Self Discipline-Essential for Success in Life
Our dreams, ambitions and vision energise us. Realizing our dreams needs good ‘personal management’. The bedrock of ‘personal management’ is self discipline. Discipline for an individual means ‘self discipline’. Whether in terms of your diet, fitness, work ethic or relationships, self discipline is the most important quality needed to accomplish our goals. ‘Enforced discipline’ is a social phenomenon as it involves role of an external agency/agencies to enforce discipline.
Society Enforced Discipline
For efficient functioning society has to enforce certain rules, often undeclared, but well understood norms. This is enforced discipline. Examples:
- Children have to get ready for school by a particular time in the morning.
- Mother prepares breakfast for the children before they leave for school.
- You do not spit on Delhi Metro stations.
- Defence services are noted for punctuality, but so are media houses and various other organizations.
- Defence services are known for maintaining physical fitness, but even more so are most athletes.
If we imbibe the culture taught to us by enforced discipline we benefit in our personal lives. If we abide by the enforced discipline just to avoid punishment we make no gain. It is our self discipline which will to a large extent determine our success in life.
Improving Self Discipline
Self discipline separates us from our ancestors and the animal kingdom. Rather than responding to immediate impulses, we can plan, we can evaluate alternative actions, and can refrain from doing things that we will regret. We can also take advantage of these innately human abilities by developing wisdom and willpower. Self disciplined people do not allow their choices to be dictated by impulses or feelings. Instead, they make informed, rational decisions on a daily basis without feeling overly stressed or upset. Self discipline is a learned behavior. It requires practice and repetition. Some important tips to improve self discipline are discussed below.
Remove Temptations to Improve Self Discipline
Removing all temptations and distractions from your environment is a crucial first step when working to improve your discipline. If you are trying to have better control of your eating, do not have junk food near you.
Habit Formation to Improve Self Discipline
When a behavior becomes habit, we stop using our decision-making skills and instead function on auto-pilot. Therefore, breaking a bad habit and building a new habit not only requires you to make active decisions, it is out of your comfort zone. Your brain will resist the change in favour of what it has been programmed to do. Acknowledge that it will take a while for your new regime to feel right or good or natural. Persevere-it will happen!
Schedule breaks, treats, and rewards
Self discipline does not mean that your new regimen needs to be drill sergeant-like in execution. In fact, giving yourself zero wiggle room often results in failures, disappointments, and giving into your old ways. While practicing self control, schedule specific breaks, treats, and rewards. Dieting? Designate Saturday as ice cream day. If you are studying hard then take recreational breaks and a weekly off. Self discipline can be hard. Reward your effort.
Forgive yourself and move forward
Instituting a new way of living to improve self discipline will not always go according to plan. You will have ups and downs. The key is to keep moving forward. When you have a setback, acknowledge what caused it and move on. It is easy to get wrapped up in guilt, anger, or frustration, but these emotions will not help build self discipline. Instead, use the hiccups in your plan as learning experiences for the future. Forgive yourself, and move on. The longer you take a break from disciplined life, the harder it becomes to get back to it!
Conclusion- Self Discipline-Essential for Success in Life
It would be clear from the above discussion that self discipline is essential for success in life. It requires subordinating our impulses to our values. This not only brings success, but lasting happiness!
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