From early childhood, the importance of a disciplined mind is drilled into each one of us. Our parents, teachers, and other adults in our lives stress that we’ll achieve nothing without staying disciplined. Many entrepreneurs are finding that carrying this myth into adulthood can keep any one of us from reaching our full potential.
Don’t Rely on Self-Discipline
In simpler terms, being disciplined means forcing yourself to do one thing, while you’d rather be doing something else. In that situation, how likely are you to give your best? You’re really only going to do as much as you need to do in order to complete the task. Instead, use discipline as a tool to help you get started, but also keep your goal in mind as you do the task. This will help you stay motivated, which means you’ll be more productive.
Remember That Self-Discipline isn’t the Same as Motivation
The two are often confused, but discipline isn’t the same thing as motivation. When you discipline yourself to get up at 5:00 a.m., you’re doing so out of necessity. However, motivating yourself to get up that early, so you can reach some goal, will fuel your ambition. You’re up at 5:00 in the morning because that will help you run an extra mile, meet with your boss, or get a head start on a new project.
Self-Discipline isn’t Always Bad or Negative
When you need to rely on discipline, it can help you attain a long-term goal that you might not otherwise be able to achieve. For instance, having the discipline to eat a healthier diet will help you live a better quality of life in years to come. As long as you use discipline to help you obtain your goals, it can work for you in a more positive way.
Discipline Does Not Mean Controlling Everything
While self-discipline does help you maintain control over your own actions, there are events that will always be out of your control. You will have to learn to accept this and adjust your actions accordingly. When others blame you for not being self-disciplined, you have to be wise enough to recognize that consequences were not a lack of your control. Rather, they may have resulted from factors that you couldn’t manage or control.
While discipline is important to an extent, you also have to know when it’s time to let go. The trick is in learning when discipline is a working for you as opposed to when it has become a hindrance. If you can learn to use self-discipline to guide you, without letting it dictate how you react, you’ll be in a better position to succeed.