I was importing my post to Medium yesterday and I saw the statistics next to two tags. Self-Improvement has 103K followers and Self-Discipline only 282. If you think you can improve yourself without self-discipline, you are deluding yourself.
Self-improvement is not going to happen by watching YouTube videos, listening to podcasts, and reading Medium posts. It’s going to happen by taking that knowledge and applying it in real life. What does it take to apply that knowledge in real life?
- Do you think you’ll be excited about an abs workout after three months?
- Do you think you’ll inspire your way into giving up your daily dose of social media?
- Do you think you’ll visualize yourself to say no to your friends who text you during your work day?
- Do you think you can affirm yourself to take the risks that you know you have to take?
If you say “yes” to the questions above, you are delusional. Even visualization and affirmations take self-discipline after the first few days. Your excitement, inspiration, motivation, or whatever drives you at this moment will fade after two days or a month. Three months maximum. What you’re left with after that is self-discipline.
Your excitement, inspiration, motivation, or whatever drives you at this moment will fade after two days or a month.
If you don’t trust me, look at your own life. How many times have you started a self-improvement program? Which one are you still practicing today? What drove you at the beginning? What was lacking when you stopped them?
In most cases, it is the lack of self-discipline, courage, or both that makes people give up on their goals. If I’m missing something here, please let me know in the comments.
Everybody hates self-discipline and courage. Most people even hate to admit that self-discipline and courage plays a role in success. But that’s the sad truth. There’s no way around self-discipline and courage.
There’s nothing going on in your comfort zone. If it was, you wouldn’t be reading this post now.
Why Is Self-Discipline and Courage So Scary?
It’s natural to think in binary terms. “You either have it or not.” “If you want to have self-discipline and courage, you should attempt extraordinary feats.” Both of these statements are incorrect.
Self-discipline and courage are muscles that you can train.
Just like training your muscles, you train your self-discipline and courage with the challenges that are slightly outside of your comfort zone, day after day. That’s how you build world-class self-discipline and courage.
Yes, you can develop self-discipline and courage and no, you don’t have to kill yourself or others in the process. And the rewards at the end of the road are definitely worth it.
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.