The Power of Discipline

by RHert
42 replies
Let him that would move the world, first move himself. – Socrates

There are many strategies to making yourself a better and more productive person. The first of these can be stated in one word: Discipline.

No matter how carefully you’ve planned out your life you can’t hope to achieve your goals and dreams without discipline. It is a key ingredient to achieving success and doubling your effectiveness.

Some time ago I bought a home that needed a lot of work. I enjoyed working with my hands and had made it a habit to buy a house, live in it while I fixed it up, then sell it when I was finished at a profit. This home needed more work than I knew upon buying it and the time frame for fixing it had to be expanded. Often I’d look around almost in despair and think “I’m never going to finish.” This thought made it impossible to even try and my deadline passed without the home being finished. I wasn’t disciplined enough.

Luckily for me discipline is a choice you make every minute and every hour of every day. Discipline is focusing on a chosen activity until it is completed. Discipline is something you DO not something you HAVE. You have the freedom to act with discipline and decisiveness at any time of any day. To become a “disciplined person” only requires for you to DO discipline over and over until it becomes a habit.

This isn’t always easy. Your mind when not given instruction and direction wanders in many directions, eating away your time and accomplishing little. Your mind is an obedient servant. It will do EXACTLY what you tell it to, provided you tell it and show it you mean to by your actions. Allowing interruptions or delaying the start of a project because you don’t “feel” like doing it is the result of failing to choose to be disciplined.

Discipline is power. It keeps you moving forward even when it feels as if the whole world is pulling you back. It keeps you on time, every time, and allows you to keep all your agreements with yourself and others.

Discipline is the process of total time control.

I did finish that house. It took me longer than originally planned because I did not DO discipline to begin with, but after I stopped allowing my mind to wander where it would and told it what it was going to do, despite being tired or overwhelmed, it didn’t take long at all before I finished.
Discipline is essential to success. Learn to do discipline, make it a habit, and your ability to accomplish will run on autopilot without your needing to result to excuses for inaction. You succeed by consciously choosing to act like a disciplined person.
#discipline #power
  • Profile picture of the author DeltaForce
    Thanks for sharing, really appreciate it!
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    • Profile picture of the author BryanZ
      Originally Posted by perfectlovehere View Post

      I would add the importance of visualizing/emotionalizing your goal. Thanks!
      definetly feeling the emotions of being there already plays a big part on training your mind for success.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dyer402
    Ya youre absolurely right. That feeling you get when you get the result you want from your work is a euphoric one. Its usually at THAT point that dicipline starts to becomes an unconscious habit. Its the first attempt at something new that takes the ability to just suck it up and do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Discipline is important for sure. But purpose is far more important because without purpose there is no inspiration for discipline.
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    • Profile picture of the author RHert
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      Discipline is important for sure. But purpose is far more important because without purpose there is no inspiration for discipline.
      I have to disagree with you. I had a purpose to get that house finished. I knew what it was with my entire being, but that didn't make it happen. Even when you know something and have a purpose if you don't have the discipline to accomplish each of the little tasks consistently and on time then you won't reach your goals and dreams. Your purpose is the end goal, you may even feel inspired to reach that goal, but eventually something is going to get in your way and if you don't choose discipline then that dream will be pushed further and further off.
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      • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
        Originally Posted by RHert View Post

        I have to disagree with you. I had a purpose to get that house finished. I knew what it was with my entire being, but that didn't make it happen. Even when you know something and have a purpose if you don't have the discipline to accomplish each of the little tasks consistently and on time then you won't reach your goals and dreams. Your purpose is the end goal, you may even feel inspired to reach that goal, but eventually something is going to get in your way and if you don't choose discipline then that dream will be pushed further and further off.
        Hey, it's okay to disagree. Maybe I should have said passionate purpose. In my experience, when you're doing something you really love the motivation comes naturally. Discipline isn't even in the equation. Peace.
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  • Profile picture of the author ERPLeadsWriter
    Often times I've met people who associate the word 'discipline' with punishment. Frankly, it's just sad. I for one only embrace discipline because despite the headaches of waking up early, pushing my head to finish writing, or finishing a project, I bask in relief and satisfaction once it's all finished.

    Whereas those who forego discipline, fearing punishment, are in fact racing headlong into the even greater punishment that is Consequence: no results, no profit, no satisfaction.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jon Paella
      I think discipline is definitely important. But the question is discipline in doing what? We can have the discipline to do the external work needed and that's good, but I think what's more important is discipline to do work on your inner self. Thus discipline to visualize. That takes discipline. Working on the inside will then make working on your outside and seeing the other world transformed more effortless.

      Thus the discipline/labour to enter the rest/faith/effortlessness is very important. Before that rest and change in the external happens, we may need to discipline ourselves to work on our inner change.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Newman
    I am a disciple of visualization, and I appreciate that success starts from the inside. But, in closely examining my inner and outer life, I've not seen a trait that's as powerful as discipline. The inner life is like a jungle, most of the time, it takes some focus (discipline) to ignore the myriad weeds and just pay attention to the flowers, we're meant to be nurturing. Discipline is required in all facets of life.

    It is sad, but most of us would rather just take things easy. We'd rather procrastinate, even when it concerns stuff we claim we're really passionate about. Even when it concerns fun stuff or projects we're passionate about, we still need tons of discipline.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jon Paella
      May I also add on to what I said and others have said. I think discipline doesn't get us success, but it places us in a position to be successful. The way I see it, the role of discipline is indirect, not direct.

      Now, if we talk about disciplining ourselves in the external, discipline can result in success directly - but that's hard and tough and is always a labour and a chose because you could be doing this (disciplining yourself to perfect external actions) which goes contrary to what you desire internally. IT can be done, but it's not the best way to do it.

      But if you focus on disciplining yourself internally (starting with your thoughts and emotion), the result of that is that you attain habits of thought which changes habits of behaviour which results in success externally too. Success this way (going through the way of changing the internal first) would be easier and more effortless and it's what we should focus on in the long-term.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Newman
    Interesting.

    For me, what works is taking the process all the way. For example, I may be disciplined enough on the ''inner life phase'' which is more big picture and stuff, but I need to actually sit my butt down, day in day out, and craft that masterpiece. The visualization stage is fun. Spending months, good days and bad days, takes strong will. In fact, I'm exploring ''micro-discipline'' (my term :-)) and synchronicity now. I see three main areas, and all requires having a strong will: Thoughts, words and physical action.
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  • Profile picture of the author danlew
    I agree that discipline is one of the most important factors for us to be successful. We had a purpose to become successful, and that purpose should be fulfilled with some discipline and motivation.
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  • Profile picture of the author ijohnson
    Good OP, RHert!

    Focus, discipline and drive are key factors we need to bundle together to start seeing things come together in IM. Having a plan and setting goals are also an important part of the equation.

    @PerfectLoveHere >> right on-point with your comment. Visualization coupled with emotion goes a long way toward getting the wheels turning in the right direction because it all starts with mindset.
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  • Profile picture of the author cassiegetty
    thanks for the inspiring message. i agree, success in life is sustained through periods of focused effort on your most important goal together with determination and self discipline.
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  • Profile picture of the author DamatoSuzy71
    "Nothing of importance is ever achieved without discipline. I feel myself sometimes not wholly in sympathy with some modern educational theorists, because I think that they underestimate the part that discipline plays. But the discipline you have in your life should be one determined by your own desires and your own needs, not put upon you by society or authority."
    Bertrand Russell
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  • Profile picture of the author sandy christine1
    Discipline is hard work. It requires constant attention and awareness, especially as you begin to develop it. When you learn a new procedure at work, discipline means practicing the procedure again and again, making sure you are getting the result you desire. Discipline in learning means that you resist taking a shortcut, even though it seems harmless enough. The hard work of discipline sometimes keeps you working longer than your friends and maintaining concentration when they are relaxing or playing. Successful people in all walks of life practice their skills over and over again, gaining ever-higher levels of proficiency.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Kim
    No doubt Discipline is a sure content of success. Discipline with blend of Hard work makes a best cocktail called Success.
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  • Profile picture of the author Social Expert
    That's right, doing what have to be done when it has to be done weather you feel like it or not is key to be successful
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  • Profile picture of the author alanamarx
    I agree to all who says that discipline is the most important part of becoming successful. In any field that you are in, you need to have everything in balance and to do that you've got to practice self discipline.
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  • Profile picture of the author appie
    discipline keeps you going...
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  • Profile picture of the author ProScribe
    I agree that self discipline is along with perserverance is one of the most important factors in success.

    I think though by setting up good routines and habits you can make life easier for yourself so that you don't have to apply so much discipline all the time.

    Self discpline is great for setting things in motion but once you have developed a new habit it should come naturally without the need to apply external force. Every time you are using self discipline you are using up energy which could be applied to what you are doing instead.
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  • Profile picture of the author Code Weaver
    its the key to achieving your dreams and goals, once you do this your success is just there to attain....
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  • Profile picture of the author Salesforce
    Love the definition of discipline lol.Now it is clear how to practice it.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMoptimizer
    Some people have a wrong perception of self-discipline. They think it's a matter of pushing yourself, of dragging yourself by the collar to do the things you're supposed to do.

    Indeed, fighting against yourself CAN work - but it can only take you so far.

    If you find you lack self-discipline, then it means that there are two parts within you (in psychology we call this "dissonance"): one that wants you to do the stuff you're supposed to do, and another one that has a different agenda (examples: wants you to play, be lazy, enjoy some spare time, stay in the comfort zone, etc.)

    True, effortless self-discipline cannot be achieved unless you "make peace" between these two parts within yourself. It's a mater of eliminating the state of dissonance and bringing harmony at all levels. In other words "aligning yourself".

    You'd have to look at the big picture and see if all elements are aligned: your goals, your motivation, your actions, your perception etc.

    There are plenty of NLP exercises that help you do this, for example.

    It's not an easy process, but going through it can bring tremendous benefits - in both results AND peace of mind.

    Once you have this kind of self-discipline (as opposed to having one part dominate the other), success practically becomes effortless - for the simple reason that you associate pleasure with what you do and you reinforce your motivation throughout the process, from all angles.
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    • Profile picture of the author RHert
      Originally Posted by IMoptimizer View Post

      Some people have a wrong perception of self-discipline. They think it's a matter of pushing yourself, of dragging yourself by the collar to do the things you're supposed to do.

      Indeed, fighting against yourself CAN work - but it can only take you so far.

      If you find you lack self-discipline, then it means that there are two parts within you (in psychology we call this "dissonance"): one that wants you to do the stuff you're supposed to do, and another one that has a different agenda (examples: wants you to play, be lazy, enjoy some spare time, stay in the comfort zone, etc.)

      True, effortless self-discipline cannot be achieved unless you "make peace" between these two parts within yourself. It's a mater of eliminating the state of dissonance and bringing harmony at all levels. In other words "aligning yourself".

      You'd have to look at the big picture and see if all elements are aligned: your goals, your motivation, your actions, your perception etc.

      There are plenty of NLP exercises that help you do this, for example.

      It's not an easy process, but going through it can bring tremendous benefits - in both results AND peace of mind.

      Once you have this kind of self-discipline (as opposed to having one part dominate the other), success practically becomes effortless - for the simple reason that you associate pleasure with what you do and you reinforce your motivation throughout the process, from all angles.
      Great thoughts. Going through and making sure your life is aligned with your goals is an amazing experience that really brings clarity.
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  • Profile picture of the author nadia712
    For me, having the "why"s for my goals clearly outlined is motivation enough. I don't have to push myself into action, because I can see right in front of me what I would be giving up if I started slacking.
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  • Profile picture of the author sofiawrigley
    Pretty good share, thank for this.
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  • Profile picture of the author buckeyes09
    Great share.

    I'm flabbergasted by the lack of discipline so many people have. Yeah, they may be in less-than-ideal situations, but you'd think that that would give them more motivation to get out of their situation. Instead, they keep doing what they're doing, staying in their status quo.
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  • Profile picture of the author hireava
    Discipline is one important factor of becoming successful. If one has this attitude, almost everything else follows.
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  • Profile picture of the author JesseRadford
    Great post! Your profile picture brings me back to elementary school. I remember seeing everyday in class.

    Again, loved your writing.
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    • Profile picture of the author JonathanL
      Discipline is something that I still strive to work on each day.

      Like in most areas in life, I believe that it is a continuous process. Discipline is something that must be practiced every day and is one of the biggest factors in attaining any goal you set for yourself.

      I especially liked the Socrates quote. I haven't heard that one before, but it's a very powerful quote. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.
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  • Profile picture of the author jonmack
    Does this sound familiar? How many times have you said, "I wish I had will power and self discipline"? How many times have you started to do something, only to quit after a short while? We all have had experiences like these.
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  • Profile picture of the author Acumen
    very well said
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  • Profile picture of the author mattryan30
    Thanks op,discipline is definitely key.How many times have we been guilty of not taking action or not finishing what we started to do because we get distracted and face a lack of discipline? I know I have been guilty of this many times.
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    You only have one life to live.Don't withhold your chance to become successful by procrastinating! Take action... Now!

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  • thumbs up! i like your post.. thanks for sharing!
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    • Profile picture of the author Humir Madrid
      Willpower is the queen of all virtues ~ Brian Johnson

      Napoleon Hill said that self-discipline is the master key to success.

      I think you can have all the purpose and the motivation you want, but without self discipline you won't persevere.

      Motivation comes and goes, but self discipline can be trained to masterful levels. And when you do, motivation/purpose is irrelevant.
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  • Profile picture of the author Trey Morgan
    Self-discipline is a must. You shouldn't be running off of motivation because, motivation is temporary, and you will run out of it. Self-discipline will allow you to do what needs to be done without being motivated, which is very powerful.
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  • Profile picture of the author lincolndesigns
    Discipline is all about maintaining consistence in your motivational drive. You have to remind yourself of what your goals are and what you need to get done to achieve them everyday and keep them fresh in your mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author Priki
    That is true! Without discipline, you will never have success in your life. It's doesn't matter if that will be on work, some hobby or sport... even in the relationships.

    I was having this problem since I was kid. I never learn how to be discipline and I always fail in situations or opportunities that live's gives me.
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  • Profile picture of the author jw22777
    Great share! Learned a few things here.
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