Self discipline goes a long way in unlocking ones full potential. In this day and age, it’s becoming more difficult to manage through the hustle and bustles of the day without self discipline. Self discipline comes with potential to wade you through rough waters with momentum, like a ship without loosing direction. But first before we get to it’s benefits and how to maintain it, let’s take a look at how one can learn and cultivate it in.
Self discipline is your ability to take control of your primitive base desires, I call them primitive because we are born with them and they keep controlling us until the day we learn to manage them.
If you take a bad habit for example, practical examples snoozing the alarm, procrastinating or just not getting started on something, from the perspective of basic human instinct where we are designed to first survive and replicate. People who give in to these basic instinct do so because they do not know otherwise which plays in accordance with what they know, for example, one who does not know how to sort an issue amicably always opts for a fight or harshness to survive the moment. However, I wish to assure you as the reader of this article that you are way above average, reason being, reading inspirational articles is not a behavior exhibited by average persons but one among those in the path of success.
I almost failed to write this article this week, struggling with the usual thoughts of inadequate time, work pressure, family balance, friends, weekend being a time to rest, time with the boys, some fun time and as if that’s not enough, when I finally settled to write, I still had challenges to choose among topics to settle on, which research findings to write about, personal development, social, national, international or one about the universe, distractions creeping to take center stage, temptations to procrastinate, name it all.
However, the habitual nature of writing gave me the required push and momentum. Discipline couldn’t just let me deviate or just be the me I wanted to be different from my newly acquired weekend norm.
Our minds have a tendency of pushing us away from doing the things we want and without fail will fetch you all sorts of excuses if you allow it.
Example, task your mind at this very moment to give you an excuse as to why you are not going after a goal you wish to achieve, and it will surprise you by the list it will fetch you, Money topping most of the lists followed by time then by what has kept you busy, by the time you get to the third “fetched” reason, it will start finding among the three, which one out of those is most genuine of the excuses it wants to work with.
Having been born and raised in a barracks played a major role in shaping discipline in me and contributing to the person I am today. I take advantage of this to the fullest to get myself into routines and habits that work to my advantage in getting me to where I wish to go. The many daily lessons I learnt from my late father, Min our then program he dubbed “Son of a soldier is a soldier” became the norm I know in getting things done, which I realize makes me go at my goals effortless and with sort of swift momentum. This explains that the brain is like a muscle and that its energy can be depleted
Science of how discipline works.
Without discipline, you let your life be controlled by emotions, which literally work similarly to letting your life being controlled by someone else or events of the day planned by others, therefore making you prey to working for that person who had planned their time, day, year or even goals they had clear visions on and probably when your paths cross, they swallow your unplanned time to their planned channels or tunnels if you wish to term it as such.
There are a number of ways we can all learn about suppressing this kind of living, adapt it in our lives and take full advantage of it.
A recent research done around the top 500 successful wealthy people around the world reveals discipline as one of the top ranked traits among other listed common traits; hard work, positive attitude and persistence presenting as common traits among the successful lot.
Lets look at ways which you can use to cultivate self discipline.
First, make a list of the goals you wish to achieve. Begin by planning your day and put it in writing on paper or your task phone/computer tool, working on a plan-less day is like walking on a slippery road, you just don’t know how your next minute shall unfold or where you could end up after a skid off the course.
Begin small. We all have bulky goals that are at times difficult to begin. The trick for this is to start small, doing what you can which you can at that moment, Kindly note, those fairly difficult tasks I.e, Losing weight, do not start by targeting to lose a single KG per week, that kind of approach sets your up for failure.
Go forth to the task
Starting smaller than the main task means you subdivide your goal into simpler portions and list tasks that eventually contribute to the bigger goal. Taking us back to the weight loss goal, begin by listing areas to focus on for example tummy, flabs on the triceps or the different body sections, then to options available to you for getting each of this areas of focus attended to effectively, say for example you can begin by eliminating sugary drinks and increasing your water intake before you even get to the gym or workout space, you can then regulate your carbohydrates, introduce supporting programs like intermittent fasting, that’s only if it works for you.
By starting small and winning smaller victories and build momentum to approaching the bigger goals. If for example you wish to wake up early, begin by knocking off 30 minutes from your sleep time and use it productively. If it’s running a marathon, begin by walking for half or one, then running can replace the walk and gradually grow.
Decide on the most important. Realize that there are three main things you do everyday that guide your value and accounts for 90% of your success, everything else you do accounts for the rest 10%, deciding on your most important tasks and beginning immediately, your ability to execute this sets you to a different path of success, and while you are at it, learn to working all your tasks to completion until it’s 100% complete.
There are two ways we naturally approach a task.
Put it to halt until you feel like it then do it.
Do it and then begin to feel like it
Which of these two is most likely to get things done?
He who waits for certainty, never wins.
Practice regularly daily/ weekly, By starting small, you should not have difficulties finding regular slots of getting it done daily, look for a constant favorable time of the day and allow momentum to build propelled by that time of day. Remember, no excuses, make it happen, if you can’t make it to the gym, make space and time wherever you are, in your bedroom, living room, at a field nearby, the rooftop for those lucky to have access to one, make time. Find ways in the day and have them incorporated as part of the day’s activity, example, take advantage of using the stairs instead of the lift, carry with you a water bottle to realize the water intake required daily.
Ramp up. After you have mastered the smaller tasks. Going by our previous example, let’s say you started walking daily for half an hour, take it up to 45 minutes then to an hour, or at a certain point do it by jogging or cycling, keep challenging yourself incrementally. You don’t go from walking 30 minutes to running half a marathon, make it interesting so you have fun through it. If it’s about waking up, increase by another half hour or full hour, if it’s reading, increase from a single chapter to two.
The key is to grow and love the process through discipline lifting the difficulties of getting it done through strict adherence to schedules you approved into your life.
Discipline grants endurance through the difficult times.
You might ask yourself how you get to love the process. That might require a whole article in itself but in a nutshell, learn to;
Appreciate the craftsmanship of your work.
Focus on developing skills and mastery and your skill will be rewarded
Approach it with a positive attitude.
Discipline comes as an advantage to the person who embraces it and allows for more freedom in life, having things that need to be done but haven’t been done turns one into a slave of what has to be done.
Note that changing your behavior positively does some internal mappings and calibrations that make it difficult for you to deviate from, allowing you more time to take on new experiences while the basics take care of itself through self-discipline, as Tony Robbins would say, the strongest force in the human psychology is the need to remain congruence with how he identifies himself.
Self discipline is that magic pill that will improve your efficiency and get goals achieved effortlessly, increased healthy feeding, improved emotional control, commitment to activities, watchful expenditures, good study habits, are just but examples of goals to be achieved, all without side effects and is available for free. You just need to inculcate it into things you need done.
How you view yourself right now makes you act in accordance to exactly that, if you view yourself as a loser, you definitely connect and act like one, a procrastinator, you become just that, if you view yourself as tired, then tired is what you resonate with; however, if you view yourself as a hard worker then that’s what you resonate with at particular that time, so remember that whatever you wish to do, get yourself into the practice of viewing yourself in that particular way that supports what you wish to do. View yourself as that person who has successfully taken control of their weight, that person who reads books, that athlete who has already won that race tittle, work hard at it and allow discipline to deliver you there.
Discipline has helped deliver victories, won wars and made possible triumphs.
Success on the other hand comes from completion of tasks, it’s only when you complete tasks that you can say you are successful, get discipline to give you that push you need.
With self discipline and will power, you can accomplish what you need to do without giving attention to destruction, lazy episodes or temptations getting on the way.
It helps us get things done even when we don’t feel like it, it helps maintain a consistent schedule and achieve our goals. In short, it empowers us to live our lives the way we ideally want to. Translating, to better grades in school, higher energy, better performance at work even looking and feeling better.
Work on your thoughts and let discipline help in the execution.
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Mind Grid Perspectives