There is no limit to living your potential when you imbibe self-discipline into your life. As Jim Rohn said, “SUCCESS is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while FAILURE is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.” It is the accumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us to either fortune or failure. Discipline yourself to complete your most important tasks on schedule.

What is self-discipline? It is the rejection of instant gratification in favor of something better. It is the training of the mind to align oneself with actions that lead to success. Self-discipline enables you to give up instant pleasure and satisfaction for a higher and better goal. It emanates as the ability to get yourself to take action regardless of your emotional state.

John Maxwell, renowned leadership expert, said, “If you know you have the talent, and you have seen a lot of motion but little concrete results—you may lack selfdiscipline.” Self-discipline is self-control, which encompasses in spiritual, mental, emotional and physical discipline. Close yourself up in self-discipline because it is one of the major pillars of success in ensuring that you live your potential to the full.
The former American president, Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “The one quality that sets one apart from another—the key which lifts one to every aspiration while others are caught up in the mire of mediocrity—is not talent, not formal education, nor intellectual brightness—it is self-discipline. With self-discipline, all things are possible. Without it, even the simplest goal can seem like the impossible dream.” It is difficult to achieve greatness without discipline. People who reject the value of instant gratification and develop the skill of self-discipline are often times life’s real winners. Zig Ziglar said, “Check the records. There has never been an undisciplined person who was a champion. Regardless of the field of endeavor, you’ll find this to be true.”

Let me ask: What if you could practice self discipline in everything you do? How would your life change? Would it change? Think of these questions for a moment.
Some of the areas in your life you could change might be:
• Your weight • The tidiness of your house • The tidiness of your office • Fixing all the broken things in your house • The amount of time spent watching TV • Watching what you eat • Paying the bills on time • Get your finances sorted out • Reading one book per week • Organising your life • etc Since self-discipline is so important, how do you develop it?

Here are some practical tips that can help you achieve it:
1. Acknowledge your own responsibility: As an individual you should embrace the fact that it is your responsibility to be discipline. Remember, no one will be responsible for you; it’s your sole responsibility. Admit that if you sit around doing nothing, you will achieve nothing.

2. Start with little things: Self-discipline starts with little things like waking up early to tidy your bed, clean your room at home or your desk at work. Train yourself to put things where they belong when they are out of place. Make the old adage “A place for everything and everything in its place” your motto. After you’ve cleaned your room or desk, extend that discipline of neatness to the rest of your house and workplace. Get yourself to the point where orderliness matters. Learn how to keep your environment clean and clear so you can function without a myriad of distractions.

3. Organise yourself: To organize means to prioritize or to put in order. Therefore, to organise yourself means to put yourself in order because an order-less life equals a dis-organised life. And in order to live an organize life, your must first know exactly what you want in life, set a goal for your life, take charge of each day as it come, effectively manage your time well, do first thing first, and then learn to manage your emotions well to avoid distraction.

4. Delay immediate gratification: Sometimes it turns out to be extremely necessary to starve yourself of some things. Naturally our flesh craves for things that may not be beneficial at the moment to our lives. For instance, you may want to buy that extra shoe or car which you may not need for now since you can still manage the ones you have. That extra cash you want to spend on shoe or car can be channeled into investment like stock. Delaying immediate gratification is another way to exercise self discipline.

5. Finish what you start: Most people start and do not finish as a result of lack of self-discipline. As John MacArthur said, “Some people’s lives are a sad litany of unfinished projects.” Avoid procrastination and do what need to be done right on time. There is a saying that it is not about starting but about finishing; not just finishing but finishing well. Whatever task you embark to do, remain focused and determined to see it to the finishing line.

Today, be determined to change from whatever you are not supposed to be doing, to what you are supposed to be doing. Pay the price and develop the emotional intelligence to be able to set goals and harness the motivational strength to see it come to realization. Self-Discipline is…Saying “no” to things that will keep you from reaching your goals and saying “yes” to things that will enable you achieve your stated objectives and enhance your potential. Refuse instant gratification, shun things that will stop you from reaching your goals, and commit yourself to things that will enable you achieve your set goals in life.

Elvis Ukpaka
Leadership, Motivational, & Peak Performance Expert CEO, Visiondrivers Consulting Tel: 0802 367 1070, 01-764 8610 Email: elvis@visiondrivers.com


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