Many personal qualities contribute to personal growth and happiness. But to sustain long-term success in every aspect of life, one must master the trait of self-discipline.
Motivation is great, but it's here today and gone tomorrow, and up and down like a roller-coaster. Self-discipline helps you form habits that stick. Whether you're procrastinating, using social media too much or just lazy, self-discipline will help you kick these habits.
Self-discipline is the willingness to accept physical, mental, and emotional discomfort.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “With self-discipline, most anything is possible.”
Successful people understand that discipline is the portal to the attainment of their intentions. The art of self-discipline creates a foundational set of good habits that can help anyone and will help you, to see things through.
Discipline is developed through repetition. The problem with this, however, is that is we often set ourselves up for failure by promising ourselves to go from zero to hero overnight. It doesn't work that way. The best thing anyone can do is to use the micro-change approach.
Key: Start small, change gradually. Make progress in small increments, but keep doing it every day.
Whenever you aim for a goal or dream, ask yourself the “why”. We need to visualize our dreams. We need to silence negative voices, focus on who we want to be and what we think is right for us. Visualize, and then start making those choices, fueled by self-discipline.
Example: The desire is “I want to get into shape”. Why? Tell yourself why, or write out the benefits. “I want to get into shape because I want to live longer, I want to feel good about myself, I want to be there for my kids.”
Removing distractions is a crucial step to consistently improving your self-discipline. If you’re trying to take more control over your fitness/weight-loss goal, toss the junk food from your house. If you’re in the office and need to be more productive, learn to silence your phone. Set yourself up for success by removing the obstacles that are blocking the path to your goal.
Put off instant gratification to reach more long-term goals. Instant gratification is when "you want it, and you want it now". Today, instant gratification has been put on a pedestal – literally, everything we want is at our fingertips. But true success and becoming who we truly want to be does not come instantly. It takes time, patience, and discipline.
Self-discipline is the hidden gem that allows you to regain your life and freedom.
How do you practice self-discipline in your life?
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Call it intuition, instinct, or a gut feeling: if we followed it, we just might be a lot happier. Intuition is a skill we are all born with, but one we submerge in the business of modern living.