What is Self Discipline?

the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses.. — Oxford Dictionary

When I look at kids out there struggling either to learn something new or overcome an obstacle on their way, it’s always interesting to me to remember when I was also facing the same difficulty and how I found a solution to my problem. I’m tempted to give them the solution immediately, but I know they need to go through that experience in order to build their knowledge, most things in life need to be learned alone. Even with everything we learn at school, we still need to go back home and do the learning, we need to try things by ourselves in order to master them.

Nobody is born perfect in this world, nobody is born a money genius, a smart person or an instant prodigy, we all have to go through the process of learning in order to overcome our weaknesses and this is where self-discipline enters into play. For every accomplishment in your life, that came through a process of self-discipline (I use the word self-discipline here to avoid the confusion with the word discipline, which refers to punishment). I know there are some people out there who inherit some genes from their parents which predispose them to be better at certain things, but there are as well people who rise from nothing to accomplish miracles, so you can’t really say you are predisposed to failure.

To be able to accomplish any feat all begins with self-discipline and as you can read from the definition above, it’s all about overcoming your weaknesses. Since childhood, we’ve been learning in order to become good at diverse things, now you can read and write which is already so much of a strength when you consider the level of illiteracy all around the world. The only way you could have done that was through the self-discipline to learn what you were being taught in school, nobody was born and instantly knew how to read or write, we all went through what was then, a difficult process of learning. Every accomplishment comes with an associated level of self-discipline, you have to be able to master your emotions and conquer your weaknesses in order to do things which seem impossible before. Its true that there are other factors which come into play but it all begins with self-discipline and we are going to look at what self-discipline is exactly.

What is self-discipline?

Self-discipline is the ability to focus on a task or goal with the purpose of achieving a certain result. Much like other qualities that might contribute to your overall success, self-discipline produces sustainable success over time. Self-disciplined individuals commonly rely on a group of supporting traits, such as:

  • Ambition
  • Organization
  • Persistence
  • Responsibility
  • Resilience
  • Strong work ethic

In the workplace, self-discipline promotes the kind of habits and mindset that help you complete tasks, surpass milestones and reach specific goals. A good example of this is your certificate (anyone) which you obtained through a consistent presence in school and putting in the work you needed to do.

Now in the modern society, in order to achieve bigger objectives like creating a company, running for president or obtaining financial wealth, these come with an associated level of self-discipline which can sometimes be inhumane. Every day, new records are being broken again and again, just proving to us that it is possible. What I want you to understand is that it is all about focusing on something and putting in all your energy into that thing, the question in your mind shouldn’t be if it is possible but rather how you are going to make it possible through self-discipline by overcoming the weaknesses making it unattainable.

How to be self-disciplined?

We are already self-disciplined in one way or the other towards sometimes the wrong things, it took discipline to complete your nursery school program, it takes self-discipline in order to read this article to the end. The real question is how can you be self-disciplined enough in order to achieve major feats like becoming a millionaire, getting an incredible job or whatever other thing you are into. I want it to be clear to you that you are already self-disciplined in so many ways even when its to be lazy, the idea should be for you to turn that self-discipline from an unproductive activity to a productive activity and here are some tips.

  1. Show up: When you think about it, a great factor which contributed to your success back in school was the fact that you showed up at school every day, even when you failed exams or passed them, regardless you were there, and you continued trying again. The first step to self-discipline is to show up, to be present no matter how difficult or easy it gets, to build that habit of being there. There is sometimes the temptation of slacking off when things get easy or running away when things get hard, which just sets us up for failure. In anything you aim to achieve, make sure you show up every single possible time and build up that habit of always being present.
  2. Practice Makes Perfect : How many exercises did I have to do before mastering addition, how many tries did I fail before mastering the dynamics of the video game, again, and again I tried before getting a hang of it and making my way through all the difficulties in the game. That’s essentially what life and self-discipline is all about, doing the same thing till attaining a mastery of it. There is no secret way of becoming a genius, people don’t just hit their heads on rocks or fall into a vat of acid in order to obtain superpowers, but rather they developed an intense passion for doing that thing to the point they groomed themselves into becoming that genius.
  3. Focus on one thing : It’s often said that there are many roads which lead to Rome and that’s the case in the world today, you can achieve your objectives in many ways, and it’s the multiplicity of ways which often builds the confusion that leads us astray. When you are self-disciplined, you learn how to focus on a specific thing and direct all of your energy towards that and nothing else. When you see the great investors out there or the great musicians or whatever great people you see out there, they have some principles by which they swear by, throughout these decades they have kept to these tactics and that’s what made them what they are. When your focus is divided, then it’s difficult to maintain a level of self-discipline in your life.
  4. Willpower : Develop a strong will power which pushes your actions and drives your consistency especially in the difficult moments, every day is not going to be a good day, every day is not going to be sunny and in those moments when it doesn’t make sense to do what you do, your will power will help you overcome your hesitations to do what you know you need to do.

Know your strengths and weaknesses

Where do you excel, and where do you need a little more work, are you good at communication, do you know how to market yourself? What are those places where you do the best of work and what are those places where you need the most work. You have to be able to identify your limitations, those things preventing you from moving forward, and how to overcome them. We are all just humans, so we do have weaknesses, but that doesn’t mean we can’t overcome them, we could either do it by ourselves or find persons who could help us overcome those limitations. That’s why a company is made up of so many parts, if one person could do everything, then they won’t need to recruit many other people.

It just so often happens that we don’t even know our strengths or weakness, and so we try to do everything all by ourselves and crash on the way. Self-discipline is also about knowing what you are good at, focusing on that, practicing that to attain a mastery of it and for the other areas where you excel a lot less, you find other persons to pull the weight on that end.

There is a lot more I could say on this topic, this is just an introduction and I hope I got my point across.

Thanks for reading ☺️

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