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The Power Of Self-Discipline
Have you ever wondered why some people reach extraordinary success in achieving their goals while others struggle? Is there some secret knowledge or some mysterious power of the mind that some possess and others not?
The answer is quite simple: highly successful and effective people have one thing in common: they are insanely self-disciplined.
So if you want to increase your own chances of success and let your primal genius shine you need to focus on mastering self-discipline. This ability to control yourself will not only enable you to do high-quality work even when you’re tired but also it will help you to stay focused on your goals even in those days when you struggle with motivation. And to help you with developing rock-solid self-discipline here are 11 fun, creative and inspiring ways to do that.
1. Change Your Perception
Perception is everything. The way you perceive the world around you, different ideas and concepts influence everything you do. And self-discipline is no different. You can perceive self-discipline as a punishment or a key to success in achieving your goals. And, as a consequence, you use self-discipline as a tool for making yourself feel miserable or a strategy to make progress in life. The first approach will make you feel like you’re living in prison, the second one will help you to orient yourself towards something meaningful.
For me personally, self-discipline means freedom. Freedom of choice. I choose to use self-discipline as a tool to squeeze out my time to do what matters and create value for me and people that I care about. Because time is the most valuable resource that we have yet we continue to waste it for meaningless stuff that doesn’t bring any value to our lives. The solution to this is mastering the skill of self-discipline. So if you want to make every minute of your life count and let your primal genius shine the way to do that is to master self-discipline.
2. Practice Positive Self-Talk
The way you speak to yourself truly matters. Because, first of all, you are listening. Second, you probably believe everything you tell yourself, especially the negative stuff. Because for some reason, the bad stuff is easier to believe. Probably because we’ve been conditioned to give more importance to negative experiences than to positive or even neutral ones. But that’s a subject of a different discussion.
The third reason why your self-talk is extremely important is that you create your own reality with the power of your thoughts, words and actions. Because you think in terms of how you feel and you act based on your current mental state. That’s why when you constantly telling yourself that you can achieve something you probably won’t. But if you reprogram your mind to positive your chances for success will increase dramatically. And if things don’t go as planned you you’ll find a way through.
Positive self-talk is a powerful tool for increasing your self-confidence, hacking your happiness, improve your problem-solving skills and motivating yourself to achieve your goals. So, if you’ve been talking to yourself in a nasty, unpleasant and unfriendly way, now it’s time to change this. Start practising positive self-talk, pay attention to the tone of your inner dialogue and make sure to take 5 to 10 minutes every day to say out loud and write down positive affirmations.
3. Create Powerful Routine
Morning and evening routine are the keys to success. They guide you through the day in a planned and well-organized way. They help you to manage your time effectively, simplify your decision-making process and get things done on time and well without sacrificing your wellbeing. They help you to maintain high standards and a healthy work-life balance so much needed for leading a fulfilling life.
But perhaps the greatest advantage of having a morning and night routine is that it strengthens your self-discipline muscle without you even noticed that. Because while developing a routine requires time, effort and making conscious decisions, once it is formed it becomes an automatic behaviour. And that automatic behavior is what keeps you going and in a positive frame of mind. In other words, creating a healthy, powerful and positive routine is an incredible way to trick your mind to be self-disciplined.
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4. Learn Something New Each Day
The habit of learning something new each day is a powerful tool in developing self-discipline. This simple but extremely powerful practice will help you to broaden your knowledge and develop your skillset that can easily lead to the advancement of your career.
Learning new things each day is a powerful way to break the monotonous routine, shape your perspective and cultivate a beginner’s mind so much needed for having a fresh perspective and being open to change. And without change, there is no growth, and without growth, there is no happiness. Because only by learning new skills and progressing in your life you can boost your happiness, improve life-satisfaction and quality of life.
Investing in your self-knowledge is the best investment you can make because your whole future depends on it. So if you want to live a meaningful, fulfilling and interesting life, make learning new skills your daily habit. Take advantage of the Information Age we live in and get smarter every day. And if you want to make learning fun, interesting and creative you should try online courses on Skillshare!
5. Create A Non-Spend Challenge
We live in a hyper commercial world where hypnotizing commercials make us buy things that we don’t even need or want. But we continue to spend money on non-essential or even useless items just because others have them. We try so hard to keep up with Joneses instead of focusing on what’s truly important: our own life.
We spend money like there’s no tomorrow becoming obsessed with material things as if they could make us happy, satisfied or fulfilled. We confuse capitalism with consumerism, free will with manipulation of choice, basic needs with luxury wants and life satisfaction with temporary pleasure. We spend money like there’s no tomorrow only to run out of money before the end of the month.
The solution to this is to create a “Non-Spend Day”. It’s a fun, creative and pretty interesting way to rethink your shopping habits, learn the difference between needs and wants, become self-disciplined with money.
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6. Set Up A Reward And Consequences System
There is no self-discipline without a reward and consequences system. Because how can you control yourself and work toward achieving your goals if there are nothing and nobody that keeps you accountable? There’s no way you will be willing to work hard and making real progress in life without any accountability.
Keeping yourself accountable for the decisions you make and actions you take will help you to keep working hard to achieve your goals even in those days when you’re not feeling it. Because let’s face it you won’t feel motivated all the time. Motivation is not constant. That’s why if you want to accomplish your goals you need a system of reward and consequences.
Being rewarded for following the rules and mastering positive habits will encourage you to keep doing a good job. While experiencing consequences for poor work ethic and following unhealthy habits will prevent you from repeating the same mistakes that hold you back from success. So set up a reward and consequence system that will keep you motivated and committed to your goals.
7. Raise Your Standards
How can you improve the quality of your life? Well, by raising your standards. If you want to uplevel your life and keep making progress you need to raise your standards. Your shoulds have to become your musts.
As Tony Robbinson says, “The difference between ‘must’ and ‘should’ is the life you want and the life you have.” You can live an ordinary life doing the bare minimum out of the maximum that could have been done. Or you can raise your standards, take massive action towards your goals and transform your ordinary life into an extraordinary experience.
Your ability to maximize your results depends on your standards. So if you want exceptional results you need to raise your standards. There are no shortcuts to success. Only hard work, continuous effort, commitment to your goals and self-dicispline.
3 Steps In Raising Your Standards
If you want to raise your standards and upgrade your life you need to take action. You need to take action on your goals and act as if it was impossible to fail. Because if you believe in yourself and your abilities you will find the way to achieve your goals no matter how many obstacles will come your way.
Thomas Jefferson once said: “If you want something you‘ve never had. You must be willing to do something you‘ve never done.”
In theory, it seems so obvious, isn’t it? But when it comes to practice, it’s much more difficult. It’s difficult because achieving something for the first time requires a different approach, the ability to take risk and willingness to take full responsibility for your efforts, actions and results. In other words, your ability to take risk determines the level of your success. so if you want to achieve massive results you need to take a substantial risk.
Responsibility is power. Responsibility is freedom. Responsibility is the key to success. So if you want to enhance your chances for success and stick to your most difficult goals you need to take responsibility for your actions. No more excuses or blaming others for your mistakes. No more minimizing your achievements. It’s time to create a clear system of rewards and consequences!
8. Manage Your Time Like A Pro
What separates insanely self-disciplined and highly successful people from everyone else? The level of education? The expertise they possess? The type of work they perform? Or maybe it’s all about the luck?
Well, you might be surprised but none of these answers is correct.
The real difference between extremely successful and those who struggle to meet deadlines and produce intended results is that the successful learned to master the art of time management. Trivial as it may seem, controlling how they spend every minute of their lives is what makes them successful.
Highly successful people know how to manipulate their time to reach their goals and accomplish their dreams within a specific timeframe. There is absolutely no coincidence with their actions. Every activity is well-planned, scheduled and properly organized. They know that time is the most important resource that they have so they make every minute count.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. We just use them differently. Some of us are better in time management, others still trying to figure out their own productivity system. But one thing is sure: we can always improve. And for those who still trying to improve their time management skills and techniques, you will find the answer here.
9. End Your Days Strong
Your evening routine is just as important as your morning routine. The way you close your days truly matters because it determines the quality of your sleep and your morning mood. So if you want to sleep better and wake up fresh and ready to go, you should start ending your days strong.
Ending your days strong is a habit of closing your days mindfully and on a high note. It is a simple but extremely powerful practice you can use to increase your self-awareness, reflect on the day’s events and decompress after a long day of work (or school).
Not every day is successful. Some days are just better than others. That’s the fact. But regardless of whether things went according to the plan or not, you want to finish your day in a better shape than you’ve started it. The most effective way to do this is to develop a set of nightly practices that help you to relax, unwind and close your day feeling good. So the solution is to develop a powerful night routine that will not only boost your evening mood but also strengthen your self-discipline muscle.
10. Plan Against Distractions
We live in a world full of distractions where everyone and everything is fighting for our attention. Thus, if you want to get things done on time, and well you need to regain control over your time and plan against distractions. Otherwise, resisting temptations and overcoming the urge to procrastinate may not be possible.
The fact is, our resources are limited. Time, energy, money, mental capacity, attention, focus, physical space, willpower and motivation are all limited. That’s why you should use them wisely and effectively. You don’t want to regret wasted time and missed opportunities only because scrolling through social media was much more exciting than working hard on your goals.
Distractions are everywhere. They are like little gremlins trying to steal your time, energy and focus. They’re always on alert, so you need to be prepared. Because when you’re prepared they will not surprise you. So instead of relying on self-control and willpower plan against common distractions such as technology, interruptions, intrusive thoughts or unwanted feelings. Once you have a plan you may be sure that distractions will not stop you from achieving your goals and progressing in life.
11. Facilitate The Process
As human beings, we have a tendency to overcomplicate everything without even realizing it. We do it by overthinking and overanalyzing things to the nth degree hoping that it will facilitate the process of doing them. What it does instead is not simplifying but making everything much more complex than it ever needs to be. As a consequence, we feel overwhelmed by the complexity of a simple task and we procrastinate. That’s insane!
Most of the things that you need to get done are rather simple and if they aren’t you can always break complex tasks into small manageable steps, create a plan of action and just start taking action. Slow by steady without rushing the process.
Developing rock-steady self-discipline is a process that requires time, effort and patience. It will not happen overnight. So start small and don’t rush the process. Start with simple rituals and habits, then focus on creating your morning routine and track your progress. Make a self-contract for your goal of strengthening your self-discipline muscle and stick to it. Keep that promises to yourself and reward yourself for hard work and efforts.
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Stay positive, be mindful and strengthen your self-discipline muscle!