INGREDIENTS OF SELF-DISCIPLINE
proper balance must be struck between indulgence and severity. However,
severity, despite occasional mistakes, is preferable to a lack of
Ching (1150 B.C)
is a very powerful tool that can be developed for achieving about anything
which you can dream. However, there are four key ingredients that must be
present in our lives to allow self-discipline to flourish and exist. Most
people have some or all of these key ingredients, but lack the knowledge
of where and how to use them. Here are the four key ingredients of
Self-Control – The
act of controlling our emotions, actions, thoughts, words, and personal
Motivation – The
“fire inside”, that fuels our efforts and makes accomplishments worth
The ability to continue through adversity. The ability to brush off
failure and stay focused on our goals.
Those tangible achievements that breed motivation and form our definitions
of happiness and success.
four of these ingredients must be present in our lives to achieve
self-discipline. Every one of us knows a highly motivated person or two
that just can’t seem to do anything right. A friend or neighbor who has
the goal of becoming self-employed, but just can’t muster enough courage
to take the first step. At one time or another, all of us have been
motivated to do something, only to give up after the first failure. How
many people go on a diet each year and gain more weight than they
originally started with? How often have you created a household budget for
you and your family, only to find yourself deeper in debt? These are
examples of living without self-discipline.
The reason we get depressed and frustrated when we pinch the fat on
our midsection or thighs, is not because we lack a proper genetic make-up,
but because we have undertaken a task without developing self-discipline.
order to ensure our success at every endeavor, we must first understand
how to strengthen and enhance each of the four key-ingredients needed for
self-discipline. By understanding and practicing simple techniques that
strengthen each ingredient, we open the door to success by eliminating our
self-destructive behaviors. Once we become accustomed to recognizing and
implementing these four ingredients, the programmed habit of
self-discipline allows us to take control of our lives. Let’s begin by
examining each key-ingredient and learning simple techniques for enhancing
count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his
enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.”
(384 – 322 B.C.)
to say NO to your destructive feelings, uncontrolled cravings, and selfish
desires. Our primal and self-satisfying desires constantly demand
appropriate control, and if we continue to satisfy the need of urges, we
weaken our self-control. The narcotic of having everything all the time
can dominate every action of our lives. When we begin to discriminate
between what is actually needed and what is truly unnecessary, we develop
a powerful sense of personal management.
ability to control our emotions, actions, words, and thoughts has always
been one of man’s most difficult tasks. In today’s society, we have
made even the most outrageous overindulgence accessible by the simple push
of a button. It is far more difficult to exert self-control over our lives
today, than any other time in human history, and it shows!
we stop succumbing to every whim, craving, and desire we have, our
self-control begins to strengthen and create a chain reaction. We become
more alert and vigilant towards managing that which is good, and that
which is unnecessary or bad. The power of self-control becomes strong
enough to regulate our mental and physical cravings, society-induced
desires, and influenced behaviors.
we have awakened self-control through the management of urges, we must
reinforce it by creating the habit of denying ourselves that which we
crave. Self-control acts as a filter against the powerful influence of
advertising, accessibility, and our own destructive human habits. We live
in a society where it is hard NOT to be fat, lazy, unhealthy, drugged up,
bankrupt, depressed, or emotionally unstable. We have created so many
conveniences, trends, wants, and erratic behaviors through advertising and
mass media, that we are brainwashed to crave things.
first step to gaining self-control is one of identifying the areas in our
lives that are out of control. We have to take a close look at the food we
eat, the bad habits we have, the character traits we possess, and the
overall direction of our lives. Once we identify those things we need more
control over, we can start small by gaining little victories each day. You
must begin denying yourself one cigarette a day, the extra snack, that
extra beer after work, or the satisfaction of indulging your emotional
outbursts. If you try to go “cold-turkey” on all of your cravings,
habits, and behaviors, you will surely fail.
technique for gaining self-control over our cravings and habits involves a
self-inspection of our daily lives. By performing an inventory of our bad
behaviors and habits, we can focus our efforts on controlling them.
is a step by step description of this self-control technique:
Personal Inventory –
Find a quiet and private place to sit down with a paper and
pen. Begin taking a day by day inventory of your bad habits and
Start Small – Begin
reducing each habit or craving a little each day. Keep a journal of your
progress and talk to yourself about the benefits of eliminating
– Start by denying yourself a certain pleasure each day. Target a
daily activity like excessive eating or watching television.
Keep a Schedule –
Make a to-do list and stick to it for a change. Make a commitment to write
a daily schedule and accomplish every task.
Review – At the end of each day, sit down and critique your
performance. Mentally re-live how you exercised self-control over your
cravings and habits.
very effective technique is called the power band. This method involves
wearing a piece of colored string or rubber band around your wrist to
constantly remind yourself of the habit or craving you are going to
control today. Take a large rubber band and write the bad habit or
behavior that you wish to focus on for this particular day, and wear it
around your wrist to constantly remind you of your control. I have
personally seen this method change the lives of many people. Visualize in
your mind that this rubber band empowers you with self-control that flows
through your whole body. Every time you are faced with a certain thought,
action, or environment that stimulates this craving or bad behavior, look
to the power band for help. Remember that the power of your mind is the
most important ally you have in the battle for self-control.
not! Life is sweeping by; go and do before you die. Something mighty and
sublime, leave behind to conquer time.”
Goethe (1749 – 1832)
is the fuel that gives our success engine its drive. Motivation is a group
of reasons that develop a desire to accomplish, have, act, and perform in
a manner that will satisfy a certain desire. Strong motivation is the
underlying power behind some of the world’s greatest achievements.
Motivation is responsible for creating actions, thoughts, and situations
that are directed toward a specific accomplishment. There is no use in
trying to master self-discipline if you lack the motivation to have it.
Every human being has been motivated by something at some point in their
lives. The fact that you are reading this book shows that you have a
certain degree of motivation to succeed at something.
problem that most people encounter when trying to motivate
themselves to achieve a certain goal, is the problem of false
motivators. False motivation is the main problem behind most humans’
poor daily performance. For example, the person who wakes up each and
every day to go to work because he has to, and not because he wants to, is
falsely motivated. The person that goes on a diet because his or her
spouse wants them to is falsely motivated. The employee, who is told to
perform a certain task because their boss told them to, is falsely
motivated. These are all examples of why people perform poorly or
experience lackluster results. True
motivation is the result of a strong personal desire that focuses a
person’s thoughts, words, and actions in such a way as to elicit 100
percent effort. Imagine if you could muster the same motivation for
performing at work, as you do for personal gain. How strong would your
motivation be if you were promised one million dollars for showing up to
work everyday this week?
reason that Super-Humans live a life of greatness and success is because
they are truly motivated to accomplish their goals. How many people
achieve a life of greatness or success in a job that they hate? How
financially disciplined is a person who works simply to pay off daily
bills and not for the attainment of goals? How many A’s did you receive
in classes that you were completely uninterested in? When we stop and
think about our daily lives, we can easily distinguish false and true
motivators simply by looking at our performance in certain areas.
you truly desire to control certain habits, cravings, and behaviors in
your life, you already have one of the key ingredients to self-discipline.
Most people know that they want control over certain aspects of their
lives, but lack the motivation to bring about true change. One of the
easiest methods for strengthening motivation is through pressure. By
telling your family, friends, and co-workers of your commitment to control
an aspect of your life, you establish the presence of external pressure.
Now, the motivation for achieving discipline is embarrassment,
self-esteem, and challenge. Peer pressure is a very powerful motivator for
most people. Tell your family and friends of the commitment you have made
to losing weight and exercising. Tell all of your co-workers of your
personal challenge, and let everyone at lunch and dinner know of your
low-fat diet and see how strong your motivation becomes.
through self-discipline can we begin to control and shape the direction of
our lives, and only through proper motivation can we experience
self-discipline. Always be aware of your level of motivation. Use
different techniques and situations to strengthen your motivation in
specific areas. Only by focusing on self-control and motivation first, can
you expect to open the doors to a life of self-discipline.
is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures
that the final victory comes.”
(568 – 488 BC)
is the act of continued action and effort towards an objective, even in
the face of multiple failures. Remember a time in your life when you kept
after something again and again until you finally succeeded? How powerful
and glorious did it feel to finally achieve your intended goal? How often
in your daily life do you accept failure or the answer NO? Of all the bad
habits, cravings, and behaviors which now exist in your life, how many
times did you give up after failing to control them?
does not come without experiencing failure, and the only way to defeat
failure is through persistence and perseverance. All of the world’s past
and present Super-Humans have found success and happiness with a
never-say-die attitude. One of our country’s most successful
Super-Humans was also one of history’s most persistent failures. Here is
business - declared bankruptcy.
Again failed in
business – declares bankruptcy.
Has a nervous
Defeated in bid
for U.S. Congress.
for U.S. Congress.
Fails for a
third time in bid for U.S. Congress.
office of Vice President.
for U.S. Senate.
President of the United States of America.
The history books are full of Super-Humans who used the power of
persistence to gain control of their destinies. The great Prime Minister
of Great Britain, Winston Churchill, once said, “Success is going from
failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.” This is the most
common reason for people’s lack of self-discipline. It is because they
failed once or twice at controlling their life that they become afraid to
try again. Well, here is your chance to begin anew. By using the
information and techniques found in this chapter, you will become better
educated at how to achieve total control of your life. There is no magic
formula or ancient Hindu technique for becoming persistent. All the
perseverance and persistence you will ever need is deep inside you,
waiting to be exercised.
Of the four ingredients required for self-discipline, persistence
is probably the most powerful of the four, because without persistence you
will never experience success. You must plan to never give up, even before
you begin. If you mentally motivate yourself to keep trying no matter
what, you will subconsciously program yourself for persistence. If you are
motivated, have self-control, and set specific goals to achieve
self-discipline, but give up at the first sign of failure, you will never
experience self-discipline or success.
Persistence is the one
ingredient that must always be present in order to succeed. Begin today by
declaring your tenacity and vowing to never give up, no matter how long it
takes. Make a point of going that extra mile. Learn to break out of your
comfort zone and start testing the boundaries of your physical and mental
should act in consonance with the way of Heaven and Earth, enduring and
eternal, the superior man perseveres long in his course, adapts to the
times, but remains firm in his direction and correct in his goals.”
Ching (1150 BC)
Highly successful people, world leaders, great artists, and
history’s most important Super-Humans all have one thing in common: they
use self-discipline on a daily basis to achieve their goals. Clear and
specific goals are the essential foundation of not only self-discipline,
but also a lifetime of health, wealth, and longevity. Without clearly
defining short-term and lifelong goals, you have no use for
self-discipline. Learning life mastery and personal discipline will only
come about when you set precise goals that you wish to achieve.
Self-discipline goals are somewhat different than success-oriented goals,
in that self-discipline goals are defined by personal improvement. Once
you identify areas of your life that you wish to gain total control over,
you have now defined specific areas of improvement.
Self-discipline-oriented goals are essential to generating
self-control, motivation, and persistence, the other three key ingredients
needed for self-discipline. Here is an example of self-discipline goals:
I want to have total control over when, how, and what I eat for the
next 30 days.
I am going to gain control of my finances by sticking to my
scheduled budget each and every day for the next 90 days.
I want my fellow co-workers to look up to me as a leader and
example of discipline by the way I speak, act, and dress in 60 days.
I will gain control of my emotions by disciplining my anger,
depression, and attitude around my family, friends, and co-workers.
I am going to set aside one hour every day to work on my goal of
being self-employed in one year.
I will set aside one hour each day to organizing, maintaining, and
cleaning my household, my clothing, and my possessions.
I want to dedicate one evening each week to my spouse, and use this
evening to improve our relationship and show my love and appreciation.
I will set a disciplined example for my children by becoming more
involved in their lives, and showing them how I have gained control over
I will discipline my body to quit smoking by gradually reducing the
amount of cigarettes I smoke each week, until I have completely quit in 30
I want to reduce the amount of television I watch to 45 minutes per
day, by disciplining myself to use this time for constructive efforts.
As you can see from this list of self-discipline goals, the key to
having discipline is to clearly define that for which you want to use it.
By setting specific goals, you enact powerful mental forces that help you
focus your thoughts, actions, and efforts to accomplishing them. Take the
time to think about your personal improvement desires and clearly write
them down. Make photocopies of your self-discipline goals, paste them all
over your office, put them in your car, stick them to your bathroom
mirror, and visualize yourself achieving total control. It is one thing to
say that you want to lose weight, but it is another to clearly define the
amount, how, and when you are going to lose the weight.
You must understand that simply wanting something is not enough,
you must define, refine, focus, and schedule specific actions that you
will take to have what you desire. The amazing power of self-discipline
can alter your life to that of a Super-Human, by simply understanding the
process and forces at work in the human body and mind. Remember that the
four key-ingredients are specific guidelines by which you will ensure the
greatest chance of success in your quest for self-discipline. Use the
powerful techniques that you have learned in this chapter to prepare a
personal battle plan for achieving your desires, wants, and goals.
Self-discipline can surely set you free and change your whole life,
but you must pay attention to the four key-ingredients to insure total
success. Tomorrow when you go to work, stop and look around at all of the
people you see, and think about how a self-disciplined person would act,
talk, and look. Use the power of self-discipline to enhance your wealth,
happiness, and the lives of your loved ones. Make the commitment to gain
total control of your life today, and you will thank yourself tomorrow.
Know that it is possible to rise above average human performance, by
dedicating time each day to achieve the status of a disciplined human.
I hope that you enjoyed this article. This article is taken from my new
book entitled, “POWER
LIVING – Mastering The Art of Self-Discipline”. Please don’t get
the impression that I am trying to give you the answers to all of the
world’s problems, but rather that I have a few ideas and experiences
that have been proven to work –even in life and death situations.
We are all trying to improve something about ourselves. It seems that
everywhere you turn there is some slick-talking ex-car salesman trying to
make a buck off of an instant success formula –there is no such thing. I
have spent over 12 years studying and practicing personal achievement and
discipline-building tools in the world of special operations. Through it
all, I have come to realize that all of the answers to achievement are
found right in your pretty little head. The trick is to dig deep and go a
little further than the next guy.
Remember that whatever you consider to be successful, someone, somewhere
has already done it. Learn how, why, and what he/she did to accomplish it.
This is the fastest way to getting what you want. I highly encourage you
to read the rest of my book, not because I want your money –but because
you have already invested the time to learn a new way of becoming a better
person by reading this article.