wheatiesThis blog was originally posted May 28, 2013. 

dis·ci·pline (d s-pl n) n. 1. Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement, knowledge that develops self-control, character

Discipline and self-discipline are often used interchangeably, yet they are as different as night and day. One is extrinsic, the other intrinsic. External discipline in the outer environment can create habits but if there is not internal buy in then the moment the external constraints are removed people tend to revert to their baseline. The trim, fit solider or athletic who grow a pot belly once discharged, the kids who throw a wild party when the parents are out of town.

Self discipline is the life management skill we use to
– Get ourselves to do the things we don’t necessarily want to do to in order to get want we truly want
– Get ourselves started in a task or project we know we will enjoy once we get going
– Do something long enough to create a habit (e.g.pattern of positive rewards) that will continue to pull us forward once established.

To cultivate self discipline,

1. Develop the skill of visualization. See yourself doing the task relatively effortlessly or with steadily increasing skill and/or enjoyment. Vividly imagine the rewards, the payoff you are seeking. See yourself enjoying them. See the behavior as a natural part of you, something you are comfortable with, something the new you would miss doing.

2. Baby steps: Build on small victories.

3. Celebrate progress: look for ways to make it fun or a game, a competition.

4. Surround yourself with a network of like minded people who will support you, cheer you on if you falter. Setbacks are inevitable but so is victory to those that persevere.

5. Journal: Read inspirational literature.

Closing quotes:

“With self-discipline most anything is possible.”  — Theodore Roosevelt; 1958–1919, 26th U.S. President

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”  — Jim Rohn; 1930–2009

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action and discipline that enabled us to follow through.”  — Zig Ziglar; 1926–2012

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. Nathan S. Collier