What is Self-Discipline2 min read

Self-discipline is as old as mankind. The Stoics and Buddhist monks lived by it. The Bible tells us that the fall of humanity is due to failure of self-control, trading eternity in the Garden of Eden for an apple… Talk about instant gratification!

What is this thing that can save us from falling from our ideals?

In a nutshell, self-discipline is the art of living in harmony with your goals and values.

Here’s my full definition of it:

Self-discipline is your ability to live in accordance with your higher goals and values moment after moment. 

It is your power to overcome internal and external obstacles, commit to what is meaningful to you, and let that guide the way you think, the choices you make, and the actions you take—until you bring your goal to fruition.

Living in accordance means choosing what’s in your best interest. It’s acting in harmony with your goals, not your moods; your decisions, not your emotions; your aspirations, not your desires. It is to have the courage to sacrifice a lower joy for a higher joy.

Goals and values are the things you want to achieve even if it means playing the long game, letting go of the illusion of quick gains and overnight success. Examples include: living more healthily, writing a book, quitting alcohol, meditating every morning, becoming a great guitar player, being the best mom you can be, or building wealth.

Internal obstacles are things like procrastination, lack of motivation, self-doubt, and laziness. External obstacles are things like distractions, social pressure, unhelpful environments, failures, and challenges in your way.

Letting it guide the way you think means that self-discipline brings clarity to your life, providing a compass for every decision—with the North of your choice.

Until fruition means until you get results, not just for as long as you feel like it. Self-discipline doesn’t ask how you are feeling today. It asks, “How will you live your aspirations today?” and “What choice is true to who you want to become?”

With self-discipline comes many other benefits or virtues, as illustrated in the picture below.

Self-discipline has both external and internal aspects. The external aspect involves building and keeping good habits, dropping bad habits, and acting in accordance with your goals.

The internal aspect is self-mastery, and it’s what makes the external aspect possible. It’s our ability to harmonize and coordinate the different elements of our internal world—our thoughts, emotions, impulses, and goals. It means we have the power to choose which of the conflicting voices inside of us gets to run the show at any given moment. Without this self-mastery we have no control over ourselves or our lives.

Self-discipline is the core skill we need to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. We all have the potential of self-discipline within us—all we need to do is to commit to cultivating it daily, in a systematic way.


Mindful Self-Discipline

By Giovanni Dienstmann

Take Control of Your Life. Fulfill Your Potential. Live Without Regrets. This book is a comprehensive and practical guide for you to develop the self-discipline you need to enhance your health, improve your wellbeing, increase your income, deepen your relationships, and fulfill your dreams.

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Meditation PDF + Workbook + Bonuses

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