Main Self Discipline: Why Self Discipline Is Lacking In Most And How To Unleash It Now
Self Discipline: Why Self Discipline Is Lacking In Most And How To Unleash It NowLeone, Curtis
Overview: We all set many goals in life and hope that we will achieve them. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have the discipline to follow what it takes to transform these goals to reality. We somehow lose our passion and drive to do what needs to be done after setting goals. Think about it; every year, we all set New Year’s resolutions with the hope that by the end of the calendar year, we would have changed different aspects of our lives. We start off overly excited that by the end of the year, our life would be completely different. However, that doesn’t happen for many of us because we lose our focus and passion for whatever it is that we want to achieve.
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Self Discipline Why Self Discipline Is Lacking In Most And How To Unleash It Now By Curtis Leone Introduction I want to thank you and congratulate you for downloading the book, “Self Discipline: Why Self Discipline is Lacking in Most and How to Unleash It Now”. This book has actionable information that will help you to supercharge your self-discipline to achieve great feats in life. We all set many goals in life and hope that we will achieve them. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have the discipline to follow what it takes to transform these goals to reality. We somehow lose our passion and drive to do what needs to be done after setting goals. Think about it; every year, we all set New Year’s resolutions with the hope that by the end of the calendar year, we would have changed different aspects of our lives. We start off overly excited that by the end of the year, our life would be completely different. However, that doesn’t happen for many of us because we lose our focus and passion for whatever it is that we want to achieve. As you well know, you cannot go far in life if you cannot implement everything needed to transform your goals into reality. You cannot chase your dreams and actualize your goals if you are not determined, strong willed, and have the power to control emotions, desires, and feelings that derail your goals and their achievement. To achieve success, you must boss your thoughts and emotions as well as exercise perseverance and endurance, which are extremely important self-discipline ingredients. Cultivating these character traits may sound challenging right now, but by the time you reach the last page of this book, self-discipline will come easy to you; you will find no difficulty in exercising self-discipline, and going after everything you desire. This book is the ultimate self-discipline master guide: it aims to teach you how to develop the self-discipline you require to pursue your goals, while avoiding distractions that tend to derail your goal pursuit. Make the best use of this wonderful opportunity and learn how to unlock your self-discipline right now. Thanks again for downloading this book. Enjoy! Copyright 2016 by Curtis Leone - All rights reserved. This document is geared towards providing exact and reliable information in regards to the topic and issue covered. The publication is sold with the idea that the publisher is not required to render accounting, officially permitted, or otherwise, qualified services. If advice is necessary, legal or professional, a practiced individual in the profession should be ordered. - From a Declaration of Principles which was accepted and approved equally by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations. In no way is it legal to reproduce, duplicate, or transmit any part of this document in either electronic means or in printed format. Recording of this publication is strictly prohibited and any storage of this document is not allowed unless with written permission from the publisher. All rights reserved. The information provided herein is stated to be truthful and consistent, in that any liability, in terms of inattention or otherwise, by any usage or abuse of any policies, processes, or directions contained within is the solitary and utter responsibility of the recipient reader. Under no circumstances will any legal responsibility or blame be held against the publisher for any reparation, damages, or monetary loss due to the information herein, either directly or indirectly. Respective authors own all copyrights not held by the publisher. The information herein is offered for informational purposes solely, and is universal as so. The presentation of the information is without contract or any type of guarantee assurance. The trademarks that are used are without any consent, and the publication of the trademark is without permission or backing by the trademark owner. All trademarks and brands within this book are for clarifying purposes only and are the owned by the owners themselves, not affiliated with this document. Table of Contents Introduction Self-Discipline 101: Its Importance, And Why It Is Lacking In Most Step 1: Determine ‘Why’ You Want to Gain Self-Discipline How to Determine your ‘Why’ Step 2: Do Not Wait to Feel like It, Dump All Your Excuses Do Not Wait For the Right Feeling or Time Chapter 4: Take Action with your Action Plan Chapter 5: Work on Overcoming Temptations Chapter 6: Motivate and Nurture Yourself Chapter 7: Exercises for Developing and Boosting Self-Discipline Conclusion Self-Discipline 101: Its Importance, And Why It Is Lacking In Most Self-discipline refers to the control you exert over yourself i.e. the control you have over your emotions, feelings, behaviors, actions, and thoughts. It means avoiding unhealthy excesses of everything that can result to negative consequences. When you are self-disciplined, you easily control your urges to indulge in any unhealthy or unconstructive activity that can affect your productivity, and easily stick to your mission and goal. From the above definition, it may seem very easy to confuse self-discipline with willpower. So what’s the difference between the two? What is willpower? In its simplest terms, you can think of your willpower as your ability to set a course of action then say ‘engage’ then be certain that you will get started. It is your ability to control any harmful or unnecessary impulses, the ability to overcome procrastination and laziness as well as the ability to arrive to a decision then follow this with all the perseverance until you see its successful accomplishment. You can also think of it as the inner power that helps you to overcome inner emotional as well as the mental resistance to take action. What’s the difference with self discipline? While this may even have confused you the more in trying to understand how will power relates to self discipline, the two are quite different. While will power is necessary to get you started, you need self-discipline if you truly want to realize your true potential. Willpower simply catapults you to action and as such is likely to be powerful but temporary, which means that you need something that can keep you going until the very end. This is where self-discipline comes in. Self-discipline gives you the stamina to persevere in whatever you do. It gives you the ability to withstand difficulties whether they are emotional or mental. Additionally, self-discipline gives you the ability to reject instant gratification for greater good (for something better) even if this requires a lot more effort and time. As you can see, self-discipline is the companion of willpower. Therefore, if you are to develop strong self-discipline and willpower, you ultimately become conscious of your inner subconscious impulses and gain the ability to reject them whenever they are not for your own good. In essence, with self-discipline coupled with strong willpower, you are able to choose your behavior and reactions instead of being enslaved by them. You feel more powerful and in charge of yourself and your surroundings when you muster self-discipline. Self-discipline is critically important if you want to get things done in a timely manner especially because it helps you stay on the path to achieving your goals. So how can you build your self-discipline? Well, before we start discussing various ways and methods you can use to develop this ability, it is important to first touch on the importance or significance of self-discipline to success, and discuss reasons why most of us lack important amazing ability. Delving into these two aspects will help you understand the importance of developing self-confidence. So Why Do You Need Self-Discipline In Life? When you lack self-discipline, you lack self-control. This means that when working on something, you easily get distracted and give in to your desires, urges, and feelings. You do not stay dedicated to your missions and easily lose sight of what is important and beneficial to you. Self-discipline seeks to reverse that; it helps you to stick to whatever it is you have planned to do no matter the level of discomfort or difficulties that you face along the way. In the absence of self-discipline, your chances of becoming sidetracked are enormously high, which means, you can bid farewell to your utmost desires and dreams for good. On the contrary, if you adorn your personality with this sparkling jewel (self-discipline), you do not have to say goodbye to your utmost desire, and anything you want to achieve. It, self-discipline, allows you to exercise control over yourself and avoid thinking or feeling negatively. When you are self-disciplined, you think before acting, brainstorm easily, think lucidly, focus on important tasks, easily complete all the chores you have started, and successfully carry out your plans and decisions despite obstacles, hardships, and inconveniences that come your way. In addition, self-discipline helps you make the right choices by evaluating things by weighing their pros and cons; when you are self-disciplined, you seldom make erratic impulse decisions. Moreover, self-discipline helps you become happier and more peaceful. A study conducted on the subject in 2013 by Wilhem Hoffman showed that those who had high self-control were happier as compared to those who lacked this ability. According to the study, self-disciplined people deal with their goal conflicts a lot better, waste less time in unhealthy behaviors, and are able to take positive decisions easily. This in turn enhances their levels of inner peace and happiness. Self-discipline can help you to avoid making decisions in a rash or on impulse, make you fulfill promises that you set for yourself and others and continue working on a project even when your enthusiasm has faded away. It is the one thing that will make you wake up every single morning to do some of the things that you feel you shouldn’t be doing because of your lack of enthusiasm With self-discipline, it is easy to build character, inner strength, and stability as well as control your impatience, anger, instinctive reactions, and appetite. With self-discipline, you can be sure that you will build relationships, command respect from others as well as control your thoughts, reactions and ultimately achieve everything you’ve set yourself to do. From all the pros that come with strong self-discipline, it is clear that nurturing this habit can be the right step towards transforming your life in many ways. But Why Is Your Self-Discipline Lacking? Although self-discipline is an important element that needs to be a part of our personality, many of us lack it and are infinitely far from acquiring it. The question is; what makes you: What makes you choose to watch TV instead of going for a walk despite the fact that you know walking is good for you and you’d feel wonderful after the walk? What makes you keep procrastinating on doing something important like starting a business or asking for a pay raise despite the fact that you know that this is what you want? What makes it so impossible to overcome laziness, stop excessive eating, stop smoking or to stop your lack of assertiveness? Well, the answer is simple; you don’t have the self discipline to do what needs to be done to realize your goals and desires. But why is your self-discipline lacking anyway? Do you often say to yourself; “I wish I could have the will power and self-discipline to get things done”? Well, we all want to have self-discipline but unfortunately, many of us still don’t have it. So why is it lacking? Let us discuss a few reasons why this amazing quality is lacking in most of us: Self-Discipline Is Not an Inbuilt Ability Self-discipline is not something you are born with; it is something you work on and develop. The disciplined have worked hard to build this strength and those who do not have it need to put in effort to acquire it. Negative Mental and Emotional Programming Not all of us have a positive and healthy programming (mental programming). In our childhood and throughout our life, many of us go through various terrible incidents that induce negative thinking in us, which shapes negative behaviors and keeps us from gaining self-discipline. Negative Environments A positive environment is mandatory in the development of self-discipline and willpower. If the people around you are not supportive and constantly demoralize you, you will never be able to discern right and wrong, and discipline yourself. If you are not lucky enough to reside in a positive environment, you need to work on creating one for yourself in order to gain self-discipline. Fear of Failure The fear of failing at something often keeps us from taking an initiative. When you cannot initiate tasks and activities, you cannot move towards your goals. This lowers your inner strength, an integral and essential part of developing willpower. Laziness If you are incredibly lazy, you never feel like doing anything and are always procrastinating. Where there is procrastination, there cannot be self-discipline. To develop self-discipline, laziness and procrastination have to go: it is that simple. Low Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence When you are not sure of yourself and do not highly value yourself, you cannot be confident of your abilities. When you are not aware of your strengths and lack confidence, developing the discipline to actually get things done can be a great challenge. This is especially hard because if you have low self-esteem and low self-confidence, it will seem pretty easier to procrastinate something even if it is critical to your attainment of certain goals. Easily Falling Prey to Temptation If you easily fall prey to different things that lure you away from your goal, your self-discipline is lacking. To gain restraint and self-will, it is essential to overcome your weaknesses and temptations. A Lack of Purpose To be self-disciplined, your life must have a purpose, a goal you look forward to, and stay dedicated to. On the contrary, if you do not know your lifelong objectives, and have not realized them yet, you are likely to have a lacking self-discipline. From the above list of factors that make your self-discipline to be lacking, you probably have noticed one or several reasons why your self-discipline is wanting. As you are well aware, if your self-discipline is lacking, your chances of achieving whatever it is you want in life will be slim. So what is it you can do to transform your life? That’s what we will be learning in the subsequent chapters. Chapter 1: Determine Why You Want to Gain Self-Discipline The first step to developing self-discipline is to find out why you want to build your self-discipline in the first place. Failure to have a reason that’s good enough to keep you going will probably make it hard for you to stick to your goal of becoming self-disciplined. So how do you determine your ‘why’? How to Determine your ‘Why’ In all honesty, there is no one best way of doing things and this includes determining your ‘why’ when it comes to building self-discipline. Here are a few ideas on how to define your ‘why’ when building self-discipline. Visualize Your Objectives (Specify Your ‘What’) You cannot achieve much in life if you don’t know what it is you really want. If for instance you want to lose weight, you need to be very specific on what exactly you really want. How many pounds would you want to lose and within how long? How will you measure your progress? For this to work, you will definitely need to use the power of visualization to give you a good picture of the version of yourself that you want to become. To visualize what you truly want, set a specific time when you can sit peacefully undistracted. Relax and then begin envisioning your goals. Use every sense you can use to make the vision you see of yourself as real as possible. Once you have successfully visualized accomplishing your goals, practice simulation, a helpful technique that can help you achieve your set objectives. To exercise it, imagine engaging in all the steps necessary to achieve your goal instead of solely envisioning the result. For example, in the weight loss scenario, envision eating healthy, exercising regularly, and tracking your performance. Visualization and simulation can help you to realize, as well as envision what you want. When you know your ultimate or even short-term desires, and imagine yourself achieving them, you become enthused to go after them. As you know, you need self-discipline to achieve your goals. Visualizing and simulation alone may not help you go far in your quest towards achieving what it is you want. If anything, you probably have envisioned being a version of yourself that you’ve always wanted to become but often give up along the way just because you lacked the discipline to get started and keep going until the very end. To create the needed spark of self-discipline, you will need to ask yourself one very important question; “WHY” do you want whatever it is you’ve envisioned or simulated? WHY do you need self-discipline to make that goal a reality? Ponder On Why You Want To Develop Self-Discipline And Why You Want What You Want Do you have a goal that you want to achieve but have noticed that you lack the discipline to get going and to fulfill your desires? For instance, have you noticed that you have stagnated greatly career wise because you just don’t seem to have the motivation and self discipline to consistently search for new opportunities? Have you been wanting to consistently wake up early but find it hard to do that because you just cannot help but sleep late quite often? Do you find it hard to follow any weight loss program simply because of your soft spot for desserts? All these are signs of a lacking self-discipline. To overcome that, your greatest booster is to have a strong enough reason as to why you truly need to transform yourself. Start with sitting alone in a quiet, peaceful place and think about why you truly want to be self disciplined. From the above and similar questions, you can come up with reasons that are convincing enough to get you going. The best way to get started is to come up with a list of positive reasons that come with being self-disciplined; this regards to how you stand to gain when you build your self-discipline (to make this possible, you should define your goals, reasons, or ambitions for being self-confident). On the other hand, you will need to come up with the negative effects of doing nothing. How do you stand to lose when you do nothing about your current situation? These two lists will give you a good feel of what exactly drives you to take action. When you have a clear understanding of why you really want to build your self-discipline, it becomes a lot easier to customize it to suit your needs. After you have a clear understanding of why you really need self-discipline, you need to learn how to overcome your excuses. Chapter 2: Do Not Wait to Feel like It, Dump All Your Excuses After identifying your goals and objectives as well as determining your ‘why’, you need to get rid of all extremely unhealthy behaviors you commonly practice: waiting to ‘feel like it’or waiting for the right time. This is by far the most destructive habit that keeps many of us from completing our tasks, let alone doing them on time. To become 100 percent self-disciplined, you need to stop this behavior and stop making unnecessary excuses that keep you from working hard to gain self-discipline. Do Not Wait For the Right Feeling or Time It isn’t uncommon to come across advice that tells you to do something when it feels right and stop when you don’t feel good about it (we are told to follow our gut). Well, unfortunately, this bases our actions on emotions, which can be quite unstable and unpredictable. We all have a rollercoaster of emotions. However, developing self-discipline is about learning how to get past the barriers that we put for ourselves like waiting for a perfect time to do something. As you noted from the first chapter, self-discipline is what keeps you focused on a goal even when you no longer feel enthusiastic about it. Obviously, this simply means that emotions shouldn’t be a determining factor on whether you will get started at something or not. As such, waiting for the right emotion or time is a wrong approach to developing all the self-discipline that you need in life. Choosing to work or not to work on a task based on the comfort it offers is the wrong approach to doing anything and a tactic that can prevent you from gaining self-discipline. If you tend to have the thought of waiting for a good time and the right emotion to do something, counter that by revisiting your ‘why’. Of course when you were developing your ‘why’ list, you never factored your emotions in that so why should they be a determinant factor when it comes to getting things done? But how can you overcome the habit of waiting for the right feeling and time? Use Your Decision Making Skills Charles Duhigg, who is the creator of ‘The Power of Habit’ clearly explains why it is difficult for us to discipline ourselves. He states that basal ganglia is a portion of your brain responsible for your habitual behaviors. This part of your brain is related to memories, patterns, and emotions- all the elements necessary for making your habits. The decisions you take are created in your prefrontal cortex. As soon as a certain behavior turns into a habit, we stop making use of our decision-making ability and start functioning on ‘auto-pilot’ instead, which is your basal ganglia. This means that if you are to break a bad habit and build a new or healthy habit, you need to start making decisions very actively. When you do that, it will definitely feel wrong, since your bad behavior has become deep-seated in your personality and you have become accustomed to practicing it. Your brain won’t easily accept this change and will resist it from developing. However, you need to keep going if you really want to replace your bad habits with good habits. If you stick to it and accept it as a part of yourself, your mind will soon embrace it without resistance. For instance, if you have to exercise to become fit but laziness has become engrained in your personality, then you won’t feel good and right when you decide to workout. But if you don’t let your emotions to be a determining factor as to whether to exercise or not, it will be easy for you to build a habit of exercising regularly and ultimately achieve your goal. One way of keeping yourself going is to chant a mantra to motivate yourself to keep going. Use Mantras Mantra refers to a positive suggestion or chant that you create and say repeatedly. When you say something frequently, it influences your mind and thinking pattern thus shaping it in that direction. A good example of understanding this is your undesirable behavior of not exercising at all. You enjoyed being lazy and fed negative suggestions, such as ‘lazy feels good’ or ‘I hate workout’, or ‘I just can’t exercise’ into your mind. This suggestion took over your thinking pattern and soon made you feel that being lazy is the best feeling ever. If negative suggestions can affect you, so can the positive ones. Mantra chanting is based precisely on that. Create a mantra related to self-discipline and a goal that you want to achieve and then chant this mantra day in and day out until you feel that whatever you say is the ultimate truth. This will easily help you make the right decisions required for gaining self-discipline. One way of making yourself to remember to say the mantra is to have it printed and a copy placed strategically at literally everywhere you can see it; including the fridge, the bathroom door (both inside and outside), your phone, your TV, your remote control, the entry door, office desk, work computer, your car, your bedroom door etc. The idea here is to ensure that you remember this mantra as often as possible. Dump Your Habit of Making Excuses Next, you need to discard your unhealthy behavior of making excuses for delaying a task. This has everything to do with procrastination. You cannot go far in your quest towards building your self-discipline if you constantly procrastinate. The reason you’ve been struggling over the years to achieve your goals is probably because you make excuses for not starting (which amounts to procrastination). Let me give you an example of the form that excuses take. “I won’t be able to go for a jog because my jogging partner will not be coming” or “I won’t go to the gym for 30 minutes today because I want to go for 1 hour next time”. Well, all these are excuses. However, if you want to transform yourself to a version that gives no excuses, you will need to be very honest with yourself to determine real reason why you don’t want to do something that needs to be done in order to achieve your goal. For example, if you come up with the excuse, ‘I won’t go out for a jog now because it’s too cold outside’, then you need to be honest with yourself and state the real reason of not jogging. Tell yourself, ‘I am not going jogging because I am extremely lazy and lack the will to do something healthy.’ Ouch! Did that sting? Of course, it did. That’s what honesty does. It pinches you and makes you realize your wrongs. No one wants to admit that they are lazy. That’s why this realization will push you out of your self-defined comfort zone of laziness to prove to yourself that you are actually not lazy. With time, it will be easy to transform your life when you stop giving excuses for your inability to take action. Chapter 3: Take Action with your Action Plan The next thing you need to do to develop self-discipline is to work on your goals by preparing action plans for them. So how do you go about it? Let’s discuss some of the things you need to do to make this happen: Make Your Action Plan You can create a tabular action plan or use Excel or MS Word to make one. Find out what steps you need to carry out and in what order they must be performed to do what needs to be done to achieve a certain goal. Make sure to make important columns or sections, such as ‘action to be taken’, ‘time to start the task’, ‘potential problems you can face’, ‘strategies you can adopt for overcoming your issues’ and ‘progress report.’ Next, you need to fill the columns with appropriate content. Prepare Yourself to Take Some Action Once you’ve filled all the necessary information on what needs to be done to achieve a goal, the next step is taking action. But before you do that, ensure to go through the information keenly to ‘absorb’ everything that’s in that document. You should also use this review to identify any flaws in the document and if you find any, ensure to make the necessary changes. Next, you need to prepare yourself to take action. In this case, actions refer to the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. For instance, your actions could include such activities like finding a good yoga class and enrolling in one to start your journey to losing weight with yoga if that’s what you want to achieve. And as you do this, you should let your action plan to guide you to action. But if the action plan is not too detailed such that it has the specifics on even the smallest of details, you can get someone to help you come up with ideas for taking action. Get as many ideas on how to take action then decide on the most viable approach. From then on, go on to set a start time i.e. when you want to do whatever it is you need to do. Keep in mind that setting time is part of the important elements of setting SMART goals because it gives the task a sense of urgency and instills the necessary commitment for you to do what needs to be done. This is an important step because you cannot discipline yourself unless you start being punctual and regular. Starting something at a specific time daily helps you become regular and makes you stick to that routine, which helps shape up your self-discipline. As you will realize in your journey towards developing self-discipline, there will be many temptations or distractions that may derail you. To overcome these, you need to plan early on what you will do whenever you face any difficulties in executing your action plan. Let’s discuss this in detail. Anticipate Potential Issues and Find Strategies to Fix Them You need to consider any potential problem(s) that you are likely to face when working on your action plan and devise strategies that will help you to overcome such problems. For instance, if you worry you’ll switch off the alarm when it rings at 5am and drift off to sleep again, then a potential problem could be ‘I will probably fall asleep.’ Then identify any workable solution that could help you tackle this issue. For instance, you could ask your partner or your roommate to wake you up and ensure that you don’t go back to sleep. You could have an accountability partner who ensures you follow your action plan. They could call you at your exercising time and keep ringing until you actually wake up. Think of similar strategies like these to instill respect in your action plan. We will discuss more on this in the next chapter. Track Your Progress, Review Your Plan and Make Necessary Changes to It You cannot know how well you are doing if you don’t track your progress. This means that you won’t be able to tell whether you are really following your action plan. Therefore, it is important that you make the necessary plans on how to know how well you are performing with regards to following your action plan. For instance, if you wanted to lose weight (say 15 pounds in two months), you will need to determine how often you will weigh yourself to determine your progress. If you notice any flaws in your action plan, this is the best time to fix that. This will increase your chances of following the plan and nurturing your self-discipline. Reframe the Mistakes You Make You are likely to make a few mistakes, or maybe more in the beginning. But, that’s completely fine. You must not put yourself down, or practice self-hate or self-criticism upon making a mistake. You just need to get up, motivate yourself and continue pushing. According to research studies, when you make a mistake, you are either likely to shut down or strive to resolve the problem. If you concentrate on your flaws and work on correcting them, you are likely to succeed as compared to those who overlook their flaws or don’t pay any heed to them. When you discover your mistake, simply take some time to reflect on the mistake as objectively as possible and avoid blaming yourself or criticizing yourself for any wrongdoing. You want to encourage yourself to action not put yourself down for your flaws. Reflect on the positives and the benefits that will come with nurturing self-discipline. This will give you a glimpse of the bigger picture hence increasing your chances of feeling motivated to action as opposed to feeling bad for making mistakes. Chapter 4: Work on Overcoming Temptations As you work towards building self-discipline, you should definitely anticipate facing many ‘temptations’. Changing yourself from the person that you are from the beginning (who lacks self-discipline) to one who has great self discipline is definitely going to take some time and will have its learning curve. You shouldn’t expect to move from one end to the other end of the spectrum instantly without facing any temptations to go back to the habits that you are so much used to. Here are a few strategies on how to overcome temptations and stay committed to your goal. Detach Yourself from the Attractions A good tactic to overcome your temptations is to detach yourself from whatever tempts and excites you. For instance, if you are disciplining yourself to stop smoking, you could stop meeting your smoking buddies (people with whom you smoke frequently) for awhile until you have gained complete restraint, or you could stop visiting the spots where you smoked frequently. Similarly, if you know you are likely to binge watch television even when you know you have to prepare for your college examinations, then you could cancel the cable subscription for a month. Envision Resisting the Temptation Another helpful technique for overcoming a temptation is to envision yourself resisting it. For instance, if you want to control your intake of sugary treats, you could visualize yourself picking up a candy bar, enjoying its aroma, and then putting it away. Do it several times until you feel confident you’ll do the same when a real candy bar actually appears in front of you. This method can help you to gain control over your emotions since these tend to be very volatile whenever you are faced by a temptation. The more you overcome temptations (even if they are imagined), the more you will feel empowered to overcome them in real life. This in the end boosts your self-discipline. Weigh Immediate Gratification against Long term Consequences Mostly, what lures you into giving in to a temptation is the immediate gratification you experience. Unfortunately, the immediate gratification only lasts for a short period and instead leaves you feeling guilty. A useful tactic to overcome your temptations is to always weigh immediate gratification against the long-term consequences of giving in to your temptation. For instance, smoking may give you a sense of satisfaction for a few moments, but the long-term consequences of this habit are severe and include fatal diseases such as lung cancer. One great way of overcoming immediate gratifications is to think about the worst-case scenario for giving in to the temptations. For instance, if you’ve been trying to develop the much needed discipline to exercise in order to lose weight, you could probably think about what would happen if you don’t exercise and lose weight. What do you think is the worst that can happen if you are overweight? Whatever it is you fear most, think of it more often when you are about to give in to your temptation. Distract Yourself Giving too much thought to whatever is tempting you can make it pretty hard for you to overcome it. Don’t think too much about how much you are missing out when you don’t succumb to your temptations. Instead, you need to distract yourself as a way of ensuring you don’t put too much focus on the temptation and what you are missing. Research shows that doing something enjoyable or anything that keeps your mind occupied can help you fight your temptations easily. For instance, you could go for a walk, call a friend, or help your sibling with a chore the moment you find yourself becoming attracted to your temptation. Chapter 5: Motivate and Nurture Yourself Self-discipline isn’t only developed by removing temptations from your life, making the right decisions, following your action plans and dumping excuses. There’s something else you need to do as well: nurture yourself and keep yourself motivated. Gaining self-discipline can be quite challenging for you, especially if you are not used to that. You’ll make mistakes in the beginning and probably even consider giving up. But since this mostly happens when you don’t encourage yourself, you need to come up with creative strategies that you can follow to keep yourself motivated as you work towards transforming your self-discipline. Motivate Yourself You need to motivate yourself every step of the way. For instance, whenever you accomplish a certain goal that helps you become more disciplined; you should praise and reward yourself. Make sure that the reward isn’t something you are trying to resist, but is something that encourages you to stay dedicated to your goal. For instance, if you have lost 5 pounds, then instead of treating yourself to a piece of cheesecake, you could buy a dress that shows off your new, slimmer figure. In so doing, you will definitely motivate yourself not to give up on your goal. Besides, studies have proven that you cannot really stay committed to anything if you don’t feel motivated to keep going. Take Care of Yourself You should also do some other things in a bid to build your self-discipline. Let’s take a quick look at some of these: Stabilize the Glucose Concentration in Your Body Studies have shown that low blood sugar level is closely related to diminished self-discipline. That’s why you are likely to give up on your quest to losing weight if you starve yourself. Hunger actually makes focusing hard in addition to making you grumpy and pessimistic. This in turn is likely to make your self-control and self-discipline reduce thus increasing your chances of giving in to temptations. However, that doesn’t mean that you should eat as much as you can just to be self disciplined. You want your blood sugar levels to be stable thus the need to eat healthy protein and fats regularly (in small amounts of course). Sleep Well Getting enough sleep (about 7-8 hours of sleep) can help you develop self-discipline. Research shows that when you sleep less, you water down your ability to stay focused on certain tasks. Here are a few ideas on how to ensure that you get enough sleep. Drink lavender tea twice a day, especially an hour before sleeping. Lavender calms down your nerves thus helping you sleep a lot faster. Dim the Lights: Often, people sleep with all lights switched on. Studies have shown that bright lights distract you and disrupt the production of melatonin (the hormone that controls the circadian rhythm). To maximize melatonin production and minimize distractions, ensure your bedroom lights are off or dim. The darker the room, the better. Sleep on a Comfortable Bed: You might not realize it but it is probably your hard and uncomfortable bed that makes it difficult for you to sleep for seven consecutive hours. If that’s the case, you need to get a new, softer mattress that is comfortable to sleep on. Overcome stress Stress is known to negatively influence self-discipline i.e. if you are stressed, you are likely to have a hard time staying self disciplined. Here are a few ideas on how to overcome stress: Get enough sleep Exercise regularly: Exercise helps regulate any hormonal imbalance that triggers stress and insomnia. Additionally, exercise boosts the production of serotonin, which is a mood enhancing neurotransmitter and reduces the levels of cortisol, which is a stress-triggering neurotransmitter in your body. With more serotonin and less cortisol, you are bound to feel less stressed, nervous, and anxious than before. As a result, you are able to stick to what you started, control your desires, and become more disciplined than ever. There is no one size fits all kind of exercise. However, keep in mind that various studies have shown that those who exercise regularly tend to be more disciplined than those who don’t. Chapter 6: Exercises for Developing and Boosting Self-Discipline If you’ve been implementing what we’ve been discussing in this book, you should definitely be in a better position to control your impulses. To cap it off, here are some more exercises that will help you put your self-discipline to test while building it at the same time. Give Up Your Seat If you are travelling in a train or a bus, or are attending an event, and are comfortably sitting on a seat, then an elderly person or a pregnant lady walks in, try to give up your seat. Get up and ask that person to take your seat even if you don’t want to get up. Although this seems like a polite gesture, it is actually putting your self-discipline to test. If you can control your impulses of saying no, then you will be one step closer to becoming the version of yourself that you want. When you do something that doesn’t excite you, or you’re hesitant to do, you control your emotions and desires and discipline them. Do a Chore Right Now If there are dirty dishes lying in the kitchen sink, or there are clothes in the laundry basket that need to washed, just get up and do that chore right now. Don’t postpone that task. Say, ‘I can do it’ and get up then do the task. Taking immediate action helps you overcome laziness and consequently improves your self-discipline. Make a Big Change to Your Routine This exercise is excellent for promoting self-discipline in your personality. You need to make one big change to your daily routine. For instance, if you drink tea or coffee with some milk, then you need to give up the milk for one week, or if you have the habit of drinking four cups of tea daily, then cut down to two cups for one week. Exercises of this sort help you understand that if you can change your habit for a week, you can change it for good. This can in turn boost your self-discipline and the confidence you have on your ability to follow whatever you’ve committed yourself to do. Find out that one habit you are used to the most and bring a drastic change to it. You’ll feel cranky for the first two to three days, but you need to keep going and by the time the fifth day arrives, you’ll feel good about yourself. This will give you the courage to make bold changes in your life in a disciplined manner. Choose Stairs Over Elevator If you take the elevator to reach your office, then try taking the stairs for one week. You need to stick to this routine in order to control your desire of taking the easy route. Self-discipline is all about making tough choices and choosing the right thing so this exercise will certainly help you control your desires. Moreover, it will help you burn more calories. These practices help you slowly discipline yourself, give up your unnecessary desires, and control your emotions, which is very important in your quest to building your self-discipline. Conclusion Thank you again for downloading this book! I hope this book was able to help you to understand more about self-discipline and how to separate yourself from the pack. The next step is to take these lessons with you! Finally, if you enjoyed this book, would you be kindly leave a review for this book on Amazon? Click here to leave a review for this book on Amazon! Thank you and good luck!