10 Ways to Develop Self-control and Discipline

Self control and discipline
Photo by Jacob Postuma

People go through life with the promise of living it to the fullest and this concept may have helped so many individuals reach their ultimate dreams and achieve success, but the same mentality also led others to their own failures and disappointments.

Why? What did they do differently to achieve extremely opposite results? Perhaps it can be explained by how the latter missed two values that the former has consistently strived to follow: self-control and discipline. In other words, people often fail to grab success even if they are just an inch away just because they failed the test of controlling their urges and desires, and neglecting the values of discipline.

If you don’t want to follow the same path, consider the following ways to develop self-control and discipline.

1. Only choose the battles that matter.
Don’t waste your energy and resources on the battles that are not worth fighting. This is an important aspect of self-improvement but most people don’t have the right sense of discipline and self-control to just let things, especially unhealthy arguments, go.

Don’t waste your time on unimportant and often exhausting battles that do not even contribute to making yourself better as a person. Instead, focus on self-improvement based on more positive and productive efforts.

2. Live your life within your means.
Practice a level of self-control that allows you to enjoy your present without compromising the comfort of the future. In other words, live within your means, and this includes checking on the scope of your finances, spending on your needs rather than wasting money on your wants.

Most importantly, don’t let the pressures of others drive you to present a lifestyle that you can never support. In fact, you have to realize that the only person that you have to please is you – so start taking care of yourself from now on.

3. Control your thoughts and watch your actions.
How you act and think can make or break your chances of being happy and successful, but humans are not perfect. Most of us often fail to be a good person in words and in deeds, but we are given the strength and the wisdom to be in control. Self-control starts with how you are able to resist unnecessary urges, fight unhealthy thoughts, and choose to be a good person as much as possible.

4. Strive for success – but not at the expense of others.
You have every right to pursue your dreams and aim for success, but make sure that you are not hurting or impeding others from achieving their own goals. Discipline means having the perspective that allows you to respect other people and their own struggles.

Discipline yourself to work harder by following a righteous and acceptable path – and it includes choosing to be a good sport, a fair player, and an honorable person.

5. Stick to your plans but be prepared for detours.
Discipline yourself to follow a firm and solid plan – but make sure that you are prepared for detours. Life is often unpredictable, so why bother to map out a plan only to find yourself traversing a different path? The answer lies in how planning and predicting possible outcomes can keep you focused on your ultimate goals.

Planning helps you stay on track no matter how many detours you take. Planning helps you focus on your destination even if you’re walking on a different road on the way.

6. Remind yourself that good things take time to grow.
Have the self-control to resist the urge of giving up and finding a new, easier and faster direction, just because you think that your initial plan is taking too long to be realized. Good things take time to grow and bloom, so have the self-discipline to practice patience and learn how to wait.

7. Don’t allow yourself to repeat the same mistakes.
Self-control can prevent the same mistakes in the past from happening again. Most often than not, the actions that lead to these mistakes can provide instant but temporary satisfaction, so people tend to fall for them again and again.

While they can be temporary remedies to one’s problems, the consequences of these faulty solutions can last a lifetime.

8. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Most people think that the more they take on tasks and challenges, the faster they can achieve success. While it sounds productive and ideal, it’s important to have a certain level of self-control that can save you from frustrations in the future.

For instance, taking on several commitments and responsibilities that you cannot actually fulfill can only lead to disappointments and burn out. Learn not to be greedy and just take it easy.

9. Don’t equate greed with abundance.
Most people think that in order to get everything you want in life, you have to do everything in your power to get it. Additionally, for them, more means better, so they acquire and collect in abundance, thinking that it’s their reward for working hard.

However, the problem arises when one is not aware that they are actually starting to be motivated by greed – and a greedy person will never feel the joy of contentment and true satisfaction.

Your purpose should not be abundance fueled by greed, but comfort powered by your desire to provide for yourself and the people you love.

10. Value your time by managing and using it well.
Proper time management is one of the most important practices that distinguish a disciplined person from a delinquent one. If you respect your time and know-how to value it, you will start to appreciate your work and your actions and your efforts more.

Most importantly, learning how to value your time will teach you how to also value other people’s efforts and actions.

Life is not about floating in wealth and abundance, but it’s about celebrating your successes anchored by genuine happiness and contentment. While others consider self-control and discipline as restrictive, the happiest and most successful people know very well that they can never be where they are now if not for these very crucial values that helped them achieve their ultimate goals.

ALSO READ: 12 Inspirational Tips to Achieve Success in Life

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Charm Villalon
Charm is a writer and a student. She is currently completing her Graduate Degree in Language Studies while refining her creativity and related skills through the visual arts: drawing and painting.

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