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the importance of self discipline

Is there a link between self-discipline and success? Most high-achieving individuals say that although numerous factors contribute to success, there can be no success without self-discipline. While passion, determination, and perseverance are all keys to success, the one thing truly required for success to happen is self-discipline. The importance of self-discipline for success should not be ignored.

Look, setting goals is easy. Anyone can sit down for five minutes and create a list of goals. However, turning those goals into accomplishments doesn’t happen by itself. Bridging that gap between our goals, and the accomplishment of them can only be done with self-discipline.

When you have self-discipline, it’s easier to transform your goals into accomplishments. Understanding the link between success and self-discipline is the first step to becoming self-disciplined and finding success.

We Are the Product of Our Decisions and Choices

And this is why self-discipline is important; because life isn’t a level playing field. Certainly, there are factors that can both ease and inhibit our chances for success, and some people start out in life with more advantages than others. However, in the 21st century, we are largely a product of our personal choices and decisions.

First of all, no matter what cards you were dealt, you have complete control over your attitude. You also have control over how you treat other people and how you treat yourself.

Self-discipline is a choice. Depending on your upbringing and personal struggles, you may have to work harder to become self-disciplined, but the good news is, self-discipline can be learned.

The Unique Qualities of People Who Are Successful

It feels great to be successful, but behind most successful people, there are years of habits, choices, and decisions that most people never suspect of existing. 

Almost without exception, successful people:

  • Complete tasks high in value first
  • Choose to be successful
  • Understand the law of attraction
  • Commit to lifelong learning
  • Have a growth mindset
  • Are self-disciplined

The Importance of Self-Discipline

Why Self Discipline Is Important

When you learn and master self-discipline, some magical things start to happen.  For example:

Self-Discipline Boosts Your Work Ethic

The great thing about success is that it builds on itself. When you experience success, it’s addicting. You automatically want more success. In this way, self-discipline increases your work ethic. The late Jim Rohn, who was a leadership expert and scholar of success, often pointed out that one discipline nearly always leads to another discipline.

You Will Have a Higher Self-Esteem

There is nothing that boosts your self-esteem more than completing a goal or creating an accomplishment. When you’re self-disciplined, you will have far more accomplishments in your life and you will grow to have higher self-esteem. 

It Helps You Get Stuff Done

The key to success is getting high-value things done and self-discipline is what helps you get things done. As human beings, we’re biologically engineered to look for shortcuts because shortcuts are efficient. Unfortunately, this means that most of us have to make a concerted effort to get up every day and tackle the hard things. 

Self-Discipline Creates Habits

Anytime you can put some areas of your life on autopilot, you’re freeing up time and energy to do the hard things. When you create habits, you’re building self-discipline into your life. 

Habits make it easy to stay on track, and self-discipline creates habits. 

Being Disciplined Helps You Focus

More than ever, we live in a world that is full of distractions. When you have self-discipline, you are more likely to stay focused on your goals. No one except Mark Zuckerberg ever became successful by being on Facebook all day, and honestly, we doubt he spends all of his time watching kitten videos and posting photos of what he had for lunch. 

Self-Discipline Helps You Achieve Mastery

How do you master anything? You have to spend a lot of time practicing and doing. Experts such as Malcolm Gladwell suggest that to master something, you need to spend about 10,000 hours doing it. This can only happen if you’re self-disciplined. 

You Realize Your Full Potential

Do human beings have unlimited potential? In a way we do. However, we’re limited by the number of days we have on this earth and the number of hours in the day. Keep this in mind: Uber-successful people like Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk all have the same number of hours in the day as the rest of us.

However, their self-discipline is what sets them apart. 

Self-Discipline Can Be Taught (and Learned)

People aren’t born with self-discipline. If we’re fortunate, we were raised in homes where self-discipline was practiced and taught. However, most of us have to find our own paths to self-discipline. The good news is that there is a specific formula for learning to be more self-disciplined. 

1. Begin at the Beginning

You can become self-disciplined today by deciding to do the next thing right. However, complete self-discipline and success don’t happen overnight. Start small by setting micro-goals. Once you achieve one goal, you will be motivated to keep going with it. 

2. Understand Your Triggers

Are there things that trigger you into distraction or unhealthy habits? Knowing what triggers you is key to becoming self-disciplined. 

3. Remove Temptations

Most people have temptations that hold them back from getting things done. In terms of distraction, TV, the internet, social media, and pleasure reading can all be easy temptations that pull us away from what we need to be accomplishing. 

Are sweet treats and fad-laden snacks keeping you from achieving your weight and fitness goals? Simply remove them from your home. 

4. Explore Your Key Motivators

What motivates you? Have you ever really thought about that? Take a few minutes and write down a list of things that motivate you. It’s seldom the activity itself that is our motivator. For example, few people get excited about exercising. However, the motivator is feeling more energetic and looking better. 

Another example is money. You may or may not love your work, but you’re probably motivated by having money in the bank and enjoying the satisfaction of knowing your bills are paid. 

5. Create Habits and Routines From Behaviors

Start small by creating some habits that are easy to work into your life. Then, create routines and habits that are in line with your goals. For example, if you want to get more done before noon every day, try going to bed early the night before. Set an early bedtime for yourself and stick to it. 

Why Self-Discipline Is Important: It Leads to Success

Are you convinced that the key to success is self-discipline? Hopefully you’ve come to realize the importance of self-discipline through this post, because that was our goal; to empower you with this life-changing insight.

Now, if you don’t have as much self-discipline as you would like, that’s no problem at all. You can start where you are right now and become more self-disciplined. All you have to do is take that first step and keep putting one foot in front of the other. In fact, here are few terrific resources you can use as stepping stones to support you on your journey:

Whatever mistakes and missteps you’ve made in the past, you can always make a different choice right now, today.

Till next time,


PS – If you enjoyed this post on the importance of self-discipline for success, then you’ll love this post on the real ‘secret’ to success.

The Strive Team is made up of everyday people and experts from all sorts of different callings and professions, each contributing their best advice and unique insights to help you navigate the challenges of achievement, and support you as you strive to live your best life.