La discipline it is a concept that not everyone accepts: to many it evokes images ranging from the harsh sergeant who puts soldiers in line to the severe school teacher who waves his wand. They think that discipline is a kind of prison that undermines the freedom of individuals. Yet if there is a fundamental element for a life full of successes and happiness, if there is a essential step to be done to favor the achievement of their goals, that's right there discipline. Being diligent does not mean being less free; rather it is a way to feel free to achieve the desired results. However, only when we fully realize ourselves in life do we reach a condition of authentic freedom, both internal and in relation to the external world.
Some see discipline as a burden. For me, it's a kind of order that gives me the freedom to fly.
But why is it so important to have discipline?
Discipline represents the bridge that connects thought (i.e. the idea of doing something) to completion (i.e. the actual realization of what imagined); and the glue that combines mere aspiration with the result; it is tool that from necessity (e.g. financial gain) leads to fulfillment (for example to wealth); and the magic that turns dreams into reality! Those who are disciplined know that a kite can only fly against the wind, that to ride a wave you have to reach it before it breaks, that wandering along the path of existence without a goal is equivalent to unhappiness.
Success, therefore, requires discipline; conversely, lack of discipline leads to failure. Often, when we ascertain (in first person or as mere spectators) a failure, the cause of the failure is almost never a single event, rather it is the consequence of many small failures that have accumulated precisely because of too weak a discipline.
Failure occurs every time we neglect to think today, to act today, to struggle today, to learn today or simply to move forward today. If your goal today is to write 20 emails and you only write 5, you will have 15 back emails left. If you set out to meet 5 customers today, but you only visit 2, you are left behind 3 appointments. The same thing goes for a diet, for studying, for financial savings or for housework.
In short, even wasting just one day can be harmful to oneself, since it is precisely not realizing the importance of today that contributes to causing tomorrow's failure. Try adding up all the days you don't do your homework: after years the accumulation of small daily failures could result in a real catastrophe! The other way around, when you accumulate diligence day by day, perhaps even doing more than you should, you create the foundations for a future full of happiness and success. Also, when you are aware of your diligence you acquire a sense of greater pride, satisfaction and self-confidence. Your self-esteem increases and you feel extremely good and at peace with yourself: you know that you are productive, and that this will make you grow and change for the better. So, discipline can do a lot for you, but what matters most is what it can do to you.
What does it take to have discipline?
First you need to be aware of the importance of discipline. If you feel that discipline is something unnatural or contrived, and that in life it is enough to simply be, then you are on the wrong path. In nature, everything is a constant struggle, and this leads us to believe that chaos is king. But that's not the case at all: survival requires discipline. Imagine, for example, a beehive and all the work of bees to build and preserve it. Isn't it a tangible manifestation of the discipline and industriousness of nature?
Once you have become aware of what discipline can do for you, you need to ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish in life? What changes do I need to achieve my goals? " Then, ask yourself sincerely, "Am I really willing to do whatever it takes?" If the answer is yes, then you will need to make a long-term commitment to keep yourself disciplined with the right amount of wisdom, prudence and consistency. Your commitment may also be tested when circumstances arise that will distract you from your resolve to be disciplined, but you will have to resist and keep going focused on your daily actions, both in good weather and in bad weather.
Anyone can become more disciplined. It is possible to do this with graduality, step by step, day by day. The great thing is that you can start today! Perhaps start small. It is not said that you should immediately devote yourself to who knows what great amount of work. You don't have to overdo it because otherwise you would get discouraged before you even leave. The important it is to begin by practicing to be disciplined in order to understand what true discipline is, and which ones wonderful and productive effects can have on your life.
One practical thing you can do right away is to develop a daily plan of what to do to achieve your main goal (you need to focus your discipline only on something primary to you): it can be a financial plan to increase your income or save more money, a plan to improve your health, lose weight or have more energy, or perhaps a plan for health education, if you intend to educate yourself more. Be schematic: make a precise list of things to do and define what the minimum daily goal should be to reach. Once your plan is established, you must start taking the first step today: do not delay any longer, be devoted and disciplined in following what is planned. If you fail to reach your daily goal for a few days, write it down in a reminder and try to catch it up in the following days. In short, there are no “magic” formulas to be more diligent, but only practical techniques to be supported with your own willpower.
The secret to moving forward is to start.
I recommend then: do your best and don't let yourself be dragged down by the forces of laziness, inertia, or procrastination. Activate the "propellers" of the discipline and show yourself that it is no longer time to dream or just imagine; now is the time to act! You will certainly be amazed at the progress you will be able to make.