What exactly is self discipline, and how do I make sure that I have it?

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#1
I know that discipline is very attractive to people. I find discipline attractive. I want to end up with someone disciplined and I want there to be give and take - sometimes I will pick up the slack and other times my partner will pick up the slack. But I don't even feel ready for a relationship at this point because I feel there is so much work I want to do with just myself first. If being disciplined is my goal, how do I get there? Begin with everything that needs to change and I fail tremendously due to being overwhelmed and running out of stamina. Begin with just one thing and it could take the rest of my life to get there.

And where is the line? Are "disciplined" people perfectly disciplined all the time? What exactly is discipline to you? If you were to make a goal for yourself: "I want to spend this year becoming a disciplined person," what would that mean for you? And how would you get there?

Also, when you think of someone who is disciplined, what do you think of? What is your mental checklist? Do you have good reading to suggest on the topic? Perhaps something more philosophical in nature to really hammer home certain points, rather than a very specific methodology?

And finally, are there any sites or forums where this specific topic of self discipline is recurring / ongoing? If I wanted to come check in a few times a week with other people working on this issue, would I come here? I'd also be interested in something like an email group. Any of you know? Thank you.
 

David eNGSTRoMe

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#2
In my mind people who you see as Disciplined, actually have just established many positive habits that they do automatically almost without thinking about it. So they had to use their willpower to establish these habits, but now the positive habits are a part of their routine and the only time they use their willpower is when they choose to do "more".

That's just my thoughts about this :)

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denydritz

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#3
I have an unpopular opinion that discipline isn't necessary, at all.

With regards to your question, it's difficult to measure discipline because it's arbitrary. The case where I assume a uniform level of discipline is measured is in the army. Other than that, "discipline" can be anything you want it to be.

I wouldn't make a goal to become a disciplined person, because I see discipline as a vehicle to get to the goal. If I can get to my goal without being disciplined, then that's easier for me.

Discipline is a compensation for lack of clarity. When we're clear about our goal, we automatically move towards it by default, without hesitation or second guessing, or laziness that would require discipline.

But, if you want to try building discipline, set any arbitrary goal (like waking up at a certain time) and practice to fulfill that goal. Building discipline in one task can help you build it in other tasks.
 

daz1056

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#4
A lack of discipline is a lack of clarity and purpose, if you don't have a good enough reason to do something you won't do it. I get up for a run at 5.30 am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday without fail. That is self discipline, but it hasn't always been that way.

There was a time when I was overweight and got no exercise, one day my back gave out, the pain was horrendous, I went to the doctor and was told I needed to strengthen my back muscles. That was it, the final straw, I know then I had to do something about my health and I've never looked back.
 
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#5
I agree with denydritz above when they say that discipline in itself should not be the goal, but rather that you want discipline so you can reach your other goals. At the same time, it is certainly worthwhile to develop discipline as it will certainly be needed in order to achieve the things you want to achieve in life.

When I think of discipline, it all comes down to commitment.

Our results are a direct reflection of what we are committed to. If you are only sort-of committed to something you will only sort-of get the results you want. For example, if you are sort-of committed to losing weight, you will likely do really good some days and not so good on others. The result may be losing a few pounds and repeatedly putting them back on. On the other hand, if you are unwavering in your commitment, you will take consistent action until you ultimately achieve what you want.

It's important to note that commitment is not a one-and-done deal. You will likely run into obstacles and challenges along your way to your goal. You may become tired, frustrated, or overwhelmed, and lose steam. When this happens (and it will) this is the critical moment when you need to re-commit. You may have to re-commit yourself to your goal dozens or hundreds of times.

Don't beat yourself up when you fall off course because it happens to everyone. Just keep re-committing and taking consistent action towards your goal, no matter how small that action may be. Remember that some action is always better than no action. As you do this you will not only become a disciplined person, you will also achieve what you set out to do.

Best of luck!
 

DayProv

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#6
I know that discipline is very attractive to people. I find discipline attractive. I want to end up with someone disciplined and I want there to be give and take - sometimes I will pick up the slack and other times my partner will pick up the slack. But I don't even feel ready for a relationship at this point because I feel there is so much work I want to do with just myself first. If being disciplined is my goal, how do I get there? Begin with everything that needs to change and I fail tremendously due to being overwhelmed and running out of stamina. Begin with just one thing and it could take the rest of my life to get there.

And where is the line? Are "disciplined" people perfectly disciplined all the time? What exactly is discipline to you? If you were to make a goal for yourself: "I want to spend this year becoming a disciplined person," what would that mean for you? And how would you get there?

Also, when you think of someone who is disciplined, what do you think of? What is your mental checklist? Do you have good reading to suggest on the topic? Perhaps something more philosophical in nature to really hammer home certain points, rather than a very specific methodology?

And finally, are there any sites or forums where this specific topic of self discipline is recurring / ongoing? If I wanted to come check in a few times a week with other people working on this issue, would I come here? I'd also be interested in something like an email group. Any of you know? Thank you.
Hey @whittlingaway ,

Don´t even try to change everything simultaneously. It´s simply not possible. Firstly, there is so much you (we all) need to change. Secondly, until you´ll be truly focusing on 1 thing at the time, you are not going to make a change. And even more importantly, if you change, it won´t last. So always pick 1 thing you want to be more disciplined of and stick to it.

Developing discipline is like developing your muscles. Until you´re working on it every day, you won´t get results. So, make a commitment (not a big one from the beginning) and accomplish it. Then, make another one, and so on and so one. By doing this for some time, discipline will start to appear natural to you.

And lastly, of course, many people who are disciplined sometimes sin. It´s okay to have a pizza once a month when you are working out and always eat healthy. Important is to not blame yourself for days and letting other opportunities slip through your fingers.

Instead, try to reward yourself and celebrate all the time, you accomplish your mini-goals and your commitments.

I hope it helps, if you have any further questions, I´ll be happy to help (if I´d know how to :)).