We all dream of achieving something in our lives. It might be rare to find a person who doesn't want anything to be in their lives. Or are already having what they desire and are content with their lives and themselves. This is not an uncommon thing to want to be something or achieve something in their lives.
There are qualities one requires to do that. First and foremost, you need to have the motivation or the desire for that goal. Then you need natural talent and/or skills to get what you want. But that is not all to it.
You might have known people who possess all the ability to attain their goals, but they were unsuccessful in their endeavors. They were unable to go through the hardships or challenges in their way towards their goals.
Can you tell why that was?
What was the reason for their failure?
The answer to this is that they lacked self-discipline.
What is Self-Discipline?
"The ability of one's self to control from losing focus and doing one self-work or behave in a certain way without any kind of supervision from anyone is self-discipline."
Every day of an average human is a struggle against distractions and keeps us focused and concentrated in achieving our goals. Trying our best not to procrastinate the work. No matter if our goal is to quit a bad habit, get desired body shape, complete a work project, study and score high on exams, etc. We are always struggling to accomplish the said goals.
Some are successful in doing so and fighting their distractions, while others don't. Their willpower plays an impact at that. One needs to train themselves in regulating themselves in a way that can help them achieve their goals without getting distracted.
Hard work and dedication are extremely important, or else a talent is also of no use. All types of coaches or experts in their fields give more stress to developing self-discipline. It is an extremely crucial factor if you want to attain your goals, no matter what they are.
The hardest part in achieving your dreams to train yourself, and that is the true struggle. You are not going to progress if your actions do not match with your goals. Here self-discipline is the only thing that can change that.
Importance Of Self-Discipline
"Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.":- John Maxwell As mentioned before, just talent and/or skills are not enough to conquer challenges in your way to your goals. You need to discipline yourself and be persistent and consistent as well in your hard work - no excuses for the power of self-discipline.
We are all aware of the famous cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. He is one of the best batsmen of his time and he had great success written in his name. So much so that people crowned him with the title of "The God Of Cricket."
Can you tell why?
If you are thinking because he was talented, then you are not completely wrong there. Sure he was massively talented in the sport. But so were his other team members.
Then what is the difference between him and others to make him so successful?
What did he do to achieve that?
He was great at self-discipline. He used to practice 12 hours every day to perfect his craft. His forte was batting, which actually got him recognition. But he still practiced bowling and fielding, even if he was not going to be the first choice for these.
He could have just focused on batting alone. Yet he did other things as well because they were his weaknesses, and the players of the opposite team can very well take advantage of it. He cannot afford that.
Hollywood no.1 action star Tom Cruise is well known for doing his stunts himself. In one of the additions of Mission Impossible movies, he had a scene where he was going to jump off a plane. The scene was of just a few seconds, and they wanted to show his face to make their audience know that he really does his stunts himself.
Tom Cruise performed that stunt himself 125 times in total and doing it five times a day. It was really hard for the team to capture the perfect angle on the camera. And he was not going to get anything extra for that. Yet, he did not give up and accomplished that "Mission Impossible."
Such kind of attitude, dedication, and self-discipline makes these legends who they are today. These things have helped them shape themselves and be successful and recognized. People who have practiced a great deal of self-control or self-discipline tend to spend less time on the behavioral factors or just thinking about whether to indulge in a project or not.
They have confidence in them, and they know that they have the self-discipline that will help them complete that project. They can make that thing possible with their discipline. And as a result, they also happen to grab more opportunities in comparison to the ones who lack self-discipline. And in turn, they are also happier than people otherwise. So indirectly, self-discipline is one of the factors to be happy.
What To Do To Develop Self-Discipline?
Now that we have talked about what actually is self-discipline and have discussed its importance, the question now is how to develop self discipline? Down below are some points that can help one to develop self-discipline.
As stated before, motivation to do something is the first and foremost factor to get started. You may have noticed when you are excited about something or are going to get something in return after completing some task, and you do that with such eagerness. You barely needed to be told to do the work.
For example, let's say that you finally get your dream job after much struggle. Now work doesn't seem like work anymore, isn't it? It's just a play. You seem to enjoy every bit of your time at your work. This might not be the case if the job was doing you hated. This will be because you have a motive to get up every day and get to work.
You love doing what you are doing. And that will be your motivation towards your goal. You also don't need to push yourself to do it. Identify why you are doing something. If the why factor is reason enough to make you get going, then it is the source of your motivation.
2. Keep The Temptations Away
I am trying to quit drinking but end up drinking anyway during the evening at home. I have the drinks stocked in my refrigerator at home. It is common to encounter the objects of your temptations. More so when this is one you are trying to get rid of.
This happens all the time with everyone. This just hinders your process towards achieving your goals. If you want to achieve your goal, then first identify those temptations that distract you from doing your work. Then keep them as far away as you can.
If you are trying to quit drinking, then replace the bottles with something healthy as fruit juice or smoothies. If you are trying to lose weight, replace the snacks and junk food with healthy organic vegetables. Shut off your phone or temporarily pause your apps to let yourself concentrate on your studies.
When you create an environment that aligns with your goals and achievement, it can be more helpful than having willpower or motivation. You will need half a help to achieve your goals.
3. Set A Challenge Or Deadline
This need not be provided by the one whom you are working for. Rather you can set these challenges or deadlines towards a goal yourself. By doing this, you are binding yourself to accomplish your task or goal. You are, in a way, motivating yourself.
When we have a limited number of days or little time and more things to achieve, we work twice than we would otherwise for achieving the goal. Plus, while challenging yourself consciously or subconsciously upgrading and developing yourself.
You take one more step towards preparing for future challenges for your bigger goals that you are going to attain. And also, challenges make achieving your goal more interesting and thrilling.
4. Take Small Steps
Whenever we are to do something big or huge, we are not going to take on everything at once. No matter what the task is, we are going to have to start small. Your brain is not ready to take on the big change so soon and at once.
You need time to get used to the situations first, then slowly work your way through. While studying for your exams, you are not going to learn or revise the whole syllabus at once. You will start off the slow-one chapter at a time.
You will divide the chapters as per the time schedule. And also, you will take breaks after each step, in other sense after studying decided chapters. The important thing here is to get started. It won't affect how small you start off; just start. It takes several drops to make a sea. It is a reflective action. One step will lead to another.
5. Develop New Habits
There are hundreds of habits that we have subconsciously developed over the period of time. And that may or may not be hindering you in your process of achieving goals. To tackle that, you need to counter those habits with new ones.
For example, you have a habit of getting late to work no matter what you do to get on time. This might be because you never prepare for your work beforehand. You may have a habit of eating and going to sleep straight after getting home. And the next day, you are in a panic over things you need to take to work.
To resolve this, you can prepare the things a night prior that you are going to need the next day. Like this, you can get to work relaxed and in my spare time for an activity or two before going.
6. Reward Yourself
Self-Discipline is a long process. It is a commitment infect. Therefore, you may find it hard to stick to it in the future. When this happens, you can do things that can keep you motivated to stick to your self-discipline. The most effective of it is to treat or reward yourself.
Keep things at short intervals, whatever you are trying to make a habit or attain. When you make yourself complete one of those intervals or stick to your plans for the time being, allow yourself some treat.
Reward yourself for not giving up. You have to take things slow and not just mindlessly rush into things. Or else, you are going to get demotivated and give up sooner rather than later.
It helps when you get the company of a friend or acquaintance while working towards the same thing. We are now more open to the easy availability of resources for our knowledge or learning. We have hundreds of free videos and materials to our access. Yet, most of us fail to make proper use of them.
The reason behind them is simple. The presence of a person along your journey can immensely help you. They will be there to motivate you and support you throughout. You can lean on them whenever you start to fall back or feel like giving up.
Friends can make things easy and better for you and also help you go a long way as well. No success is possible without the support of such people who believe in you.
8. Be Nice To Yourself
Self-Discipline yourself is hard. You are going to need to change many things in the process. And change is never easy. A human's brain is not wired just to accept change easily. It needs to be trained to accept that, and it is a struggle.
You are going to struggle against yourself to achieve self-discipline. This is tougher than anything. There are going to be miss-outs on your part during this process. You are going to give in to your temptations and get distracted from doing your work.
A slip-up is expected in the long journey. It is alright as long as you are going to get yourself back on track after that. You will only fail when you are going to give up. So don't be too hard on yourself and allow yourself these slip-ups and mistakes. Allow yourself to be human once in a while during this journey.