Every year thousands of young recruits join the US Army Infantry.
When they arrive for basic training, they are soft, unfit, and mentally they are weak.
The infantry recruits will have no idea what real discipline means.
Up to that point in their lives, they have lived a life of weakness.
They have given in to all their natural impulses and have feasted on junk food, spend hours daily online, and lived far under their potential.
Very soon, they will be thrown into a cauldron of extreme discipline.
They will experience for the very first time how it feels to have power and control.
When they come out on the other side, they will be new men.
People who know these men will see someone transformed.
This is the transformational power of self-discipline.
Why Are You Doing This?
You came to this page because you are looking for something.
Something isn't right, something in your life is out of balance.
You know there is some type of gap at the moment.
And you know at some level that you need to find this gap and you need to close it.
And at an intuitive level, you know that this gap can only be closed with self-discipline.
Yes, self-discipline, the old friend of high-achieving individuals.
The tool of titans.
Your back might be against the wall?
Maybe you had some type of failure?
Maybe you lost your job?
Maybe you are trying to build a business?
Maybe you want freedom?
Maybe you went through a breakup and your life fell apart?
Whatever it is self-discipline will be the tool to close the gap in your life that is stopping you from living the life that you want to live.
But let me be upfront with you.
I'm not going to tell you that self-discipline is a magic tool that you just install in your life and everything will fall in place.
No, you will have to do a lot of hard work.
So it won't be easy, but it will make your life a lot easier.
It will make your goals and objectives achievable.
It will give you the inner drive to push yourself further than anyone ever thought was possible.
You might think you dont know what you have to do next, but let me tell you something:
When times are bad and it feels like life is just smoke and mirrors then you must consolidate and find all the resources you can to pull yourself out of the dark corners of life.
We all go through ups and downs in life.
And then we go back to the fundamentals of what has built the greatest men that ever walked this planet, Self Discipline.
So dont forget why you are here and let that “why” push you and remind you why you are doing this.
What Is Self Discipline?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Self Discipline can be defined as the following:
So in simple terms, Self Discipline is a set of rules you set for yourself in order to take back control and direction of your life.
But here is the problem for most people on the planet:
Most people live without any rules or code in life.
Is it any surprise then that most people struggle to lift themselves out of mediocrity and achieve high levels of success?
Also, there is a difference between conventional discipline and self-discipline.
Conventional discipline in society are rules that are forced on people through external threats.
For example laws of a country is the threat of punishment if you break them.
More examples are rules for schools, universities, and even the conventional military has disciplinary codes as a form of threat.
However certain high achieving areas of life dont have any external threat of punishment for their discipline.
People like professional sports athletes, and surgeons.
Another elite group of men that stands out when it comes to self-discipline is the Special Operations Community.
These special operators are trained to maintain a high level of Self-discipline in order to execute their missions successfully.
For them, there is no external threat.
For them, the threat is usually the loss of their own lives or those of their teammates.
So they naturally have the impulse to push themselves further than anyone else would ever expect.
It's a way of life for them.
It's literally a life-and-death reality for them to depend on their self-discipline to protect themselves and the men around them.
You can find inspiration in these professionals and learn to live by a code of self-discipline that guides you to execute your life mission and get what you want in life.
The Culture In Your Life
Many people try to dabble with self-discipline.
It usually happens before the new year.
These people make promises to themselves and other people about how they are going to change their lives.
They might read an article like this one and get motivated to make a big change.
They tell themselves that they are going to change.
So the new year starts and they finally drag themselves out of the bed to go to the gym.
For the first week, he goes to the gym but on the weekend friends invite him to a party.
On Monday he feels tired and decides to take Monday off.
Soon Tuesday is also canceled.
And that is the end of the new plan.
The life change plan ended within 7 days.
That sounds funny but it's a very common example of what happens to millions of people around the world.
And the reason for this is most people don't understand their own minds and bodies.
They dont understand that they are fighting battles against ancient forces inside themselves that are holding them back.
These forces don't care about your goals and dreams.
These ancient forces just want to be comfortable.
To overcome these forces you must realize one very important thing:
When you start to change your life you need a plan, but more importantly, you need to change the culture of your life.
Yes, you need to create a new culture.
Because guess what?
At the moment you have a culture and you are not aware of it.
The culture is getting up late or just in time for work.
You eat junk food and don't do any exercise.
You watch hours of mindless TV.
You waste time online looking at cat and dog videos on social media.
You drink too much and you might smoke cigarettes.
The bottom line is you have a culture in your life that hold you back.
And until you change that culture nothing will change.
You need to make holistic changes to reach your objectives.
And as usual, it always starts in the mind.
We live in a world where people are addicted to emotions.
Emotions are the most addictive substances in the universe and they control your mind.
And when you have no understanding of these powerful forces then they will continue to dominate your mind.
You need to understand them and take control of them.
For example, emotions like fear and pleasure play a key role in why human beings do the things that they do.
Therefore you need to understand the pain and pleasure emotions in your life and get control of them.
For example, ask yourself this:
How will you feel 5 years from now if you dont take action on your goals?
Will you feel happy?
Or will you feel pain because you are in the exact same position?
Or maybe your position in life has gotten worse?
You must learn to use your emotions and to focus on the right ones to push you forward.
In order to do this, you will need to get some mind tools to get you to take back control over your mind and help you focus your scattered mind on the right things.
Remember, people, struggle a lot because they dont know what they dont know.
Key parts of this process are the following tools:
All three of these tools are closely related.
And you can use one of them or combine all three of them.
But the bottom line is that they will help you calm your mind and get control over your emotions.
A big mistake a lot of people make when they try and implement self-discipline in their lives is that they focus on only one area.
This is a big mistake.
For example, if you want to improve your professional life or buiness then just focusing on being disciplined in your buiness is not going to give you good results.
Real Self-discipline is holistic.
That means if you want to improve any area then all areas need to be improved.
This includes your body.
The reason is simple: everything is connected.
You cant get the type of results you want to have if you don't adopt a holistic lifestyle.
Therefore whatever your goals are you need to include working on your body.
The good news the more you work on your body the more all other areas will be improved.
You need to:
- Lit weights and do Bodyweight training
- Stretch (Yoga or traditional stretching)
- Eat Healthy (Eat real food+supplement)
There are many training programs there to help you transform your body.
Find one and start training.
You need to stretch or do yoga in order to maintain and improve flexibility.
Lastly but very importantly you need to eat healthy food.
What you eat you become.
The food you put in your body will influence everything else you do in life.
So take this seriously.
One of the greatest tools for all-around personal development is Martial Arts.
I get it you are busy and think you dont have time.
But in my opinion, there is no better vehicle and investment in yourself than martial arts.
It will improve all areas of your life.
It will force you to be more disciplined.
It will force you to be in the moment and therefore has a strong meditative aspect.
It will get you close to other human beings and force you to communicate better and listen.
It will put you in uncomfortable situations and give you a great workout.
Most importantly it will teach you how to defend your life and those who you care about.
Choose whatever martial art you feel comfortable with, but I do recommend a martial art that is practical and can be used in street self-defense.
Therefore I recommend one of the following martial arts:
- Gracie JiuJitsu (Gracie BJJ is focused on self-defense)
- Muay Thai
Another key aspect of Self Discipline is managing your time.
Most people waste incredible amounts of time.
For some reason, they don't realize that time is our most important commodity.
Once it's gone you never get it back.
So do a personal audit of your time and ask yourself this honest question:
Over the last 24 hours, how much time have you wasted?
Think back and check how much time you wasted on the things that give you nothing.
The time that you could have used to pursue your goals.
If you are honest you will find hours of wasted time by doing things like mindlessly surfing the internet or watching TV.
You need to get control over your time and use it wisely.
The second part of this puzzle is productivity.
How productive are you with the time that you do decide to use?
Remember being busy does not mean you are productive.
Doing things that do not matter in terms of getting you where you want to go is irrelevant.
For example, spending hours writing a buiness plan or having meetings about your new buiness card is work-related, but it's a total waste of time.
Find the things that will give you the most leverage over the next 12 months and do those things.
The reality is that you will have to give some things up.
You must sacrifice if you want to start living as a high-performance individual.
If you want to change your own life and the people you care about then you must transform and play this game of life on a whole different level.
This will demand a change of who you are right now and become someone that you will admire a year from now.
Create a vision in your mind of who you want to be and go after that.
Your mindset will make or break your success.
The reason why so many people fail in life and never reach the goals that they have set for themselves is that they have settled for mediocrity.
They give up at the first sign of resistance and quit.
That is why these days it's relatively easy to become successful because most people quit.
Therefore the competition is lower.
But having said that most still fail becuase they miss the most important part of the puzzle.
The part of the puzzle is this:
Most people dabble with success, they go on a diet of 30 days and then wait for it to stop so they can go back to “their old selves”.
Or they do a “30-day abb workout” and then go back to “being themselves.
And within this is the problem.
Everything they try is temporary.
It's something they have to get through as quickly as possible so they can get back to their mediocre lives.
They have never been really tested.
Never have they seen how deep the rabbit hole really goes.
So they just put one foot in the water to feel how cold it is.
Then they feel the freezing water and prefer to go back to comfort.
So they dabble and then tell everyone:
” I tried everything but I can't lose weight.”
“I tried everything but my online buiness didn't work.”
Whatever the goal is, the problem is the same, and most people miss it.
The problem is these people are dabblers in life.
And what is required is a change of lifestyle.
The reality is their current lifestyle is a life of comfort.
What they should do is switch it around.
In other words, self-discipline must become a lifestyle.
You must jump into the icy water of life and embrace it.
It must become part of who you are.
All the aspects I mentioned about the mind and body must become who you are.
You must shift your mindset from a victim to a Warrior.
In other words, you must become a professional.
You must raise your standards in everything you do.
You must reject the mediocre.
You must become someone else.
Success demands sacrifce.
And if you want to win you must make Self Discipline a lifestyle.
And that is what being a professional is all about.
It's a way of life.
It's the way of the warrior.
It's the way of high achievers.
Maintenance And Mental Toughness
Yes, I get it, it's easy to talk about being disciplined but it's another thing to actually do it.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, it's not going to be easy, but nothing of value comes easy.
This is why there are so few people who consistently achieve great results on a high level.
Most people will start the process and then quit.
But you dont have to be part of the statistics of people who decided to quit.
You can do this if you commit to becoming a professional.
One aspect of being professional is having a high level of mental toughness.
You must have the mental toughness to maintain self-discipline.
Self-discipline takes the chaos of reality and contains it for you.
It creates space so that you can operate and maneuver in life.
But you must learn to build mental toughness one step at a time.
We do this by becoming comfortable being uncomfortable.
That means you will have to build your mental fortitude one step at a time, it won't be given to you.
And if you have never been mentally tested or you haven't been mentally tested for a long time then it will be hard.
But you have to ask yourself how badly you want to reach your goals?
How badly do you want to live that dream life?
Your answer should push you forward.
For those of you who haven't really been tested know this:
When you get thrown into the cauldron of life and start climbing the ladder and going after what you want your own mind will test you.
Your own mind will go into your past and try and stop you.
It will remind you of past failures and try and force you to give up.
And why will your own mind do this?
Well, as I mentioned earlier in this article, there are ancient parts of the human mind that don't care about your goals or success.
It just cares about you being safe and comfortable.
That ancient part of the human mind loves comfort zones and hates change.
For example when your alarm clock goes off on a cold winter's morning that part of your mind will try and stop you.
It will tell you to stay in bed.
It will tell you, “Stop wasting your time, who do you think you are?”
Another example of the tests your own mind will throw at you is when you have chosen to do something productive and then the mind will try and get you to quit.
For example, you go for a 5-mile run and 1 mile in your mind says: “You're breathing heavy, and your legs are on fire, stop and rest.”
In these moments it will be up to you to recognize the moment, resist it and overcome it.
Focus on your goal and keep moving forward.
This is what mental toughness is all about.
It's about overcoming the obstacles that you will find by maintaining self-discipline.
When you decide to adopt self-discipline and become a professional you will find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the reality of what is ahead of you.
You might think, “How am I going to make this a lifestyle? This is crazy”.
This links up with another reason why many people quit in life.
And this brings me back to the lessons learned from the special operations community.
When a young soldier joins the Special Forces, 2 years of training wait in front of him.
He needs to pass assessment tests, go-to selection, airborne training, language school, Ranger school (for some), and the Q course for specialized training.
All this training can seem overwhelming.
If you are being physically broken down early in the morning by an instructor and breathing heavily after just 10 miles, negative thoughts tend to creep into the mind.
For young soldiers, the thought might be, “How am I going to get through 24 hours of this? Even worse how am I going to get through 2 years of this?”
This type of mental self-sabotage is why many quit and go home.
It's a trick of the mind to overwhelm you with the discomfort that awaits.
But those who know the tricks of the mind know better.
This is why soldiers get encouraged to forget about the 2 years and just focus on getting through the day.
Take it day by day.
Another example is the Navy SEALS Hell Week.
I was recently listening to a podcast by a Navy Seal veteran talking about how successful candidates get through hell week and why most don't make it.
Before I get to that let me tell you about Hell Week that happens at BUDS.
Hell Week is a mental and physical test where the students get pushed to their absolute limits.
The “hell week” is 5 and a half days long and the students get less than 4 hours of sleep in that time window.
The Navy Seal instructor on the podcast was saying that the difference between the unsuccessful candidates and the successful ones is this:
The ones that quit focus on the 24 hours, and 5 days ahead of them.
They focus on the pain they are experiencing and the long hours that still awaits them.
So they give up and ring the bell.
Successful candidates have the ability to focus on only the next 10 minutes or the next hour.
The Seal said that when he went through hell week he told himself that “It's 6 am now, I'm just going to make it to lunch.”
And the times when he was in severe mental and physical pain and thinking of quitting he would tell himself, “I'm just going to push on for another hour and then consider leaving.”
He said that would then find himself saying “Let's do just one more hour.”
He would continue doing this and stack all these hours.
And before he knew it a day was done.
And next the whole week was done.
The bottom line is this:
You can use your mind to overcome anything if you focus, breathe, and use the right thoughts to push you forward.
Yes I get it we are not Special Forces soldiers or Navy Seals, but we can learn lessons from these warriors and use them in our own lives to reach our goals.
So now you have the basic framework of how to build a culture of Self Discipline in your life.
But if you want to learn more and take your life to a whole different level then get my book Self Discipline where I tell you exactly how to understand your own body and mind and build a life of a professional.
So now it's up to you to make a choice and start doing the work to get the life that you really want.
See you on the other side.