Success Requires Discipline: The Psychology of Self-Discipline
I think that with discipline everything else falls into place. Discipline keeps us in a routine and stimulates progress towards whatever we are pursuing. Psychological and emotional discipline cultivates strength and resilience. The following are 4 methods which have helped many people to develop discipline in regards to their quality of life.
1. Emulate Wise People
Recognize the importance of having wise people in your life to look up to for inspiration.
Choose someone who is living well. By “well” I mean someone who has a high and admirable quality of temperament and emotional life. Envision the person you wish to be and find someone who is a few steps ahead of you. Watch what he does, listen to what he says, learn from him and most importantly, pay attention to what he doesn’t do.
Humble yourself, embrace your ignorance and admit it wholeheartedly.
Changing your mindset this way will build confidence in yourself and enable you to stay on track. BEST: Apply this knowledge actively in your day-to-day life and you will be rewarded.
2. Review Your Day
Don’t go to sleep without thinking about the implications and knowledge you gained throughout the day. Ask yourself, what did you do well? Where were your discipline and self-control tested? Where did you do well? Furthermore, how can you improve?
Scrutinize yourself, find your vulnerable spots. Be brutally honest.
The moment you find something which derailed you, recognise it, don’t ignore or deny it. Fix it.
3. Your Distractions Are Your Own Doing
Being distressed, being bothered by small things instantly is terrible for your discipline and emotional growth. Don’t let thoughts and distress about something external [meaning it’s out of your control] de-rail you. The best thing you can do in these circumstances is to reinforce in yourself what is within your control and what is outside of it; embracing what is out of your control and accepting it, triggers more serenity.
4. Every Day is a New Day
The trick is to count each separate day as a separate life. A bad day doesn’t have to become a bad week, a bad week doesn’t have to become a bad year. Upon waking, remember that the new day is your new life. The past most definitely should not be something which holds you back. After all, previous days are now out of your control and if pondered on too much, they will drag you down like an anchor.
Remove that anchor and focus on what’s in front of you. If you binged on eating yesterday, it does not mean now there’s no point in continuing your diet.
If you didn’t exercise one day, it doesn’t define your character. However, your ability to persevere over the longer term is what shapes you into a disciplined and strong person.
Get back on that horse!
Psychotherapy and counseling can help you do that. I have been practicing psychology professionally for over 35 years. Call me now at 847 275 8236.
(This article was modified from The Daily Stoic website to explain the benefits of stoicism for emotional problems).