Are you someone with self-discipline? Or you’re someone who doesn’t have any discipline and you’d just do whatever that you feel comfortable about?
When it comes to success, one of the most sought-after characters is none other than self-discipline.
We talk about being discipline in order to achieve our goals and our dreams. But is self-discipline the key to success? What if you lack self-discipline? Can you then still achieve your goals and be successful?
We’ll talk about discipline in this article…
Self-discipline is tiring
Think about the word “discipline” for a moment. What do you picture?
Someone who wakes up at 5 AM every day, who exercise even when he doesn’t feel like it, work at midnight when everyone else is sleeping, and someone who is serious with his goals and has no fun?
The thing is that the word “discipline” can be something scary and cause uncomfortable. We have been conditioned by books and society that self-discipline is important, and without it, we can’t achieve the success we desire.
Now, don’t get me wrong, self-discipline is important, but success is NOT all about being disciplined all the time. It is more than that.
Let’s be honest, we don’t like to be disciplined.
Who wants to live a predictable life where you have everything planned, scheduled, and you need to follow your plan every moment?
There is no fun in this kind of life, isn’t it?
Who wants to wake up at 5 AM when they can sleep until 7 AM?
And when you’re tired as hell, you still need to get your work done because you need to be disciplined, right?
The good news is that success isn’t about having the discipline.
What you really need is selected discipline
Yes, what you need to achieve success in life is selected discipline.
Luckily, success is not a marathon of self-discipline. According to the best-selling book, The ONE Thing, the author Gary Keller said success is actually a short race – a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in.
Keller also went to say…
You don’t need to be a disciplined person to be successful. In fact, you can become successful with less discipline than you think, for one simple reason: success is about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right.Gary Keller, The ONE Thing
By the way, if you haven’t read the book yet, get it from Amazon right now. Read it. The principles and insights from the book will totally change your life. The ONE Thing is on my top 10 success books to read.
There you go: success is about doing the right thing and not about doing everything right.
Therefore, it is about choosing the developing the right habits. And to do so, you just need enough discipline until the habit forms.
You don’t need discipline from the beginning until the end. You just need to be disciplined enough to develop the right habits that will produce the success you want.
Hence, you need selected discipline. It is NOT about being disciplined in everything you do.
Let me give you an example.
As a blogger, I just need to have discipline in building and growing my blog. I need to be discipline with content creation and marketing.
But when it comes to other areas of my life, I don’t need to be as serious as I treated my blogging business.
Not everything is equal
You have to understand that NOT everything is equal.
This is why the concept of the Pareto’s Rule or the 80/20 Principle exists. Because not everything you do will give you equal results.
According to the rule, 20% of your work will give you 80% of the results. Thus, you just need to have selected discipline on doing the 20% that gives you 80% results.
Do you get it?
Have selected discipline on your most result-yielding work/task/project.
Focused all your energy and put in your discipline in the work that gives you the most success.
You don’t need to be disciplined in everything and every area of your life.
You just need to have selected discipline in certain areas that are important to you.
Stop relying on self-discipline for success
You can’t rely on self-discipline in everything. You’d feel tired, exhausted, and quickly throw in the towel.
Why? The reason is simple: we’re people of emotions.
There will be a time when you don’t feel like doing the work at all. And if you rely on willpower and self-discipline, you will quickly find that doing the work is no fun at all.
Worse, you will become resentful with the work.
If you want to lose weight and you bought a treadmill so you can run at home, but because of your lack of discipline, you don’t stick to your plan.
As a result, you fail to lose weight. This may cause you to grow your resentment for the treadmill.
Every time when you look at your treadmill, you feel tired to exercise. You don’t like to do it but somehow you have to FORCE yourself to do it. And you feel guilty about getting the treadmill in the first place.
Instead, what you need to do is to rely on habits.
Learn to build habits so that you don’t need as much discipline to carry out the behavior or the work.
The solution to self-discipline
By now, you should understand that to win the race to success, you need to develop habits. And you just need to maintain your discipline until the habit kicks in.
So, here are a few tips to help you with this…
1. Start small
You want to make it easy to start. The easier a task, the less resistance you feel. And you don’t need as much willpower and discipline to perform tasks that have low resistance.
So, start small. Make it easy to begin.
- You don’t need to write 1,000 words article, you just need to begin with 100 words.
- You don’t need to exercise for an hour every day, you just need to commit to exercise for 10 minutes each day.
- You don’t need to read the entire book, you just need to start with the first page.
That’s how success is created. The key is to commit to the minimum. You want to start small and grow your momentum from there.
2. Celebrate your progress
You want to feel good about your progress, no matter how big or small it is. Celebrate your wins and victories.
The more you train yourself to feel good about your progress, the more likely you’re going to make more progress.
By celebrating your progress, I don’t mean to say you need to throw a party every night, but you must somehow pause and acknowledge your effort.
Pat yourself on the back. Talk to yourself positively and tell yourself that you have progressed forward. Feel the energy and get driven.
3. Follow the Rule of Five
Read this article for the full detail for the Rule of Five. Basically, what you need to do is to commit to taking 5 small actions that will move you toward your goals every day.
Imagine if you follow this rule for a year. In a week, you will accomplish 35 small victories. In a month, you will have 150 small wins. And in a year, you will achieve 1,825 small victories.
Can you imagine how cumulative of 1,825 small victories can change your life?
Again, you don’t need all the discipline in the world to achieve the success you want. You just need to have the discipline to build up habits that will work for your one thing.
You don’t need to be a man of discipline, instead, focus on building habits and become a man of productive habits.
So, it is okay if you’re not someone who has strong discipline. You can still succeed without being disciplined.