If you want to be a top athlete then you need to spend years training, building up your skills and getting stronger and better all the time. It takes self-discipline to keep pushing yourself, to get out of bed early in the mornings, to go to the gym when you feel tired and to work through pain.
If you want to be an entrepreneur you will need self-discipline to keep a positive attitude when those around you are losing faith, to keep working for peanuts when the bills are mounting, to put in long hours doing every job that needs doing instead of taking a nice pay cheque to work for someone else
If you want to be a good salesperson it takes self-discipline to pound out those calls, to get out and meet potential clients, to accept the rejection, to build new relationships and to build your “book of business”.
If you want to be good at any career it takes self-discipline to establish good work habits, to push yourself to continually learn, to get outside your comfort zone and to not be distracted from your goal.
The problem with self-discipline is that it is hard … by its very nature it means making choices that are focused on an end goal, rather than the “easy choices”. Almost anything that you can do to better yourself or to improve your life requires some self-discipline.
“Circumstances are beyond human control, but our conduct is in our own power.” Benjamin Disraeli
Here are 10 things you could choose to do … but will require self-discipline.
- Give up a bad habit … like smoking. This requires HUGE self-discipline, but people do it all the time.
- Lose weight. Another classic that so many people want to achieve but fail because they do not stick to their guns.
- Learn a new skill. Could be playing guitar, juggling or learning a new language. It requires a commitment that takes self-discipline.
- Save up for something special for yourself, a new car, a new computer, a holiday etc. This requires self-discipline to put money away over a period of time to be able to afford that special thing.
- Changing career might require losing an income or taking a drop in income while you learn and work your way back up the ladder.
- Finding a way to pay for something for someone else … could be your children, another family member or a friend. You need to do without in order to afford their gift, and that takes self-discipline.
- Emigrating to start a new life. This requires self-discipline because inevitably you are walking away from what you know, and likely out of your comfort zone.
- It takes self-discipline to teach self-discipline to your children. You WANT to give them everything, but you know they will be better people for not being spoilt.
- It takes self-discipline to treat everyone with respect, even when your instinct might be to lash out at rude, selfish or inconsiderate people.
- It takes self-discipline to plan your life … to set goals and action plans that you can use as a roadmap to success.
“For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.” Plato
It may be old fashioned, it may be tough but I believe that someone who has self-discipline is a long way down the road to success … because they can achieve anything!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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