Today I want to share with you some points on how to develop self-discipline. When you finally decide to go for the future of your dreams, the person you are now will no longer be sufficient to the tasks ahead. You have to become more to have more.
In Brian Tracy’s book Maximum Achievement, he teaches the importance of the law of control which we’ll see involves both the internal locus of control and the external locus of control.
The law of control states “You feel happy to the degree to which you feel you are in control of your own life. You feel unhappy to the degree to which you feel you are not in control, or controlled by other factors or people”
People smarter than myself call this your locus of control. These smart people that write even smarter books all conclude that stress and unhappiness arise when you feel controlled by outside circumstances (external locus of control).
If you have an internal locus of control and you’re more likely to be happy. If you have an external locus of control, you’re more than likely unhappy.
When you feel in charge and you’re making your own decisions and what happens to you in life is largely determined by you going out an getting it done, then that’s an internal locus of control. You feel strong, purposeful, and happy.
When you’re not in control and are not directing your own life, you have an external locus of control.
To be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer!
If you have a creep of a boss, but you cannot afford to lose your job because you have no savings and 4 mouths to feed, you experience high levels of stress and anxiety as you suck it up on a daily basis and take crap from this external locus of control. Things suck and you’re unhappy.
More examples are bad marriages you feel trapped in. Bills you struggle to pay and being stuck in traffic.
You may feel that you are controlled by your physical condition, if that’s the case check out my book Body Of A Soldier and get that sorted out. That’s an easy one. A quick fix that will get you some momentum.
Own It To Control It
Many people feel that they are controlled by their “personality type” (I have a bad temper because I’m Viking/Native) or the world situation itself. They say, “That’s just the way I am.” or “That’s just the way it IS.” By saying this, they opt out, turtle up and hope for the best. Good luck with that.
The “That’s just the way..” way of thinking excuses them from developing and using discipline and will power to make the changes they know they need to make live the life that will make them happy.
It can be hard… it probably WILL be hard work your way into the spot where you own a larger share of control in your life. That’s why so many people are unhappy. It takes work.
You have to own it and take complete charge of your life to make it happen. Every decision you made put you where you are and every decision you make can change your future. If there is some area in your life in which you are not happy, discipline yourself to do whatever it takes to change the situation.
The difference between motivation, willpower, self-control and self-discipline
Motivation is the reason why you want to do something. It can be intrinsic or extrinsic. For example; intrinsic motivation is, “I want to do the handstand because it’s cool.” Intrinsic motivation is great but tends to falter in the face of obstacles. External motivation is, “I need to do handstands or I wont win the competition.” External motivation works until you achieve the goal or the pain is taken away.
Will power is using emotional energy to choose between two conflicting motivations. For example, “I hurt all over today and want to lay on the couch. But I won’t. I’ll practice handstands or I wont make the gymnastics team.”
Will power relies on good nutrition, adequate sleep and exercise. It has a limited supply and is a biological system. At the end of a stressful day, when you are tired and hungry, will power pulls falters.
Self-discipline is an iron curtain that drops on the decision process. Self-discipline is the removal of bad habits and the substitution of good ones. Especially those of order, regularity, and obedience.
All of these together now…
Motivation: “I really want to lose this weight for vacation but I don’t want to go to the gym today. I hurt all over.”
Willpower: “Just take one step forward. Put on your workout clothes, then get in the car. You can do it.”
Self-discipline: “Your clothes are laid out. You know what your eating for breakfast. You’ve made a commitment for your workout buddy to be there and they’ll be waiting on you.”
Learning self-discipline is a personal commitment. There is no external method of tricking yourself. learning self-discipline is making a contract with yourself and not letting yourself down. It’s expecting the best of you and putting systems of success into your life.
How To Develop Self Discipline Quickly (the short version)
Research shows that daily meditation improves self-control, attention, focus, stress management, impulse control, and self-awareness. It actually makes the connections in your brain stronger. Upon reading this, I decided to give it a try with 10 minutes right after waking up. I’ve been doing it ever since.
Along with meditation, the simplest way to increase will power is to get more sleep. Less energy equals less willpower. Everything suffers with less sleep.
More energy also means you’re able to partake in exercise. Which is the closest thing to a wonder drug that scientists have found. Its antidepressant qualities are as high as Prozac.
So if you are looking for the most effective way to easily jump start your life and learn how to develop self-discipline, this is it. Sleep 7-8 hours a night. Wake up and meditate for 10 minutes. Eat healthy with lots of veggies and fruit, then start to move more.
Everything will build from there. These are the linchpins.
Once these cornerstones are in place, we move onto the tactics of how to develop self-discipline.
The Link Between Self-Discipline And Success
Brian Tracy explains it best when it comes to success:
Once you have a goal and a plan, get going! And once you start moving toward your goal, don’t stop. Do something every day to move you closer toward your goal. Don’t let the size of the goal or the amount of time required to accomplish it faze you or hold you back. During your planning process, break down the goal into small tasks and activities that you can engage in every day.
You don’t have to do a lot, but every day, every week, every month you should be making progress, by completing your predetermined tasks and activities, in the direction of your clearly defined objectives.
And here’s where the rubber meets the road. The most important single quality for success is self-discipline. The power of discipline holds the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.
Let me break down that definition of self-discipline.
1) Self-Discipline is the ability to “make yourself”. This means that you have to use strength and willpower to force yourself into motion, to break the power of inertia that holds you back.
2) Do what you should do, when you should do it. This means that you make a plan, set a schedule, and then do what you say you’ll do. You do it when you say you’ll do it. You keep your promises to yourself and to others.
3) Another definition of self-discipline is doing what needs to be done whether you feel like it or not.
Self-discipline is getting “it” done when you’re not motivated.
You see, anyone can do anything if he feels like it, if he wants to do it because it makes him happy, if he is well-rested and has lots of time. However, the true test of character is when you do something that you know you must do whether you feel like it or not, especially when you don’t like it at all.
In fact, you can tell how badly you really want something, and what you’re really made of as a person, by how capable you are of taking action in the direction of your goals and dreams even when you feel tired and discouraged and disappointed and you don’t seem to be making any progress. And very often, this is the exact time when you will break through to great achievement. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “When the night is darkest, the stars come out.”
Your ability to endure, to continue taking action, step-by-step, in the direction of your dreams, is what will ultimately assure your success. If you keep on keeping on, nothing can stop you.
People will do almost anything to stay in their comfort zones. If you want to accomplish anything, get out of your comfort zone. Strive to increase order and discipline in your life. Discipline usually means doing the opposite of what you feel like doing.
Now that’s what self-discipline is… here’s the easy roads to getting more self-discipline for yourself so you can kick ass at whatever you want:
1) Set deadlines
2) Discover and do what you do best, and what’s important and enjoyable to you
3) Focus on habits. Replace your bad habits and thought patterns, one-by-one, over time, with good habits and thought patterns.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
The truth of the matter is that learning self-discipline is not easy. Self-discipline is NEVER an easy thing. It’s disciplining the self. Becoming your own task master. It’s ruling the kingdom of your life with an iron hand.
The job of learning self-discipline is never over. It doesn’t let up and that’s why it’s an admirable trait. People stand in awe of someone that can do what is required, even when you don’t want to do it. It’s a very close cousin of courage.
The Value Of Hard Work
What I Learned Today: Comfort Zones Are Killing Your Success
I wanted something I didn’t have yet. I wanted to be a winner. A success. So I sat around and hoped really hard for it. I didn’t realize that I’d have to do things differently than what I had been doing if anything was going to change. I’d watched the Law Of Attraction and figured it should probably kick in for me at some point.
So I waited. I had no inclination to change my daily habits because I was a unique little flower and the world owed me for my awesomeness.
I let 15 years pass this way, hoping and wishing, until one day, despite my awesomeness, I realized that none of my old behaviors had produced new magical results.
I sat there, looking out the window, eyes squinting from the afternoon sun and thought, “Maybe since the person I am now is not producing the outcomes I need… I might actually need to change myself in order to get what I want.”
I held that thought for a bit and then got my gym clothes and drove down the road to work out. It was arm day like most days were for me. When I walked in the door I saw my buddy Hans. Hans was a grizzled ex-airborne soldier from 2PPCLI of the Canadian Army.
Hans was doing his regular full body work out and was finishing off with deadlifts that day.
I walked over and started talking to him right in the middle of his set about the idea I had. Twenty seconds later Hans finished his set and dropped the 405 to the floor harder than gravity would have naturally allowed, “Yes I’m done and have a minute to talk. Thanks for asking,” he growled.”
Hans response went right over my head and I simply replied, “So what do you think about what I was saying?”
Hans looked at my perfectly sweat-free clothes and wiping the sweat off his forehead replied, “I think people will do almost anything to stay in their comfort zones.”
I remember he kind of looked me up and down at that point before carrying on saying, “If I want to accomplish anything, I get out of my comfort zone. I strive to increase order and discipline in my life. Discipline usually means doing the opposite of what I feel like doing.
For me, discipline means setting deadlines, discovering and doing what I do best and what’s important and enjoyable to me, and focusing on replacing my bad habits and thought patterns, one-by-one, over time, with good habits and thought patterns.”
“Sounds like too much work,” I said shrugging off something I didn’t really understand. I was too smart for all that and would find a more efficient and quicker way.
Hans didn’t say anything but chalked his hands in preparation for the next set of deadlifts. He braced his midsection and pulled on the heavy bar because Hans knew something that I didn’t – that one of the biggest secrets to success was damn hard work.
Have an awesome day,