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The Art of Self Mastery

Self discipline is a characteristic that all of us need for personal fulfillment in the long run. Though anyone can do something like wait an hour to eat, or push themselves to put in an additional hour or two at work, but it take more than that to maintain  a consistent level of self-discipline in everything we do.

True self discipline is the ability to control our actions, thoughts, and deeds so that we are able to sustain personal development and perpetuate personal satisfaction. Here are 11 facts that can stand in our way of self discipline, realizing our full potential, and taking control of our life.

Fact #1 : Justification

We can justify anything if we think about it long enough. We can tell ourselves that we did not get our taxes done because they are too complicated, that we cannot lose weight because we are around the people who eat too much, or even we overslept because we worked too late. The situation might be actual but we can control our own response.

Next time you go to justify your actions, think about why you acted the way you dd. Force yourself to think about what you did or did not so that caused you to fail.

Fact #2 : Desire

Consider how your activity might be out of line with your desires. If you cannot seem to get that project done at work, are you late to your night classes, or continue to forget the dry cleaning, you probably not interested at getting it done. In these cases, you might need to think about  looking for a more rewarding job, or reconsider your decision to earn a graduate degree.

The point is not to avoid things you don’t like but to decide how much you truly desire the elements in your life. Ask yourself if the elements in your life are those that you desire.

Fact #3 : Undefined Goals

Our dreams must be made of concrete. We must make plans and set dates to them. It is difficult to have self discipline in the face of abstraction and uncertainty. When you know exactly why you are making a sacrifice and can visualize the reward, self discipline becomes a natural trait as we head towards the ultimate prize.

Our goals define us, provide us motivation, and validate our dreams. Without goals, you have no destination, no end in mind. Begin with medium goals that can be reach within a relatively short period of time. It can be quite motivating  when you reach a goal for the first time.

Fact #4 : Distraction

A lack of self discipline is often a symptom of bad choices or unhealthy portions of our life. What’s distracting you? Take care of your health, relationship, and spiritual life so that you do not have points of weakness in your mind. Your mind need to be clear to gather all the strengths it needs to keep you on task and focused.

Take inventory of all the things in your life that need fixing , and begin fixing them today. By removing the distraction of emptiness, conflict and pain, you can more clearly identified a loss of self-control and get yourself back on the right track.

Fact #5 : Disorganization

 It is difficult to maintain self-discipline in the midst of lack of control all around us. If we want to feel in control and learn to be in control, we cannot have things falling apart all around us. The inability to find the a pen when you need it, a forgotten meeting date, or a missed bill payment – all these tells you that ‘you are out of control’.

Our mind registers this communication as a sign that we are not disciplined and begins to acting accordingly.

Fact #6 : Bad Habits

Seek to eliminate your bad habits. While it might seem that bad habits are caused by a lack of self discipline, you could also say that bad habits make it impossible for us to develop lasting self-discipline practices. In most cases, bad habits form long before we realize that we have a need  for self discipline in our lives. You must take control of every part  of your life starting at the most basic level.

Take steps today to identify and break your bad habits. You do not have to do it all at once, you can do it in small steps. As you make progress towards eliminating your bad habits, you develop self confidence and as a result, the ability to maintain self-control.

Fact #7 : Self-knowledge

Discipline means behaving according to what you have decided is best, regardless of how you feel in the moment. Therefore, the first trait of discipline is self-knowledge.  You need to decide what behavior best reflect your goals and values. This process  requires introspection and self-analysis, and most effective when tied to written expression.

A self-discipline person lets go of mistakes, and apologizes and takes steps to correct the situation without dwelling on the failure.

Fact # 8 : Conscious Awareness

Self discipline depends upon conscious awareness to both what you are doing and what you are not doing. Think about it, if you aren’t aware of your behavior is undisciplined, how will you know to act otherwise? Developing self discipline takes time, and the key here is you are aware of your undisciplined behavior.

With time this awareness will come, meaning rather than catching yourself in the act of being undisciplined you will have been aware before you act in this way.

Fact #9 : Commitment to Self Discipline

It is not enough to write up your goals and values. You must make an internal commitment to them. Otherwise when your alarm clock goes off at 5 am. you will see no harm in hitting the snooze  button for ‘just 5 more minutes..’ or, when the initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away from a project you will struggle to see it through to completion.

If you struggle with commitment, start by making a conscious decision to follow through on what you say you’re going to do. As the saying goes, what get measured get improved.

Fact #10 : Courage

Self discipline is often extremely difficult. Moods, appetite and passions can be powerful forces to go against. Therefore, self-discipline is highly dependent  on courage. Don’t pretend something is easy for you to do when it is in fact very difficult and painful.  Instead find courage to face this pain and difficulties.

As you begins to accumulate small private victories, your self confidence and belief will grow, and the courage that underpins self-discipline will come more naturally.

Fact #11 : Internal Coaching

Self-talk is often harmful, nobody harsher on us than our own inner thoughts, but it also can be extremely beneficial if you have control over it. When you find yourself being tested, i suggest  you talk to yourself, encourage yourself, and reassure yourself. After all it is self-talk that has the ability to remind you of your own goals, call up courage, and reinforce your commitment and keep your conscious of the task at hand.

“The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regrets. “

Burn this quote into your memory, and recall in whenever you find yourself being tested. It may change your life.

The path to self discipline  can be challenging. It requires us to objectively examine ourselves and our lives, and then facilitates what is working by ridding ourselves of what is not. Once we take control of what is in our lives, we can take control of our minds. The first thing to do is to start taking actions now.

Self discipline is tool, that is something you use, and not something you have. The more you use it, the more you can make happen.

You can use it accomplish almost any goals you have!





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