It´s not a secret. Self-discipline takes patience and courage. Truth being told, the majority of us do not like to work very hard. We expect that life should happen exactly the way we want it, with not much effort from our side. That´s why most of the people remain average. When I say average, I mean, they aim at little and stay with little. They are afraid to dream big, not only because they don´t think they can accomplish it, but also because they know that going after a big dream will mean hard work, sacrifice and get out of the acclaimed comfort zone.
Our culture today loves movie stars, football sensations, business gurus, self-made multimillionaires, influencers and people of the sort that promise the good easy life. They seem like they accomplish everything so easily; from the outside it seems like if they didn´t had to do much to accomplish their position. We think, that person got really lucky, and it was already born talented, so it was a matter of good luck. Being an underdog, working hard for the love of it with no appraisals or attention it’s not sexy, it’s not what is promoted in our social circles.
I believe that the reality is far from being that simple. Roger Federer, considered the best Tennis player in history, is a living example of this. He has mentioned in numerous occasions that self-discipline and endless endurance trainings throughout the years starting at a very early age were the key to his success.
Key elements of self-discipline
“If you want to master the mind and remove your governor, you will have to become addicted to hard work. Because passion and obsession, even talent are only useful tools only if you have the work ethic to back them up”- David Goggins
Self-discipline in my opinion, must contain the following elements to really work:
Determination: It is a mixture of passion and perseverance which keeps us moving forward despite the obstacles;
Practice: Repetition in simple activities, along a certain period of time can transform the ordinary to the extraordinary. The greatest abilities which are performed with great precision, are the ones that are executed in the most rigorous and corrected ways.
“We have to develop the instinct of what one can achieve through their greatest efforts”- Albert Einstein
Resilient mentality: We will fail. There will be days that we would like to just give up because we don´t see results after many attempts. Having a resilient mentality will help us overcome those bad moments. Resilience means remaining positive and calm even in the worst of the events. If we remain positive and hopeful, even if things don’t work out as planned, it will keep us in the game.
Stay alert: The fact that we are focused performing certain actions restlessly should not blind us from the “whole”. It is important to keep ourselves alert of any activity that is not really serving us so that we can change it.
Flexibility: In this world, change is the only constant. There will be points in our lives where external situations will change completely our plans. One important element of being disciplined is the ability to remain flexible and make changes accordingly. It is our responsibility to adapt to new circumstances to avoid getting stuck in doing things that do not work anymore in the present situations.
Reflecting on the above elements, drives us to the obvious conclusion that achieving self-discipline starts with the mind. A disciplined mind will result in a disciplined body and action.
One of our greatest challenges in our own personal growth is to achieve an extraordinary level of self-discipline to develop the necessary focus to achieve what we are longing to do. I believe that this is really the starting point in our journey of reaching our most desirable goals in life.
Being disciplined is an act of self-love. It’s giving that confirmation to yourself that your goals matter; your dreams matter. They are worth enough to dedicate all your time, all your passion and all the hard work it takes to make them a reality. It is a price worth paying, isn´t it?
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You are so right, self discipline seems to be something that people often get very enthusiastic about but the energy, the mind power and effort lasts little. I am very thankful for my military training that from a young age instilled in me a sense of discipline and self-awareness, that is why I always advocate that all young men and women should do a minimum of military service before they enter the “adult” world…great post and all the best, greetings from Spain,
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Thank you Francisco, this is a great insight. I can imagine that sharing an experience like you had during the military service can really awaken in younger generations a strong self awareness and a sense of purpose that develops in having a disciplinary mentality.
Many greetings from Switzerland 🙂
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Thank you Paola, and all the best! 🙂
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