Gary Ryan Blair, a motivational speaker, once said, “Self-discipline is an act of cultivation. It requires you to connect today’s actions to tomorrow’s results. There’s a season for sowing, and a season for reaping. Self-discipline helps you know which is which.”
Just like motivation, discipline cannot really be enforced from outside. It is an intrinsic quality that is very important for attaining success.
We need self-discipline if we wish to fulfil our dreams. But most people do not like the word ‘self-discipline’, as they think it restricts their freedom to do, say or think what they want to. People tell me that they try very hard to be self-disciplined but tend to fall into old patterns, because for them habit has become second nature.
This predicament is evidence that these people have not understood the true meaning of self-discipline. What does it really mean? Is it about creating rigid structures/timetables and following them religiously? To me, self-discipline is an attribute that defines who we really are. It does not amount to ‘doing’ something. It is all about ‘being’ something.
The first step is setting a goal. To most of us, goal-setting means specific objectives that need to be met and smart actions that need to be taken within a given timeframe. This goal is generally supposed to be tangible and material. It is something that the intellect can comprehend as ‘success’. Such goals are important; but our primary goal should always be that of attaining self-discipline. Once that’s achieved, the rest would fall in place automatically. Unless you have self-discipline, your goals will remain unachieved and lead to frustration.
So, how can you become self-disciplined? Self-discipline encompasses self-respect, self-worth and self-responsibility. It is an amalgamation of all three. It is a shift from dependence upon others to dependence upon self. When you want to achieve success that brings money and a sense of personal satisfaction with it, it is a form of aspiration, a goal of ‘doing and having’. The goal of ‘being’ self-disciplined requires introspection. This goal is not driven by any external trappings. If you want to impress someone with your self-discipline, then the goal has been set by that person, not you. Self-discipline is a goal for you, by you and about you. Its focal point must lie within you.
How do you know if you have become self-disciplined? The following are the qualities of a self-disciplined person. Check them out and grade yourself:
A self-disciplined person:
. Respects him/herself
. Takes responsibility for all that s/he experiences in life
. Does not dissipate energies in non-productive activities
. Remains focused on tasks, channels energy properly
. Knows exactly what s/he desires from life
. Sets high standards for her/himself
. Is open to new learning
. Produces high quality work
. Works for self-development, not to impress
. Feels worthy of all that s/he achieves and does not play the ‘blame game’
. Shuns ‘victim mentality.’
The author is a life skills coach, time-line therapist, and new consciousness writer. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org