Success and discipline often seem to go hand-in-hand. The general rule of thumb is that through discipline, the road to success will be smoother and more gratifying. Practice and do-diligence are the main ingredients for expertise and an awarding talent; talent generally believed to be a gateway to open up doors to opportunities for a successful, robust career.
Discipline is easy when we are younger, not because we are more capable of moderating ourself, because heaven known that was most likely not the case, but rather because we had someone – be it a parent or a guardian – laying down the law, instilling rules of expectations and providing examples of what it looks like to be dedicated. This teaching was likely provided at a time in our lives when we were predisposed to our parent’s lifestyle choices and dynamics, not given full responsibility, nor consideration, to develop our own schedule or timetable. Not being obligated to enforce discipline on ourselves, we may have been unable to fully grasp how difficult this personality trait can be to cultivate, especially as an adult. As we get older and move into more demanding lifestyles and professions, we loose the luxury of parental stability and structure. Nowadays, you are likely the one enforcing all the discipline, not only on yourself but perhaps too, on an army of other coworkers. Given that professional environments often demand discipline, there is a tendency to objectify the rules of discipline to a point where the very notion of discipline itself no longer retains meaning, damaging willpower and motivation. Although abandoning a discipline practice can be practical for a short period of time in order to return to it with a fresh pair on eyes in the future, loosing it forever can be detrimental.
Maintaining a healthy dose of discipline is the key to a nourishing amount of productivity. Staying interested, engaged, and exploring methods to help become your own personal moderator can prevent stagnancy and inertia in your own self-growth.
Here are 5 useful tips in staying disciplined
- Set goals and timelines. Know what the advantage of each of these goals is, and why they need to be completed in a certain timeframe. Understand your own restrictions. Make sure they are useful.
- Use both physical and mental effort, one is useless without the other.”Practice what you preach and preach what you practice.”
- Eliminate the multitasking and invest in one project/focus at a time. This allows all the necessary details to sink in. Getting curious and interested in just about anything will greatly enhance discipline, yielding more productivity.
- Monitor behavior – identify an area you would like to improve in your life, business, or self and then dissect what this means to you. Do a brainstorming session of why it needs work and what “excelling” would actually look like in your book.
- Have a positive attitude to failure. Don’t let inevitable misgiving and unavoidable hiccups in the “trial and error” phase erode your personal investment to yourself. Rather than just excepting the old adage “we can learn from our mistakes” truly take this into consideration. See what didn’t work and how you can use those errors as teachers for self-improvement tactics in the future. Discipline is inextricably linked with personal growth.
Discipline is about personal investment and self-worth. The value we often allocate to ourselves can say a lot about our discipline practice. This is not a linear, fixed equation, given that A+B doesn’t only = C (in that, value + discipline doesn’t just equal productivity). Instead A+B=C but C affects A, which also affects B. Therefore, it is protean, ever changing, since the value we give ourselves is forever changing. Keeping this in the back of our minds when working on discipline practices might just help relieve some self-induced pressure when there is a lull in our day.