Trying to live a life of self-discipline sometimes, if not always, robs our lives of fun and excitement. Self-discipline might require you lose some friends, leave your hobbies and stop some of the things you enjoy. After all, discipline is a restriction from pleasure.
But is there way out or are you to continue to live your life with drudgery and discontentment?
I’m here with some good news…
You can be disciplined and still flex. You can still have the exuberance and excitement of Life while you put away the temporary pleasures that discipline requires of you to put away to attain a greater good.
What I’m saying is you can enjoy self-discipline and still succeed!
Before we go into the details, I like to walk you through some of the importance of living a self disciplined life in case you’re wondering if it’s actually worth the stress.
Self-discipline is placing restrictions on oneself from certain pressures or desires for a greater good.
Benefits of self discipline
1. It brings accomplishments:
Self-discipline is the ingredient that turns goals into accomplishments. If anything worthwhile will ever happen, it has to be made to happen. No desirable result comes by chance. Self-discipline is the factor that will push you to take actions in making things happen. Self-discipline fuels consistency and is stronger than motivation. It takes discipline to finish what you have started.
2. Self-discipline gives you speed:
Although with average level of engagement one can get some results over a period of time, it takes discipline to speed up the process. It takes discipline to put in the extra effort in learning and working than the average person will do. This extra effort is what brings results faster. Enough discipline can can squeeze 10 years progress into two years.
3. Self discipline earns you respect:
People with self-discipline are admired and respected by others. The average human being knows the need for self discipline and desires the results that discipline brings but they are not disciplined enough to discipline themselves. They will therefore, respect anyone who can pay the price of discipline. When you live disciplined, they might not like you because your presence reveals their weakness but they will respect you.
4. Self-discipline gives you opportunities:
This is a continuation of the previous. Because people respect you and admire your level of discipline, they will naturally recommend you when something serious needs to be done. They will know you have what it takes. This opportunities cut across job opportunities, leadership roles and promotion. High-level discipline is a marketable skill in demand in this century of ‘freedom.’
Now you know some of the reasons why you need self discipline let’s go to the main business
How To Enjoy Self Discipline
1. Search out for the benefits of discipline in each area:
It is like the popular saying, if the purpose of a thing is not known abuser is inevitable. The reason why many people and even you, have not been able to maintain self-discipline is because they have not known why discipline in that area is important. Once discipline in a particular area has truly been seen as a necessity, bulk of the work has been done already.
It’s like someone who hardly drinks two glasses of water a day now taking four litres daily because a doctor said it will cost their life if they don’t. The reason behind the action automatically stirred that discipline. Discipline is a necessity not an option for consideration except if success isn’t a big deal for you.
Take time out for instance to highlight the benefits of reading daily and the dangers of not reading– as many as you can find. With enough reasons to maintain discipline, discipline will be easier.
2. Insist on discipline
You just have to take the first step. It takes discipline to be disciplined. For instance, it takes discipline to search out the many benefits discipline holds for you as highlighted in point #1. You can just read this to the end and expect something to happen but nothing will happen until you take steps.
You are the most important factor that will tell if you’ll be disciplined or not so make up your mind that you will walk according to the restrictions you have given yourself no matter what. Be ready to choose discipline above enjoyment, and really chose it.
I know this is meant to teach you how to enjoy self-discipline but the foundation must be in place. Discipline is the foundation before enjoyment so settle it first. Now that you know that discipline is a necessity, do the needful. The first stage of discipline will be full of so much storm (it will be practically void of enjoyment), but you must make up your mind to go through that stage.
It is only then that the other steps will be beneficial to you. Discipline is a must but you must discipline yourself to maintain discipline.
Some techniques to help you with this are shared in this article on pressure
3. Don’t force others to join you:
This is one of the commonest mistakes people make in trying to live a life of self-discipline. You must know that not everyone sees things the way you do, and not everyone is wanting the result you want for your life. Even though they are your friends, you shouldn’t force your restrictions on anyone.
If you do and they aren’t interested, they will either leave you alone (if your pressure is too strong) or they will frustrate you and ensure you find it difficult to abide by the restrictions.
Now, it is necessary to make your restrictions clear to everyone around you; this is not saying you should hide from them. It only means you shouldn’t impose your restriction on them. If you give people a hard time, they will also give you several times. At the end, your life will be stuffed up and you end up blaming your discipline for causing the pressures while in actual sense, it’s your ‘indiscipline’ in trying to force them that is affecting you.
If you think the people around, by not conforming to your restrictions, are affecting you, reduce the time you spend with them and use it with like-minded people. Instead of forcing people you can pray for them. You really can’t change anyone; drop the pride!
4. Avoid risk zones:
One precaution you must take in avoiding the external pressures that will come with living a life of self-discipline is by avoiding places that pressurize you. You know the things you are trying to avoid so avoid the places that will make your restrictions look odd and keep company with others who have placed similar restrictions on themselves, or who will respect your restrictions.
If you are doing something right in a place that is wrong, you will be seen as a one doing something wrong and you will be stuffed up again with so much friction. That is not enjoyment.
5. No idleness:
Your restrictions might have required that you avoid some things; now, replace those things with new habits and hobbies that are in the area of the greater good you are avoiding the pleasures for.
If you don’t replace your old habits with new ones, you are at greater risk of going back to the former. Idleness is another risk zone you must avoid. If your restriction is demanding that you stay away from some close friends, you need to fight idleness extra hard. Many people have chosen to go back to toxic relationships because of the boredom they experience when spending time alone, so you don’t want to leave anything to chance.
Get yourself engaged in other engaging activities and let everyone know you are now engaged in something else. That way you will have less considerations or get less invitation to going back to what you left.
6. Never bend your standards:
Now we are back to this. Times will come when the need to bend your standards will arise. It might come so subtly and look harmless but you shouldn’t give in to them. The more you maintain discipline, the easier it is for you to continue to be disciplined but once you begin to allow loopholes, like an airplane you leave the cruising altitude and you have to fight gravity to rise again.
Remember you have made a decision earlier to maintain discipline no matter what. Now is the time to do what you have said. True friends will respect your decisions and stay, but whoever doesn’t respect your decision when it is for a greater good, shouldn’t be your friend in the first place.
Living a life of discipline can be difficult and it is, most times. But despite all the tight corners that come with the restrictions self-discipline places on you, you can still enjoy the process. You can still be free and happy.
That will happen when you know the benefits of living discipline and insist on being discipline. You also have to stop trying to force your restrictions on others as well as avoid risk zones and idleness.