Have you ever wondered if willpower actually plays a role in a person’s ability to obtain success? Or, have you ever asked yourself, “How does willpower affect your success?” If so, this post is for you. We’re going to connect the dots for you on the importance of willpower as key element of success.
But, before we do, we’re going indulge you in a little English lesson first. ‘WILL’ means the intent, desire or wish to have something happen. Willpower is, therefore, the motivation to exercise ‘will.’
Willpower is the inner strength that enables you to not only make decisions but also to carry them out. People with strong willpower assert their decisions in the face of strong opposition. Whereas people with weak willpower capitulate to fate.
Where there is willpower, there is resolution, assertiveness, persistence, decisiveness, and firmness. We use willpower every day: to resist temptations, overcome procrastination and ultimately to achieve our goals. In short, success can not be had without willpower.
“Willpower is what separates us from animals. It is the capacity to restrain our impulses, resist temptation – do what’s right and good for us in the long run, not what we want to do right now.” – Roy BaumeisterTweet Quote
Willpower and Success
Most people don’t know this, but there is a very thin line between success and failure, and that line is essentially willpower.
Willpower gives us the strength to overcome the negative traits and impulses such as inaction, laziness, procrastination, and temptations. It is the ability to find the energy, motivation, and stamina to keep going even when you are tired and anxious, and part of you is looking for an escape.
A recent study revealed that as long as we are awake every two minutes, we are faced with a situation that requires us to make decisions. By the end of the day, we have spent three to four hours exercising willpower: resisting the urge to eat the last cookie, order another Martini, play candy crush, log on to the internet (for the nth time ), have an affair, buy another pair of shoes… you get my drift.
Fun fact: people high in willpower get better grades in school and college, they commit fewer crimes, and they stay married longer. They live longer, have fewer strokes, lower blood pressure and lower incidences of Alzheimer’s disease.
In short, willpower is a basis of success. Increase your willpower, and you’ll increase the likelihood of success where that willpower is being channeled.
So, How Do We Fare in This Battle of Willpower?
Not so well, I am afraid. According to research by Florida State University, we succumb to one in every six desires despite our attempt to resist. As a result, we take those extra naps, we overspend, surf the internet more hours than we care to admit, watch television etc.
In the ‘American Psychological Association’s’ annual survey, people regularly indicate that a lack of willpower is the number one barrier to following up on changes that would improve their lives. In 2011, 27% of the respondents of the ‘Stress in America’ survey revealed that lack of willpower was the greatest obstacle to change.
With more willpower, everyone would exercise regularly, avoid alcohol and drugs, eat right, save money for retirement and achieve all types of goals.
On the flipside, we commit more errors and increase our chances of facing tragedies because we lack willpower. We know what is good for us; what will help us progress, but we lack the will power to pursue the appropriate course of action. We know what is detrimental to us; what we should stop doing, but we lack the willpower to eliminate the harmful behavior.
As a result, and as you’d expect, negative outcomes ensue.
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from indomitable will.” – Mahatma GandhiTweet Quote
What Role Does Willpower Play in Achieving Your Goals?
Willpower is not a cheap resource. Exerting self-control is one of the brains most energy-expensive tasks, sapping more blood sugar than memory or learning a language.
In short, it plays a BIG role. In fact, the biggest role.
Willpower and Delaying Gratification
Willpower has the essential ability to help us delay gratification. We resist the splurging at the mall so that we can save for a comfortable retirement, we resist the urge to sleep so that we can complete a project, and we resist the urge to lash out in anger for an improved relationship with a spouse.
According to scientists, we have one part of the brain that is impulsive and emotional, while the other part is reflective. People with low will power are susceptible to emotional responses and hardly think of the long-term implications.
On the other hand, people with strong willpower have greater ability to plan, handle stress, respond to reason, concentrate without becoming distracted and exhibit self-control in frustrating situations. In short, people with strong willpower have all the ingredients necessary for success.
We cannot succeed without resisting short-term temptations to meet long-term goals.
Willpower and The Formation of Healthy Behaviors.
Every day we make decisions to avoid impulses in the quest for a healthier, happier and more fulfilled life. Whether it is dragging ourselves to the gym, forgoing another round of cocktails, or resisting the temptation to skip the Monday morning meeting; our will power is tested on a constant basis.
It is clear that willpower is necessary for the formation of healthy habits and adoption of healthy lifestyle choices. People with strong will power will resist the allure of using tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs. Indeed, it has been found that developing strong willpower as children may prevent substance abuse problems in teenage and adulthood.
Success is an accumulation of daily healthy practices.
Willpower and Ability to Handle Failures
Great success depends on great risk, and failure is simply a common ground.
Every journey to success is accompanied by varying degrees of uncertainty. Every decision, including the decision to do nothing, carries the element of risk, and failure is always an option.
Every successful individual is someone who has failed before. The difference between many of us and the successful people around us, is that while they used their failures as stepping stones to later success, many of us view failure as fatalistic. We are so focused on avoiding failure that we do not aim for success, settling instead for a life of mediocrity.
It is reported that Thomas Edison had 1,000 tries before he developed the light bulb. A reporter asked him, “How did it feel to fail 1000 times? “Thomas replied, “I did not fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps”. What an incredible attitude! What would have happened if Edison had given up on the second attempt? Or 999th attempt? How many times did you fail before you gave up?
Failure is not defeat. Failure is proof that you are pushing yourself to your limits.
You will never succeed if you do not have the will power to handle your failures. Willpower helps to see failure in proper perspective. When we fail we learn, we grow and mature. We achieve new understandings and perspectives on business, relationships, life and love.
Failure is part of the genetic makeup of life. It is part of the grand design of things here on earth.
Without willpower, you play the victim in failure, allow self-degrading thoughts take hold and let anger control you.
With will power you take a deep breath and get back in the game, knowing that you are learning valuable lessons along the way, having great new experiences and living life to the fullest.
Willpower helps us win our internal battles. It helps us to say yes to things that lead us closer to our goals. It gives us the ability to do what we need to even when we don’t feel like it.
Willpower is the great force that makes the impossible possible.
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” – Vince LombardiTweet Quote
Final Thoughts on Willpower and Success
There is a clear connection between success and willpower. And how much willpower each of us has is entirely up to us.
We can focus on improving our willpower, or we can flow with fate.
Hopefully after reading this article you will choose the former.
Why? Because it is only through willpower that your successes will come and your achievements made great.
Till next time,
PS – If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll also enjoy this article on the link between Self-Control and Success.
SIMPLE SELF-DISCIPLINE STRATEGIES FOR YOUR SUCCESS
If you’re searching for some self-discipline strategies that can really help you change your life, then this page is for you.
Self-discipline is one of the most important catalysts for success. Without it, chances are that you will lack success in your personal life, career, and romantic life. Self-discipline keeps us persistent and determined to get what we want, when we want it. It not only creates a habit, makes you consistent, and helps you get things done, but it also keeps your focus intact and your self-esteem high.
Mastery at anything in this life cannot be achieved without a serious touch of self-discipline. In the end, self-discipline is a quality that can help you become the best version of yourself both in the short and long term.
While some would argue that self-discipline can only be achieved by forming new habits and changing our behaviors, this article is not here to discuss this. This article will discuss self-discipline as a way of changing the way we think. This will enable us to structure our brains for success and cutting the laziness problem from its root. However, this process cannot be completed without asking relevant questions about where we are right now in our lives, where we want to end up, and what we are willing to do to succeed. Let’s look at the three most essential (mental) strategies we need to check in order to achieve self-discipline.
SIMPLE SELF-DISCIPLINE STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
1. Understand Motivation to Form Habits
Forming new habits is important for improving your self-discipline and thus, improving your chances of success. However, if you don’t understand why you are changing your life or what the effects might be, you might find little to no motivation to do so. Thus, understanding motivation is one of the most essential steps to becoming a better version of yourself. Here are the steps to finding motivation inside of you and understanding your WHY.
- Listen to yourself. As I mentioned before, asking yourself “where am I in life right now?” and “where do I want to end up?” is the first necessary step. Make sure you take time to answer these questions and evaluate the reasons behind them. For example, if your answer to the first question is something like, “I am unhappy because of my financial situation,” ask yourself WHY again. Why are you unhappy because of money and what does money mean to you? Once you found the answers to these questions, think about where you want to end up and why that is your goal (it doesn’t have to be money, this is just an example).
- Take a look at your life. What do you see? Find the implications of this change that you are about to make. If your WHY is achieving self-discipline to give up an addiction, ask yourself, “what are the implications of giving up X?” Will it change something essential in your life? What is the bigger impact? For example, giving up smoking can motivate us to work out more and eat healthier, which are two essential changes that someone can make in their lives.
- Focus on the work. Now that you understand your WHY, start focusing on what you can do instead of keeping the focus on motivation. This is what successful people do. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, go to the gym every single day. Concentrate on the activity, which in this case is going to the gym rather than on the idea of becoming motivated to hit the gym. See the difference?
Note: what I found useful is using a visualization technique to conquer the motivation challenges you might encounter. When you don’t remember your WHY, take five minutes to imagine it. Imagine your end-goal. This might give you the exact motivation that you need to keep going.
2. Learn How to Balance
“Balance” might seem like an abstract concept but it’s in fact quite simple to understand. I will explain it as accurate as I can. Our right hemisphere is the emotional brain while our left hemisphere deals with logic.
When there is an imbalance between the two, we might feel the need to drop what we do and involve in other types of activities. For example, if we are right-brain imbalanced today, we might feel the need to work 12 hours and burn out to avoid feeling emotion.
On the other side, if tomorrow we are left-brain imbalanced, we might feel the need to cry out loud and complain while doing little to no work. As you can see, an imbalance in the brain will produce an imbalance in life. This can be avoided by acknowledging both sides of the brain and thus, avoiding disastrous outcomes.
Some days you might be more inclined to act from your right-brain hemisphere. I can tell you that this might happen quite often. If that is the case, you should take some time to cool off those feelings. You can journal for a while and then quickly go back to work and be productive. Giving enough attention to your right brain when it needs you is essential. *and also, the only way to avoid disappointment *
When you’re more left-brain inclined, finish the work that you’re compelled to do, but take regular breaks. Also, cool off after eight hours of work, no matter the task. Do some yoga or read a book that you like. Try to relax. If you can’t, work-out to release excess energy but do not become a workaholic. *that never helps*
3. Optimization for Success
Now that you discovered your WHY and know how to balance things out, it’s time to optimize. Optimization means getting things done in the quickest yet most effective manner possible. It is what successful people use to reach their goals and stick to their habits at the same time.
The intention here is not doing less but quite the opposite – gradually increasing your work amount while decreasing your time spent working. *is that even possible? *
YES, it is. But only as long as you are able to create routines that stick. And creating routines that stick will requires some self-discipline.
That said, once you are used to completing a task in a certain amount of time – let’s say an hour – the habit of completing one task in one hour will become preeminent. Soon, you’ll be able to complete that task in 45 minutes.
In half a year, you might be able to narrow it down to 30 minutes. When you get there, you can work more but use the same amount of time. In our example, by optimizing habits, you can now complete two tasks in one hour.
So, leverage your discipline to create a routine that will, over time, allow for you to become, hyper-productive. It’s a surefire way to find more success in any endeavor.
Related: Self-Control Strategies
Bonus Self-Discipline Strategies
There are way more than three self-discipline strategies that you can employ to find more success in your life, but the three mentioned above are some of the most effective strategies.
That said, here are a few bonus strategies that you can use as well to help you truly skyrocket your success:
- Discover the real importance of self-discipline.
- Read a lot more self-discipline books.
- Seek out and employ all the other self-d iscipline tips.
There you have it, three simple self-discipline strategies to help you skyrocket your success and achievement. Remember, the three strategies that you want to implement are 1) find your WHY and thus, find your motivation, 2) learn how to balance activities out and change your mindset, and 3) optimize habits to achieve success more easily.
Put these self-discipline strategies to use, and before you know it, your self-discipline will be out of this world, and with it, your success!
Till you reach your aims,
PS – If you enjoyed these self-discipline strategies, then you’ll likely enjoy the wisdom found in these powerful self-discipline quotes.
15 BEST BOOKS TO BUILD SELF-DISCIPLINE AND MASTER SELF-CONTROL (2022)
Ahhh, self-discipline, that pain-in-the-a** success attribute that most of us wish were easier to wield. If I told you there was a pill you could take to increase your self-discipline, would you want one?
Hahaha, so would I.
Unfortunately, there is no pill.
But, I do have something for you that is far better than some easy peasy pill. In fact, I have 14 of them for you.
And I am confident you could benefit from them.
How can I be so sure?
Statistics. Statistically speaking, 92% of people who set goals at the beginning of each year, don’t achieve them (University of Scranton.) That stat alone, says so much about the state of our collective self-discipline.
“92 % of people who set goals at the beginning of each year, don’t achieve them.” – University of ScrantonTweet Quote
It reveals that most people can’t stick to a simple goal they set out to achieve.
How is it that so many people fail to achieve what they really want?
I mean, nobody sets a goal they don’t think they can achieve.
Nobody sets a goal around something they don’t sincerely want either.
Yet, so many still fail to reach the simple goals they set for themselves, year after year.
And what about the big goals? Let’s not even go there.
Here’s the most likely culprit. When the results we go after don’t come fast enough, and we realize what we’re chasing seems like more of a hassle than we first imagined, we second-guess ourselves. And as we continue to pursue our goals, we slowly begin making up our minds that the pain of consistent self-discipline is a cost we aren’t willing to pay. The pain bests us.
So, what do we do?
We stop striving for our goal.
If that scenario sounds familiar, then you’ve had your own struggles with self-discipline. In short, self-discipline is likely hard for you.
But, you don’t have to feel too bad about it (just a little bad), because you are not alone. Self-discipline is painful for just about everyone. But just because it’s painful, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to find more of it.
Truth is, self-discipline is a pain that is good for you. It’s so good for you that it really shouldn’t be seen as pain at all.
Like Euripides said…. “Do not consider painful what is good for you.”
NO PAIN NO GAIN
My friend, self-discipline is a worthy characteristic to improve. It’s worthy because it has the power to lead you from where you are now, to where you want to be, faster than any other human quality.
Self-discipline is a force to be reckoned with. When it is strong, it will keep you moving forward, progressing towards your goals till you hit them.
On the flip side, self-discipline is also something everyone struggles with at some point in their lives. And when it’s weak your achievements will be meek.
So go big, keep going for those big goals, but make sure your self-discipline is strong before you do so.
Why? Because trying to achieve a goal without self-discipline, is like trying to ride a bicycle across a hilly countryside and expecting to get up the harder, steeper hills without peddling.
It’s just not going to happen. Which is why goal achievement without self-discipline is impossible.
Fortunately, you can build and craft your self-discipline to your liking. And you can do it in a short amount of time.
The more you build it, the more and more achievements you’re likely to see in your life.
And I have just the thing to help you begin building your self-discipline.
Here are 14 self-discipline books you should read to help you fortify your self-discipline.
You’ll strengthen your discipline just by reading them, because it takes discipline to read books.
But, you’ll also gain powerful self-discipline mindset insights, insights that will help you become the master over your very own.
So here you go my friends, 15 stepping stones to higher and better levels of self-discipline.
15 BEST BOOKS ON DISCIPLINE
[Each book featured has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links below, we may earn commission.]
1. The Compound Effect
‘The Compound Effect’ is like a manifesto for self-discipline. The author of this book is Darren Hardy, who is the former publisher of SUCCESS Magazine, a serial entrepreneur, mutli-millionaire, and the author of a few other books. And you know what? This guy knows a thing or two about success and self-discipline.
Darren sums it up well in his book when he gives the formula for how to create radical change in our lives. The formula is this: “Small smart choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE”
Small smart choices come down to small daily self-disciplines.
This book is worth the read because it will help you realize that it is the small everyday choices you make, not the big disciplines, that determine the size of your achievements.
After reading this, self-discipline will seem less daunting, more manageable, and perhaps even a bit attractive. Get this book, and let Darren sell you on the power of self-discipline and it can do to transform the outcome of your life.
‘Mastery’ is a masterpiece. This book was authored by Robert Greene, and it covers a wide spectrum of ideas that coalesces around what it takes to become a master. A master of your craft, your profession, a master of your life.
Much of the material in the book is pulled from the author’s vast knowledge of historical and modern masters to help you realize what it takes to become a master, the likes of Mozart, Leonardo Da Vinci, Goethe, John Coltrane, Marcel Proust, and many others.
He demonstrates that Mastery is a simple process that is accessible to anyone who is willing to put in the time, effort, dedication and sacrifice to create masterful work.
His reference to Leonardo Da Vinci’s motto, Ostinato Rigore, meaning stubborn rigor sums up what kind of self-discipline is required to achieve your life’s task (your purpose).
To strengthen your self-discipline and learn what it takes to become the master of your fate, this is definitely book you should digest.
3. The Willpower Instinct
‘The Willpower Instinct‘ approaches self-discipline and self-control from a more academic stand point. It’s a good self discipline book, but if I am honest, it’s quite boring to read.
If you are true student of self-discipline and self-control though, it will be worth it.
It’s worth your time because it will help you gain clarity on why self-discipline seems so challenging to master for so many people. The clarity gained from this book can lead to better decisions, and better decisions always leads to better results.
4. The Master Key to Riches
This book is a powerful book for building self-discpline. Every chapter provides insight upon insight on the habits and types of efforts that are required for you to achieve more in life.
The most important chapter though, is chapter 12, because it deals solely with self-discipline. Chapter 12 makes a strong case for why you should work on becoming self-disciplined, especially if wealth, success, and riches are things you are striving for.
And let’s be honest, money, success, and power are things we’re all striving for. So give this one a read, and learn why self-discipline is the master key to riches. Then put what you learn to use, and build the rich and abundant life you deserve for yourself.
5. The War of Art
In my opinion, out of all of the best books on discipline, this one is the best. However, this book is listed and #5 because it was primarily written for creative types who know the self-sabotaging challenges that come with trying to create great work consistently.
Even if you are not an artist, author, or entrepreneur, this book will help you realize the struggle to create is real, but that it can be conquered.
I believe this book is for everyone because we are all creators, creators and designers of our own lives.
Now the author doesn’t call out self-discipline directly through the book, rather, he positions it as “Resistance”. But, through his concept of “Resistance” clearly communicates how you must commit to your work, to becoming a pro, and how when you do, you’ll be applying the self-discipline you’ve needed to do what you’ve always wanted.
It’s a good kick in the pants that will help you deal with your self-discipline challenges in an effective way. So give it read.
6. The Practicing Mind
If you are looking for a new perspective on how to build your self-discipline, then this book is for you. Thomas M. Sterner makes a strong case for the importance mindset plays on how self-disciplined we are. He does a good job relating his personal experiences with mastering golf, piano lessons, and book writing, using the practicing mind process.
You’ll learn that with the right awareness and mindset, you can better master just about anything. His biggest urging is to learn to love the process of whatever it is you are seeking to accomplish, to do so, is to develop a practicing mind.
And when you’ve developed a practicing mind, the self-discipline and focus we all struggle with, becomes easier to wield.
A slow read, but it has some gems in it for sure.
7. Willpower: Rediscovering The Greatest Human Strength
Roy Baumeister is highly admired psychologists who teamed up with the renowned New York Times science writer, John Tierney, to create what is in a sense a self-control manifesto. Both authors do a great job of taking their vast knowledge of people and human psychology, to effectively sum up the power of willpower.
They give great examples of how we can refuel our willpower, and create effective habits that can actually make it easier for us to control ourselves. In short, you’ll learn the science behind self-control and many new and unique methods to help you master yours.
All in all, it’s a great book to read and an excellent building block to help you level up your self-discipline.
8. Think and Grow Rich
This book belongs in almost every self-improvement category, but it really shines when it comes to self-discipline.
When you read this book, you’ll gain a new awareness to success, gaining riches, and all that other achievement jazz. But most importantly, it will drill the point home, that no success, no great riches, no high achievements can be made if you have not mastered your thoughts.
And sure enough, the mastery of your thoughts comes down to your ability to discipline your mind on how to think, what to allow into your mind, and what kind of thoughts you should consistently be focusing on to achieve your goals.
This book is a must-read for the true seeker of success and self-discipline.
9. No Excuses: The Power of Self-Discipline
Brian Tracy has been around for a very long time, but his book on discipline, ‘No Excuses’ is still a great starting place if you are ambitious, just finishing up your schooling, or about to get started in the working world.
He’s a pretty much a ‘self-development guru’, since he’s been at this for so long. He covers many success maxims you’ve probably already heard, but he does a good job of tying them all together around the subject of self-discipline.
Reading this book will help you realize the value self-discipline plays in just about every area of our life.
10. The Power of Habit
Charles Duhigg does a great job illuminating the complexity of the science behind our habits and breaking it down into digestible insights.
You’ll learn that the bulk of what we does is governed by our habits, and how with a little bit of disciplined awareness, you can master the art of turning bad habits into good ones.
So, if you are have some bad habits you need to change, or some new habits you need to create, and want to ensure you have the discipline to see them through, get this book, it is the ultimate cheat sheet for mastering your habits.
11. The Warrior Ethos
This book not your typical book on discipline. It’s about an approach to life, it’s about an ethos.
It’s about an ethos that has become less and less apart of modern-day culture, yet, is the exact ethos most fit to help you embrace the struggles and toil of your every aspiration.
The tenets of the Warrior Ethos, directed inward, can inspire you to fight against and conquer the enemies that can be found within our own hearts and minds.
I highly recommend this book. It’s not a book 100% dedicated to self-discipline, so don’t expect a bunch of science and data. But, you can expect to be inspired and fired up to gain the discipline of a Spartan.
Read this book and gain the mental toughness you’ll need, if you want to have the self-discipline of a champion.
Coming in at number 12 on our list of books for building self-discipline is aptly named… ‘Self-Discipline’. This is a newer self-discipline book, but it deserves mentioning as it is jam packed with powerful principles that can help you build the mental toughness and tightened mental focus that lead to achievement. It is truly a simple and easy read, and gets right to the point on what self-discipline is and how anyone can get more of it.
Out of all of our best books on discipline, this book has been listed because it does a phenomenal job helping the reader learn that self-discipline is more than just a skillset, it is a lifestyle. And in my opinion, once you’ve accepted this fact and truly understand it… your ability to become the master of yourself and by extension, your fate will be transformed.
13. Make Your Bed
Make Your Bed is by far one of the more popular books on self-discipline and life improvement in general. It’s has garnered the prestigious title of a NY Times Best Seller, which we believe is a well deserved title. The author of Make Your Bed is Admiral William H. McRaven. And he wrote this book after giving a commencement speech that went viral. The message he conveyed it that commencement speech, and what he lays forth in this book, is about how the little things make a big difference in how our life turns out.
It’s is certainly not an academic book as it contains various short stories and anecdotes for life. However, it is a book that will at the very least inspire you to do the little things a little bit better and a little more consistently. And this will ultimately help you change your life. After all, that’s what self-discipline is all about, isn’t it? Consistently doing the little things.
14. The Science of Self-Discipline
Best-selling author and human psychology researcher Peter Hollins has created a one-of-a-kind resource with his book The Science of Self-Discipline. As someone who has studied high performance individuals for over a decade, Hollins really nails the psychology and science behind behind self-discipline in this book.
His book provides an 11 chapter road map that will help you understand everything from how your biology, habits, mindset, and environment can and will impact your discipline levels. As such, this discipline book comes highly recommended and should be added to your reading list as well, if you have yet to read it.
15. The Marshmallow Test
Walter Mischel is one of the world’s leading experts on self-control. His groundbreaking work on self-control (a.k.a. the famous marshmallow test) has helped him get cited more than any other psychologist when it comes to self-control, as he’s shown better than anybody else, the direct link that exists between delayed gratification and one’s ability to create a successful life for themselves.
With that said, this is a great book to study if you’re looking to master self-discipline and self-control, as Mischel provides countless antidotes and strategies that just about anyone can implement to gain mastery of both.
Bonus Self-Discipline Book: Discipline Equals Freedom
Sometimes, what we all really need to get the discipline we want is the cold hard truth. And that is exactly what Jocko Willink lays down for us in his book Discipline Equals Freedom. Hands down this is one of the best books on discipline.
This book is a must have for every discipline seeking individual, because Jocko speaks truth. No doubt, you may find what he has to say abrasive, maybe even a bit too straight-forward. But if you are truly seeking discipline, then you should be okay with his methods. Why? Because the ends justify the means.
This is a self-help book we all need to read in this day and age. And at the moment out of all of these books on discipline, this one is currently my favorite. It’s a book that will help you discipline your thoughts, which will then help you discipline your actions. So, if you’re ready to learn the simple truths about self-discipline, truths that will lead to disciplined action, then this book is for you.
GO FORTH AND BUILD YOUR SELF-DISCIPLINE
There you have it friends, the 15 best books on discipline that can help you improve your self-discipline and self-control. But don’t just let your learning lead to knowledge, let your learning lead to action. And for some bonus methods to discipline your thoughts, be sure to check out these highly effective discipline affirmations, and our highly popular discipline quotes.
Remember, all successful people are highly disciplined people. All unsuccessful people are usually undisciplined and unable to control their actions and appetites.
So, read these self discipline books, leverage your resources, and put what you learn into action, so when they talk about the 8% of people who follow through on their goals, they’ll be talking about you.
Till next time,
PS – These are the best books on discipline, no doubt about it! But if you’re looking for something to truly help you BE self-disciplined NOW, self-disciplined enough to actually achieve the big harry audacious goals you’ve set for yourself, then this is for you.
10 HELPFUL TIPS FOR MASTERING SELF-DISCIPLINE
This article is going to show you a few deep insights that you won’t find on any of those “master-self-discipline-quickly” websites.
Are you ready for them?
If so, please do this for me first. Go and stand in front of the mirror and take a good, long, searching look at yourself.
When you looked in the mirror, did you recognize the face staring back at you? Do you know who you are? Sometimes, this can be an unsettling exercise, and that’s a good thing. The truth is, most of us don’t have a clue as to who we are.
But, the good news is, we can discover our true selves. And the even better news, is that when we do, we actually set the stage for improved self-discipline.
Below are some useful tips you should be aware of if mastering self-discipline is what you are after.
10 BEST TIPS FOR MASTERING DISCIPLINE
Tip # 1: Solving The Conundrum of Yourself
To start mastering the art (and it is an art, believe me) of self-discipline, you must know yourself. This means knowing, inside and out. Just mirror-gazing takes a bit of self-discipline believe it or not. That’s a great start, even if it knocks you off-balance. Especially if it knocks you off-balance.
It’s much like boot camp, where they break you down and build you up, except this is a much nicer version, and you’re not being created in someone else’s image, or what others want you to be.
The start of self-discipline can be a real jolt to the system, but go with the ripples and sit passively, breathing in and out rhythmically until your heart has quietened. Everything that’s non-essential fades quietly away, and you begin to find your thoughts more ordered, more pertinent. You have begun!
Tip #2: Baby Steps First
Mastering self-discipline takes baby steps. You will already have discovered what’s wrong with your life, much more than just superficially. On the surface, you know you drink too much, you eat junk food, you never have time to do anything creatively because you’re too busy pursuing the fading dream, you never exercise, and your life is, well, lifeless!
So, are you going to make the dreaded list? You can if you want, but you will have already told yourself what you need to do. You’ve told your mirror too, haven’t you? Now, it’s deeply embedded in your psyche. All that you must do is draw on your thought reserve pool, and it will gladly yield your needs.
If you don’t change from within first, the changes you make will last much like a New Year’s resolution. Mind first, body second is the mantra, so with this in mind (pun intended) get moving.
My advice is not to head straight to the gym or go hurtling round a couple of city blocks but to ease into it. Use stairs at work or home – up and down and increase time bit by bit.
Tip#3: Just Look at Me Walk…
Okay, so the baby steps have morphed into much more. You find yourself wanting to run now, and this would be a good time to get to the gym and have the discipline of full workout sessions every day, or however your instructor sees fit. Get plenty of cardiovascular exercise at first before you morph into Mr Olympia.
Time to look at your eating regimen now. Silly me, I’m telling you these things which you know already, but just in case anyone’s skipped the mirror, here they are again. Chuck the junk and chortle down health shakes and home-made (important) salads. Chicken and fish are the night-time treats. You know the drill. No alcohol! Water is good.
Healthy dieting tips can be found throughout sites online. My advice is to keep it simple, take it slow. If one day you feel like a candy bar, have it. So long as you don’t make it a habit. After all, it’s not what you do some of the time that matters, rather, it’s what you do most of the time.
Tip#4: The Fabulous Free Time
If you’re a student with time (rare, I know, but it does happen) and you’re needing resources, go to online writing services like Best Essays to get those assignments and project reports completed. If you’re a parent, hire some help. If you’re single, also hire some help. Call a landscaping company for that lawn, reach out to a cleaning service for those pile of dishes. The key is to leverage other resources to free up your time.
While you get yourself free time, utilize it for the real and exact purpose that you freed yourself for. Pursue your hobbies, follow your artistic passion, and play your favorite outdoor game.
Self-discipline as far as free time is concerned, is probably the hardest to do because the structure must form in your mind first and then translate to your actions. You don’t have to go rushing off to save the polar bears, although that would be a good thing.
What you do need to do though, as your self-discipline dictates, is something that’s endorphin-releasing yet passive. It would be good to get into meditation. However, you can just as well write or read a good book. That will get the endorphin army hurtling forward.
Tip#5: Halfway, Time To Take Stock
It’s only after you start practicing ‘right mindfulness’ that you realize just how much you were messing up your life. Incidentally, have you wondered why you are reading this in the first place? You were drawn to it, sure, but why? Because you were aching for change, for something new.
Little did you realize what that would do to you! Oh, you will probably lose friends along the way (more of that in Tip #7) but think of what you’ve gained. You have become fit and healthy, and your mind is simply marvelous. You feel there’s nothing you can’t accomplish, and it’s true – there is nothing holding you back.
It’s important to stop and take stock! Don’t bypass this tip if mastering self-discipline is what you truly desire..
Tip#6: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore…
It’s time for all change, as they would say on the subway train. Why would you want to do the same old things that you used to do? With self-discipline, people have discovered a whole new lease on life, and they naturally want to make the most of it. Making up for lost time is a completely natural way to feel on this journey.
It takes time to heal, doesn’t it? Well, what you are essentially doing is healing yourself from a past wound of a life. It just can’t be done overnight, and please don’t even attempt it. This tip is to get you pushing beyond your normal barriers because you’re ready for it. You want to change careers if you have something else lined up, do it.
Anything within reason that comes to mind and it’s something you would never have done in the past, grab it like a bull in a china shop and just do it! As Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz would have remarked: “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”
Tip#7 Speaking of Friends…
This is a critical step for mastering self-discipline. One of the most difficult things you’ll find in discovering yourself is that you find that you outgrow people. It’s just that you’ve moved beyond the nascent phase and heading on, naturally, to pastures new. This is bound to induce some puzzlement and maybe even nastiness in your circle of friends, but your calling is irresistible.
Self-discipline will teach you that men and women are not meant to be alone, but that boundaries are necessary. Imposing boundaries is one of the most self-disciplined things you will ever have to do.
This can cause a lot of distrust and hurt for others but will save you a lot of angst in times to come. Over time, it will come naturally, and you will approach it in a way that’s normal. This way, you present it far more graciously, and people accept it the same way.
Tip#8 The Bliss of the Beyond
The future suddenly holds exciting new possibilities. Explore them at every turn. Do not miss out on any of the great things that are beckoning you. It may mean the fruition of a dream to be an entrepreneur, ballet dancer, whatever. You must grab with both hands, and eagerly, these callings. It’s not for nothing you have journeyed!
You realize that you have wasted considerable time but don’t try and make up for it in 15 minutes. It takes time, as I’ve mentioned before, as you learned in the baby steps phase, to reach for the top and finally make it. You’ll find yourself unraveling if you try to speed any part of the process up. Relax, go with it.
It will be that perhaps you weren’t ready for your new normal earlier on, and it’s only now that you have the self-discipline, such a destination is possible.
Tip #9 Weakness is a Strength
To be strong in the face of adversity takes all the self-discipline you have. And to be strong in these times does not mean not crying or not feeling faint. As I’ve said, you’re no superhero, and if you’ve gone through the steps, you’ll know you’re not a sniveling wreck when times are tough. You’re still being the new you.
Know this: weakness is the strength. By this I mean by allowing yourself to be weak, and showing yourself as such, takes all the courage in the world. Don’t bottle it up and ‘deal with it later,’ as you are looking for trouble. Show it, claim it, and be courageous by breaking into tears. Hug someone. Hug lots of people.
Tip#10 The New Normal
Okay, so now you are busy negotiating the journey of the new normal. You may not have quite realized what becoming self-disciplined was going to do to you, and for you, and you may be looking back at your beginnings of the path a little wistfully.
Letting go can be hard, but you will find, as I’m sure you have (or will) that it’s something you have no choice in. Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to go backsliding. Temptations are around every corner, but then so are reminders.
You’ve come a long way. Get encouragement from your new friends and colleagues. In fact, actively seek it. Let your farewell symphony to the past be sweet and sensational.
Concluding Thoughts on Mastering Self-Discipline
As you would have realized, the road to self-discipline is not for the faint-hearted or the lazy. It requires a great deal of action and courage, self-help and doing the unthinkable. Along the way, you will lose friends, jobs, old habits, your old mind. But if the spark of change burns within you, you must fan that flame until it glows gloriously bright and beautiful. You will never look back. Nor should you.
PS – If you enjoyed this post about mastering discipline, then you’ll love these other handful of resources to help you master self-control and discipline:
SELF-DISCIPLINE: THE KEY TO HAPPINESS
If you want to know how discipline leads to happiness, then you’ll enjoy this article. Our research on this topic started after we came across an older, but still very relevant article that suggested the key to happiness was self-discipline.
We were struck by the article; particularly because it had brought to light a different key to happiness than we’ve been accustomed to hearing for most of our lives: The kind of secrets to happiness that we are all pretty much accustomed to hearing, you know; be more grateful, be present, get some supportive friends, have some goals to aspire to, focus on your health, or make more money, etc..
The article we read was published by the Atlantic. It was a synopsis of a study conducted in 2013 by Wilhelm Hoffman at the University of Chicago. If you are interested in digging deeper into the published research, you can do so here: Wiley Online Library.
“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.” – Dalai LamaTweet Quote
Don’t Worry, Be
The article spoke to us not only because it was refreshingly different from what the rest of the world typically says about acquiring happiness, but because it is something that we’ve found to be true in our own lives.
We’ve noticed through our own experiences, that when we’ve let our guard down, when we let our lack of self-control, and lack of discipline drive our life, things always seem to eventually get worse. It’s not something that happens immediately either; whenever we’ve let off the proverbial (self-discipline) pedal; it has always led to a slow process of degradation.
It typically starts with something small, like having a good habit of going to bed early morph into a bad habit of going to bed late. Having this good habit eventually turn into a bad habit, slowly leads to other good habits, like going to the gym consistently, or starting/arriving to work before schedule, in addition to other habits of our turning into bad habits all of their own. Eventually, through inertia, even our once chipper and positive attitude becomes influenced, allowing us to drift into a realm of negativity.
Unfortunately, this degradation process has led us to having less patience with friends and family, in addition to obvious signs of work motivation and productivity being impacted. Eventually, our levels of happiness and feelings of joy would take a very noticeable nose dive.
There’s no better quote to express the discipline to happiness process than the Dalai Lama’s famous quote: “A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.”
Needless to say, reading the study was not only like taking a breath of fresh air, but it was also reaffirming of our own experiences and philosophy on the link between self-discipline and happiness (which always feels good).
How Discipline Leads to Happiness
Below is a great way to visualize how discipline leads to happiness. It demonstrates how the end result/happiness levels can be determined by the level of discipline applied.
Get Disciplined About Self-Discipline
We are always aiming to add value to you, our readers, so we did some serious self-reflection and research to come up with the four methods that, you can apply easily, but that will still have the biggest impact on your ability to increase your self-discipline. We intentionally left out any fluff, so you can get moving on your journey towards increased happiness.
This is going to sound like a crazy thought, but it is true. Acquiring discipline requires discipline. None of the steps that we are about to provide to you will take place without you making up your mind to take action on them.
So in essence, to get disciplined, you have to have at least a smidgen of discipline to get you moving forward on those actions. We know everyone has at least enough discipline to at a minimum, get started on these small steps towards improving our discipline.
Related: The Definition of Self-Discipline
1 – Create a Compelling Reason to Be Disciplined
One of the most powerful catalysts we’ve experienced in improving our self-discipline, was in creating a compelling reason to stick to those disciplines. The best way we’ve found to do this, was to take the time to think about and outline our goals for the next 12 months.
The most important aspect of setting these goals was to ensure that they were goals that really brought excitement into our lives. We wanted to ensure they were goals that excited us, goals that if (and when) reached, would add a level of amazingness to our lives. So needless to say, the goals you need to create must be so enticing, so exciting, that you will be compelled to take action on them.
When you do this, you will have effectively set the stage to stick to your disciplines a little bit better. Dare we say, that after you do this, you may experience (as we did) an almost magical-like tug on you, to take action on your ideas and plans (when needed) until that compelling reason/goal you set up for yourself is realized.
Check out these resources to help you create your compelling reason:
- A basic how-to outline for goal setting from Psychology Today.
- 4 steps for setting powerful goals from Success.com.
- An effective goal setting template that spans 10 years.
2 – Sleep Your Way To Stronger Self-Discipline
We pride ourselves on being Spartan-like, and often force ourselves to work late into the night, instead of sleeping.
Of course, facts are facts, and apparently even Spartans have to sleep too. As such, this step should be an easy one to execute.
Without further ado, the next simple way you can get started on improving your self-discipline is through getting enough sleep. It sounds simple, but when we deprive ourselves of sufficient amounts of sleep, it can significantly impact our ability to focus, it can affect our mood, our judgement, and even our general sense of well-being. Not to mention, when we are not well rested, it can make even the simplest of tasks more difficult to accomplish. So in short, getting sufficient levels of sleep is directly linked with our ability to be self-disciplined.
Last we checked, most people crave sleep, so why not allow yourself the luxury of indulging in at least this one thing?
Use these tips to help you get more sleep.
- Start taking naps.
- Stop using a digital device one hour before falling asleep (this one is so hard, but you can do it).
- Sleep no more or no less than 8 hours.
- Have a bed-time routine.
Our next actionable step, like sleep, requires you to keep your eyes shut. However, this step takes quite a bit more effort.
3 – Meditate Your Way to Self-Discipline
Our third tip to strengthen your self-discipline is to meditate. Mediation is a practice of quieting our minds. When done correctly, it can help put our minds at ease, and drown out our hyperactive thoughts. In essence, meditation is actually a practice in disciplining your attention.
Before reading further, if you find that mediation is just too ‘new-age’ a topic for you to even consider, take a look at any of these scientific reviews from the National Institute of Health, webmd.com, and PyschologyToday.com to help you become a believer.
Once done, come on back and I’ll share with you the powerful benefits that mediation can provide to help you improve your self-discipline.
Self-Discipline Benefit 1
The first benefit, is that your mind will gradually become less noisy, allowing for improved focus and clarity. With an improvement in these two areas, you will have a higher tendency to pay attention to the things in your life that really matter. You will have acquired a heightened sense on what is really important and what needs to get done. If you remove your mental distractions, you will set yourself to get more of the right things done. This will in turn, contribute greatly to your ability to become more self-disciplined.
Self-Discipline Benefit 2
The second benefit is that through the practice of meditation itself, you will be simultaneously improving your mental self-discipline. We say this, because meditation is a practice, and it requires you to make and take the time to do it. The great thing is, when you make time to do something as simple as this, on a consistent basis, you are in effect training your ‘self-discipline muscles’.
Self-discipline, like a muscle, can become stronger the more you use it. Similar to how we mentioned early, that being too casual with our self-disciplines can create a downward spiraling effect in our lives (where all other disciplines start to be negatively affected), the same cascading process can occur, but in the opposite direction when the smallest of disciplines (such as mediation) are practiced.
When you start your sessions they don’t have to take up much of your time either. A quality session can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 20 minutes. Of course, the duration is up to you.
Lastly, if you start this habit, there is a good chance you will also experience other great life enhancing benefits. For instance, people who regularly meditate, have reduced levels of negative emotions, reduced levels of stress, improved immune responses, and an increase in overall mental and physical health. Gaim.com has a terrific beginner’s guide to meditation, so if you are really curious about the ins and outs of this practice, we recommend checking it out.
4 – Read Your Way to Self-Discipline
This last step is simple, but powerful. So don’t let it’s simplicity mislead you. So here it is… reading. That’s right, you can read your way to improved self-discipline. Here’s how.
You see, for almost any area in our lives that we want to improve we must first become students of that subject. And as students we must be open to learning as much about those subjects we wish to master. And in this case, you want to master self-discipline.
As such, you should strive to get your hands on as many self-discipline books as you can. Then become a student of those books. Devour them, pick them apart, and put the self-discipline wisdom you find in each book to work for you.
Like we said, simple….but powerful!
If you’re looking for a good place to start, give this list of popular books on discipline a shot.
Self-discipline can Lead to Happiness
One of our favorite mentor’s once stated that the key to getting all we want in life is through self-discipline. He stressed that for every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards.
We’ve taken this advice to mean, that every discipline affects all other disciplines. When we show discipline, even in the slightest thing, like waking up early, or eating less food, we build our ‘discipline muscles’. These muscles, or rather, habits, start to carry over into other disciplines.
Before we know it, we find ourselves making our bed every morning, making it to meetings on time, actually finishing personal/professional projects we’ve been meaning to wrap up, doing more to help around the house, exercising more, etc., the list will go on and on.
It’s no wonder people who are self-disciplined are happier; they eventually get their lives in order.
“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment.” – Jim RohnTweet Quote
The great news is this, you can start working on your increased happiness today. You have a starting point. The four steps we’ve included are not the end-all-be-all of habits to hone to improve your self-discipline. These four steps are simply an ideal place to kick off your new journey towards becoming more self-disciplined.
We’ve given you these bite-sized steps to improve your discipline for a reason. Our hope is that they will increase the likelihood that you will actually start following some of these steps. The goal is that you find it easy to begin your new self-discipline project.
If you get started on these four simple disciplines, the day will come when you’d be effortlessly doing those bigger disciplines. The disciplines that truly lead to significant life change, and consequently, significant happiness.
Thus, our last and final takeaway for you is this, that people with high self-discipline are happier than those without. Self-discipline can be your key to happiness.
So, if you are seeking ways to become happier, and if you are open to improving just about every aspect of your life in the process, it appears that there is no faster way to do both, than through the practice of self-discipline.
Till next time,
PS – Self-discipline is the key to happiness, and we have the key to self-discipline. If you want to be more self-disciplined then you need this tool.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-DISCIPLINE FOR SUCCESS
Is there a link between self-discipline and success? We believe there is, and here’s why.
Many, of the high-achieving individuals we’ve studied, have stated or shown, that although numerous factors have contributed to their success, most of their achievements would be impossible 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.
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 enough to achieve lasting 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
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.
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