There’s something all business about September. The summer is behind us, the school year is new (even if it doesn’t look “normal” to us). It’s a time to buckle down.
Which is why I want to talk about self-discipline in this blog.
Self-discipline is the ability to resist, delay or forego immediate reward or gratification in pursuit of a longer-term goal.
Self-discipline gives you power. It helps you commit to your decisions and see them through, without changing your mind. It’s absolutely essential to achieving any goal you have in life.
Usually I talk about the connection between pain and purpose, about mental toughness and resilience. Here’s the thing: self-discipline is another side of the same idea. Self-discipline allows you to choose and then endure in action, thought, and behavior. It gives you the mental toughness to overcome your obstacles and negative behavior to follow through on your goals.
Self-discipline starts with you. And it starts any day you want it to. Last month I shared with you that marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge believes self-discipline is the foundation of his success. In a talk at Oxford University, he said: “Self-discipline is like building your muscle….Only the disciplined are free in life. If you aren’t disciplined, you are a slave to your moods, to your passions.”
How do you start cultivating your self-discipline? By facing what’s before you with honesty and clarity, and by showing up each and every day, even—and especially—when it is hard.
For those of you of faith, references to self-discipline are found often in Scripture, including in Hebrews 12:5-11: If we do not discipline ourselves, God Himself will discipline us.
Want to assess your self-discipline? Take this quiz.
Stay positive. Stay healthy. Stay safe. And if I can help, please reach out.