Self-Discipline is a Powerful (and Fun!) Tool

There I was, totally immersed in a task that just a half hour before I had completely no interest in doing.

In the monotonous chore I began to witness the simple pleasure I was feeling. I was kinda having fun with it.

What was going on here?

I got the insight afterward. The task itself was important, but completely boring. Pages of manual copy-paste-repeat stuff.

My self-discipline had kick-started me into action, and my presence in “the Now” allowed me to enjoy it.

The Power of Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is supremely important to the achievement of anything meaningful in life.

If you don’t have it, then you can’t succeed. Simple as that.

But it’s got a bad rap.

People think of it as a chore, and something that’s difficult to attain, or not enjoyable to do.

But if you master it and develop your own self-discipline, it becomes fun and effortless.

Self-discipline is by definition, control over self. You are able to decide on a course of action, and then execute that action until it’s complete.

Most things we need self-discipline for tend to be boring, or tedious, or somehow unpleasant. Tax preparation springs to mind.

And those bad feelings carry over to the idea of discipline.

So separate out the two ideas. Task and control.

What’s not to love about control over a process?

When you’re in charge you get to have maximum responsibility. If it all goes well, awesome. If something goes wrong, awesome again, because you get to learn something.

Not too long ago, when an unpleasant task would present itself — something that I had to do — I used to wish that I could fast-forward that time, or go unconscious for the duration, or at least go into robot-mode to geterrdone.

Turns out the opposite approach is the best (and where the fun comes in). If you throw yourself into it with full conscious awareness and presence, and focus on the doing, fun naturally arises from the simplest of things.

Is there something that you absolutely have to do, but hate doing? Do you know of things that would help you, but perhaps you’re a little afraid of starting?

Form the Habit of Self-Discipline

How good does it feel to overcome an obstacle, having owned it? Or rising to meet a challenge? Or any kind of win?

Feels damn good.

Well, success in life is a series of tiny wins. Not all in a row. In fact, the more you “go for it” the more mistakes you’ll make, and the more times you’ll “lose.” But losing and failing is what successful people do more of. It’s how we learn.

You have to grow as a person to surmount your next challenge. The thing that’s in your way right now, whatever it is, is the catalyst to you becoming more resilient, more giving, more free, and limitless.

Truth is, you’re already limitless, but your ego won’t allow you to really believe it, and take advantage of it. Self-discipline is the mechanism to discover your own power through doing.

If you are able to push through that initial feeling of hesitation, or resistance, then the actual doing is nothing. Once you are into it, those initial fears melt away. Make it a habit, and you are golden. Self-discipline provides its own motivation.

The real power of self-discipline comes from focusing the mind on a single point, and persisting in the action until you reach some milestone. Sound familiar at all? Seems awfully like meditating to me…

Meditation teaches you mental self-control. And mental control means you can control your behaviors.

Your behavior can get tasks done directly in the short-term, or more powerfully, can be used to form habits.

And if you model the habits of successful people, you’ll wind up with systems from which success naturally emerges.

That’s where success manifests seemingly by itself. Of course, you can put it all down to your fun little friend, discipline.

Sound like fun?

The one quality which sets one man apart from another – the key which lifts one to every aspiration while others are caught up in the mire of mediocrity – is not talent, formal education, nor intellectual brightness – it is self-discipline.

With self-discipline all things are possible.

Without it, even the simplest goal can seem like the impossible dream.

~ Theodore Roosevelt

How is your self-discipline?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sanjay Jan 12, 2015 @ 6:12

    Thanks Jim. Reading this article was an awakening.

  • jet39 Feb 20, 2013 @ 23:14

    Thanks I had learn some

  • Jim Feb 18, 2013 @ 21:47

    Another quick example from tonight after posting this: I was feeling tired, and couldn’t really be bothered doing yoga… Then I took a moment to think about it.

    I knew how good I’d feel during and after. I knew the benefits of following though, I just didn’t feel like it. So, I decided to get changed and just do it.

    Naturally, I wound up having a great session. I feel amazing now; it totally changed my state.

    So, I want to remind myself to utilize this self-discipline thing more often.

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