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The Power of Self Discipline

What exactly is the habit of self-discipline and how important is it to your personal and professional successes?

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Answers.com defines self-discipline as the training and control of oneself and one’s conduct, usually for personal improvement. Here’s my definition, I believe that carefully weighing your options, taking your time to think carefully and then acting wisely, add up to the habit of self-discipline.

Self-discipline is also synonymous with self-control. Both self-discipline and self-control are founded in being able to delay gratification and control the impulse to act immediately. In other words, doing what needs to be done when you need to do it.

Self-discipline and self-control are powerful success tools. Here are a few ways the use of self-discipline can help us go positively forward:

1. Goal achievement – Self-discipline is useful for achieving both short-term and long-term goals. To achieve goals, we must be able to focus on what we can do today to make sure that our plans for tomorrow come to fruition. Yes, you may have to delay some instant gratification today, but the future payoff is often well worth the wait.

2. Knowing how to focus on priorities – Self-discipline involves the ability to focus on what is important now and into the future. Setting priorities means asking yourself what is important for achieving balance in life. Often, when you act on impulse or without thinking about the consequences, life becomes off-balance and out of synch.

3. Finding workable solutions instead of temporary “quick-fixes” – Self-discipline often helps us to map out a workable emotional, physical and spiritual course of action. Taking the time to sort through the pro’s and con’s can result positive solutions that are both empowering and motivating.

Is self-discipline important for success? A study featured in the “Journal of Environmental Psychology” studied girls in various Chicago neighborhoods and concluded: “Self-discipline is an important personal characteristic. The greater a girl’s self-discipline, the more likely she is to do well in school, to avoid unhealthy or risky behaviors, and to behave in ways that make success more likely.”

After what you’ve just read let me ask you again, how important do you think it is to your personal and professional successes to cultivate the habit of self-discipline?

Please, leave us a comment and share your thoughts about self-discipline.
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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Meli November 14, 2012, 8:37 am

    It’s amazing how sometimes when we most need something it will appear. Such is the case with this article. I know that I have not been focused lately and because of it, things have not been going as I would like. Thank you Sharon for this timely article and the reminder that it’s time for me to practice (hmmm, wonder why they call it that?) more self-discipline!

    • sharonmichaels November 14, 2012, 9:10 am

      I know from personal experieince that staying on task isn’t always easy but, it’s necessary (I’d say vital) for achieving success – especially if you own your own business and work from homw.

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