Our ability to develop the habit of self-discipline will contribute more to our success than any other quality of character.
Kop Kopmeyer, an authority on success said self-discipline is “The ability to make yourself do, what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
Napoleon Hill said “Self-discipline is the master key to riches.”
Jim Rollins said, “Discipline weighs ounces, but regret weighs tons.”
Self-discipline means self-control, self-mastery, and the ability to have “dinner before dessert.” This doesn’t mean that we don’t have pleasurable experiences in life, but it means that we have them after we have done the hard and necessary work, and completed our key tasks. The payoff for practicing self-discipline is immediate.
Whenever we discipline ourselves, and force ourselves to do the right thing, whether we feel like it or not, we will like and respect ourselves more. Our self-esteem increases. Our self-image improves. Our brains release endorphins which made us happy and proud. We actually get a payoff every time we exercise discipline.
The most important point is that self-discipline is a habit that we can learn with practice and repetition. Some years ago, a business man, Herbert Grey, began searching for what he called “The common denominator of success.” He researched and interviewed successful people for eleven years and finally concluded that successful people are those who Make a habit of doing what unsuccessful people don’t like to do.”
And what are these things? It turns out that successful people don’t like to do them either, but they do them anyway, because they realize it is the price of success.
DISCIPLINES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The Discipline of Clear Thinking:
Thomas Edison once said, “Thinking is the hardest discipline of all.”
It has been said that there are three types of people. There are those who think (The small minority); there are those that think they think, then there are those who would rather die than think.
Take time to think through the critical issues in life, through tasks, etc.
The discipline of daily Goal-Setting:
Focus and concentration are the essential qualities for success.
The discipline of Daily Time Management:
Rule: “Every minute spent in planning saves ten minutes in execution.” The more we plan, the better we use our time, and the more we accomplish.
The Discipline of Courage:
Courage requires that we make ourselves do what we should do, that we deal with our fears rather than avoiding them.The biggest obstacle to success in life is fear of failure, expressed in the feeling that, “I can’t! I can’t! I can’t!” Courage is a habit, developed by practicing courage whenever it is required.
The Discipline of Excellent Health Habits:
Develop the discipline of exercising every day, even if all you do is go for a walk. Use the Michael Jordon method: “Just do it!”
The Discipline of Hard Work:
Goal: Develop a reputation for being a hard, hard worker. Ask; what is the most valuable use of my time right now? Whatever is the answer, work on that every hour of every day.
The Discipline of Continuous Learning:
“To earn more we must learn more.” We must work on ourselves as if our future depends on it, because it does.
The Discipline of Persistence: The greatest test of self-discipline is when we persist in the face of adversity, and we drive ourselves forward to complete our tasks 100%, no matter how we feel.
Courage has two parts: The first part is the courage to begin, to start, to launch forward with no guarantees of success. The second part is the courage to endure, to persist, when we feel discouraged and want to quit.
Our persistence is the measure of our belief in ourselves, and in what we are doing. The more we believe in the goodness and rightness of what we are doing, the more we will persist. The more we persist, the more we will tend to believe in ourselves and what we are doing.
The principles are reversible! Persistence is actually self-discipline in action. Self-discipline leads to self-esteem, a greater sense of personal power, which leads to greater persistence, which leads to even greater self-discipline in an upward spiral.
“Persistence is to the character of man or woman as carbon is to steel.” (Napoleon Hill)
We actually make ourselves into better, stronger persons by persisting when we feel like quitting.
Ref: Brian Tracy; “The Miracle of Self-Discipline”
“A man without decision of character can never be said to belong to himself… He belongs to whatever can make captive of him.” John Foster