Self-discipline is a must

Jeoffrey Mukubi

I suck at self-discipline, that’s why I constantly have to work at it. I feel this is especially true for artists. I marvel at an artist’s ability to get into their stride and work persistently toward their vision. An artist, it seems to me, must have an incredible drive to work day in and day out under difficult circumstances. It takes real discipline, especially in a country where everyone is called, but only a few are actually chosen.

But what is discipline, and how does one acquire it?

Business advisor Ralph Jabbour, writing about growth strategies, defines self-discipline as “the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.” This seems like a great start, but how does one obtain this ability? How are the temptations overcome?

Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to cultivate self-discipline and it has not been easy. I have aspired to do many things, like build a successful art business, create a family, and publish a book – to name a few. But I have discovered that each of these goals is hard to achieve and that there are many temptations to abandon those goals.

So, I have decided to work even harder to develop discipline to work toward my goals. I have also learned that it is never enough to tell myself that I just need to be more disciplined. I struggle to remain focused, because as any millennial out there, I’m easily distracted.

But I have scoured the inter web and have read countless books on self-discipline. This is what I found: every time you have a shred of doubt and lack of self-discipline, just do it, because no one will do it for you. And set goals, because you have to know where you’re going so you will know when you get there.

Establish priorities and place yourself high on your list, because you are important, too! Use time productively as procrastination gets you nowhere. Pace yourself and work at your own speed and give yourself frequent breaks. Ask for help, because you can’t do everything yourself.

Say “No” and don’t feel guilty about it. Stay healthy and eat right, get enough rest and exercise. Think positively, because you can do it if you think you can.

Lastly, take time out to play. I mean, why should the kids have all the fun? If this is not enough to practice self-discipline, then try other methods to get you going and to stay focused on your goals. There are many techniques out there, some of which might work for you.