I'm a huge believer that self-discipline is the keystone to all sustained self-development. Without self-discipline, when your enthusiasm fails and excitement fades you are left where you started. Self-discipline is the difference maker that separates the truly amazing people from the average. Luckily, developing rock solid self-discipline is not reserved for elite athletes and military personnel. Anybody can become the self-disciplined stud that people turn to for help and admire from afar.
I must confess from the start that I almost feel fraudulent for trying to write this. I am not nearly as self-disciplined as I wish I was. In fact, sometimes my lack of self-discipline makes me sick. However, I have at least come to the realization that this is something I want to work on and improve. I want to share my successes and failures with you and, hopefully, together we can all develop our self-discipline together. I believe in embracing the simplest way to do things in every aspect of my life. Having very strong self-discipline makes any other change you undertake that much simpler to achieve. If you know that you have developed your self-discipline to a high level, the guesswork for any habit change is removed.
Why is self-discipline important? Many self-help gurus have argued that self-discipline should take a backseat to motivation. I vehemently disagree. Being highly motivated is definitely a perk that makes everything easier. However, as much as everyone tries to tell me, I will never be motivated for certain tasks. Life is not always a basket full of kittens. Sometimes you have to do things that aren't fun but still very, very necessary. It would be disingenuous if I tried to trick myself into thinking I was highly motivated to take care of certain administrative tasks that are vital to keeping my life running. It's just not going to happen. This is where your rock solid self-discipline steps in to save the day.
Your self-discipline is what allows you to do things that are unpleasant, yet, important. As motivated as I am to get into good shape and become a better runner, sometimes at 6:30 a.m. on a January morning in Michigan, I don't feel like running. I can either chalk it up to not being motivated enough, or I can use my self-discipline to make myself get out there and pound the pavement.
As I said before, I am not an expert at developing self-discipline. I am just a guy who wants to become more disciplined in many aspects of his life. Therefore, I hope to do a series of posts where I will explore some different elements of developing self-discipline. I will share with you my successes, my setbacks, what works and what doesn't, as I try to whip myself into the type of person that can do those unpleasant tasks without fail, every time.