibility is possible. In the world today everyone wants to blame someone for their mistakes. It's my bosses fault that I was fired, or it's my parents fault that I am angry, or it's the other drivers that caused the accident. Everyone wants to blame the other person for all things wrong. It takes self-discipline not to pay the blame game.
Why-To take responsibility for what is wrong in your own life, and not blame your boss or your parents and to understand that you are in charge of your own life and if something is out of your control, which sometimes they are, your responses to the situation are what you are responsible for. If two people lose a job at the same time and one person feel this is a great opportunity for me to find a job doing what I love, she is taking responsibility. The other person blames everyone and has negative thoughts and emotions, who do you think is going to get a job first?
Action Item-The next time something happens that you would normally blame someone else for-just say out loud "I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT JUST HAPPENED." This one statement will make you instantly feel relieved because it lets you see that you can't go through life not taking responsibility or just responding to what happens to us. This will make you feel as if you have personal control over your life.
4. With self-discipline goals are accomplished. Many people about 99% have hopes and wishes, which can easily get lost in daily distractions, and the line between what they want, and what they are actually achieving gets lost. Goals are written down, with time frames and metrics for achieving them.
Why-To write down your goals with timeframes and action items requires self-discipline to follow through and take them from hopes and wishes. This will put you in the 3% of people who write down goals and actually accomplish them.
Action Item-By the end of the day, write down three goals on a piece of paper to get started today. Make yourself a promise that you will not fall asleep for the night until you have your three goals written down. Once you have them written down, put next to the goals a date that you plan on reaching your goals. Make them easy, but not too easy so that you have to stretch yourself.
5. With self-discipline you increase your personal excellence. Having personal excellence requires you to stretch yourself and grow. Personal excellence is evident through out your entire life, from your finances, relationships, your health, etc. Personal excellence keeps you raising the bar.
Why-To excel and reach personal excellence is no short order. It requires you to show up and to be mindful of what your objectives are and what you are looking to accomplish through out your entire life. This will be life changing and you will see the difference in a short time frame, but the effects last a life time. Your personal relationships will change and you will see much growth.
Action Item-Close your eyes and imagine the areas that most people would like to excel in-relationships, career/business, spiritual growth & health/fitness and financial and imagine if you could have the perfect situation in each and every one of these areas what would it look like. Now open you eyes and put on paper what needs to be accomplished in each and every area, concentrate on one area at a time, and determine what you need to do that will make each one possible. Do you need to go back to school, do you need to sign up for a fitness class, do you need to ask your spouse out on more dates. Make it happen.
6. Self-discipline fosters persistence. Persistence is the result of self-discipline, and you must be extremely self-disciplined to have persistence. You see what you are made of with persistence in the face of set-backs and to continue in the face of the situation and not quit too soon feeds your self-esteem as well.
Why-Persistence is what is needed when things get really touch. What's required to continue to have persistence? You must have self-esteem, and self-discipline to continue with being persistent about something,especially when most people would give up and give in. Having the ability not to give up in a situation makes you feel better about yourself, which increases your self-esteem. This is only possible with persistence and self-discipline.
Action Item-Write down the last situation that you quite too soon, and if only you had stay the course, things would have turned out more favorable. A job, relationship, school whatever the situation that you gave up too early. Look for the lesson that you learned from giving up too soon. Write the lesson down, and place it somewhere visible. The next time you have a situation that you would normally give up on, look at how you give up too soon on the previous situation, and the outcome, and find the self-discipline to keep on going in this situation.
7. Self-discipline fosters good health. Only through self-discipline can you take great care of yourself with exercising, eating well, and having the proper rest. It requires you to stick with it and to eat less sugar, salt and foods that have no nutritional value. Self-discipline is one of the main ways to achieve good health.
Why-Good health requires you to stay the course on a regular bases. This requires you to give up short-term quick fix diets and to look at having good health as a lifetime goal. Aiming to live as long as possible, and in great health takes, long-term planning and can only be achieved with self-discipline. When most people are consuming fast-foods, sodas self-discipline makes you cook meals that are balanced and have the correct amount of food groups items that increase living longer is not easy to maintain daily.
Action Item-Start right at this moment with one healthy food item for the day. Continue adding healthy choices and eliminate bad food choices. Once you see it as a lifestyle and not as a fad you will begin to change your mindset towards your food choices entirely.
8. Problem solving becomes a way of thinking with self-discipline. You will begin to be solution driven, and the more you take time out to think, the more you will find thinking easier and easier.
Why-Problem solving requires clear thinking. Good thinking requires self-discipline, and few people understand what it takes to be a good thinker. Good thinking becomes a habit, and you find the more you have good habits, the more self-discipline you have. You will begin to look at situations differently and approach problems with a certain mind set of thinking about which type of thinking is required for this problem. Shared thinking, creative thinking, critical thinking etc.
Action Item-Think of the last three problems you had, and write down all the details. Then write down how they were solved. Look to see what the problems have in common, and look to see what the solutions had in common. Even if you ignored the problems, then write down I did nothing and just allowed it to occur. The only way to get better at problem solving is to look at what each problem had in common and what you did to solve each problem. Once you see what each has in common, write down what you want to change about each problem, whether you procrastinated, you did not gather all the facts first before reacting, etc. What you want to observe is what is the common thread in the problems and the way you approach problem solving. The goal is to learn how to become a better problem solver, by observing the patterns of the problems and the solutions.
9. Financial success is only possible through self-discipline. The primary reason for financial problems are lack of self-control, self-discipline. Financial freedom, is a direct result of self-discipline.
Why-Most money problems can be traced back to instant gratification. Delayed gratification requires a great deal of self-discipline. It's about controlling the desire you have for the larger good. Once you can master controlling yourself, you can master money.
Action Item-Think of something you wanted to purchase, and make yourself wait for 2 weeks before purchasing it. Or the next time you are at the mall, make yourself a promise that anything over ________ fill in the blank, I will have a three day thinking period before purchasing this item. This helps with impulse purchasing which is instant gratification. I have found that most people never go back to get the item once they leave the store.
10. Maturity is a result of self-discipline. Having a sense of maturity requires self-discipline because you will see that everything is not about you. The world does not revolve around only your desires, maturity is one thing that separates adults from children.
Why-It takes self-discipline to understand and have the desire to care more than about yourself. Maturity will allow for having healthy relationships and to see situations through others eyes and have the ability to have empathy for others. Only through maturity and self-discipline is true empathy possible.
Action Item-The next time you think something should go your way or be all about you, try to make it about the other person instantly. Think about how they may feel, and put yourself in their shoes. Try practicing putting yourself in their shoes FIRST before thinking about your situation. Make this a habit moving forward, and you will be surprise how this will change your way of thinking, and possibly change your relationships.
The key is self-discipline or lack of plays a role through everything we do in life. It has a direct link to our money, relationships, career, business, spiritual life, how we see ourselves and how others see us. Practice improving self-discipline and this will be one of the greatest investments you can make.