5 Ways to Discipline your Self-Discipline

Have you ever met anyone you thought was the luckiest son of a XXXX in the world?

Everything seems to come easily to this person. They appear to be gifted at some particular skill or everything they want in life magically materialises. You know the ones I’m talking about, right?

These lucky ones often seem to be so bloody reasonable about everything as well; always there with this rosy positive outlook on life while you’re sat there thinking “Well yeah, I’d be pretty happy and positive too if I got everything I wanted or could make a really good living out of doing exactly what I wanted”.

Well, let me let you into a little secret here.

While there are a handful of people out there with an IQ of like about a million, the majority of these “lucky” people you’re referring to are just like you and me – with one small difference. They’re gifted!

I don’t mean gifted in the sense of Mozart and mega-IQs, those are natural talents. I mean gifted in the sense that they’ve got their Inner Imp Self-Discipline by the short and curlies.

These people have somehow managed to take the Self-Discipline Imp weakling that we are all born with and then given him some serious muscle.

They’ve taken this undisciplined layabout and, over the years, really put him through his paces. Time and exercising their Self-Discipline has transformed them from an average Jo, like you and me, into the “lucky” person you see before you that everything appears to come to so easily.

There’s no arguing that luck plays a huge role, although here at CANDo we’d argue that “luck” is mainly something you create for yourself. The crucial thing though, is that no matter how lucky a person is, without control over their Self-Discipline Imp, they’ll probably just stumble around, with completely undirected talents.

So what’s the secret?

The secret is that it doesn’t come easily – well, not at first anyway.

It may appear that these “lucky” people are naturally adept at flapping away conversationally, have Mozart-esk talent with a musical instrument, by good genes possess slim, toned bodies that allow them to eat whatever they want or are endowed with Star-Trek-Data-type computational capacity. However, the reality is, the majority simply have a Self-Discipline Inner Imp with mega-muscles.

  • They get up two hours earlier than you to practice their musical instrument – every day!
  • They dedicate time to continually improving their life skills to boost Self-Esteem, improve communications skills, learn a language, etc.,
  • Or – coz let’s face it the world is made up of verrrry different people – they spend their free-time doing a few Einstein-ish type mathematical equations because they find it fun!
  • These “lucky” individuals might eat what they want occasionally, but all day, most days they eat a sensible, balanced diet and they make the time to exercise regularly.
  • And in the case of Sporting professionals, their Self-Discipline makes them practice hour after hour to hone their muscles.

The point is – or rather the secret is – if you want to succeed at a task, skill or whatever, Self-Discipline has got to show up for work.

Don’t spend your life hanging around, waiting to stumble on the right skill, trying get lucky with something, blaming someone else for something you had or didn’t have or to suddenly find your “talent”.

Create your own!

Kick Self-Discipline out of bed and Go-Get it.

My personal experience tells me to my face this isn’t easy but, the good news is, Self-Discipline is like a muscle and the more exercise you give him, the stronger he becomes.

So, here’s the nitty-gritty. The CANDo Get-Up and Go-Go Guide to becoming one of those “lucky”, talented people:

ONE – Don’t Wait Until you Feel Like It

Society’s gift to us all seems to be the idea that whatever we do should “entertain” us to be worthwhile.

“If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it” or “The results would be good but, heck, I’m not getting up that early”.


Do you think top athletes always enjoy the exhaustion of  repetitive training? Err… NO! They do it because they enjoy the results; the winning. As their bodies become fitter, they actually start to enjoy the feelings that come with it because they know, they’ll feel elated with the end results.

Do you think musicians enjoy getting up earlier to practice or practicing for hours and hours each day? Err… NO! They do it because they know they’ll get their reward with the applause of the crowd or adulation of the people they play to.

Do you think super slim people enjoy eating their vegetables, etc., every day over a take-away Burger and Fries? Err… NO! They do it because they enjoy the body they achieve as a result and the fact that they can “eat anything” occasionally.

Hell, do you think I enjoy working out 3 − 4 times a week to stay in shape? Err… HELL NO! I’d much rather be sitting reading a book or writing but, I know, I’ll feel so much more energetic if I do it. My clothes will fit better and I can strut with confidence in a bikini in the summer. I also feel a sense of satisfaction that I had the CANDo attitude to get-up and do a must-do.

Don’t get me wrong. You will end up enjoying it because you end up with such a feeling of self-satisfaction in your ability to make yourself do things you couldn’t be assed to. And wow! When you start to achieve some of your goals you eventually start to wonder why you didn’t Get-Up and Go-Go earlier.

TWO – Excuses, Excuses

It is SO easy to come up with excuses as to why you shouldn’t do it.

  • “I’ve got a bad back”
  • “I had a bad childhood”
  • “I haven’t been given the opportunity”
  • “I have a slow metabolism”
  • “I don’t have the time”
  • “I’ll hit the gym when I lose some weight”
  • “Tomorrow”
  • “Nobody taught me how to eat properly”

Here’s the time to call on another of your Inner Imps – Honesty and get him to have a word, why don’t you?!

You’re not doing what you ought to because your Inner Imp:

  • Laziness is too soft and fat.
  • Courage is nothing more than a cowardly lion.
  • Fear and Doubt are being all shouty and have you convinced you can’t do anything. Or,
  • Autonomy is jealously guarding all those bad habits you’ve spent years cultivating – lounging on the sofa, eating quick junk food rather than cooking, wasting life with fleeting TV programmes or video games, socialising in the bar rather than at a sports club and making excuses to justify doing anything but succeed in life!

THREE – Reach your Goal Post

Break your goal down into manageable portions and then set yourself a small list of mini-goals each day – we’re talking 1-3 tops at first. Once you’ve done that, you’re gonna need a little Habit Building help to try and win over Autonomy and slap Fear and Doubt in the face.

Generally speaking, the trick is not to finish your day until you’ve achieved what’s on your list. NO EXCUSES!

FOUR – Give Positive Thinking Airtime and Send Naysayers to Coventry

It’s amazing how so-called friends and family can trash any budding ideas, goals or attempts you make to change your life for the better with the speed of light. The Inner Imps that make up “Team Them”, will naysay and add their doubts and fears to your own not just subconsciously, but downright in your face too. All this can have you easily giving-up.

Unless you really need motivation from an external source, keep your ideas and plans away from any negative people you know. Work away quietly on your own for a few days or weeks until Self-Discipline has developed a bit of muscle strength and shown you a little success.

If you need to talk to someone or get external motivation, choose someone with a highly developed Positive Thinking Inner Imp. They’ll give you the boost you need.

FIVE – Stay Focussed

It’s really easy to get distracted by a good book, a film on TV you’ve been wanting to see for a while, that yummy looking cream cake in the Baker’s window, checking your Mobile for messages or the latest news on Facebook. Keep Self-Discipline focussed. Remind yourself of what you’re trying to do and the very good reasons you had for wanting to do it and stay on the job until it’s done. Do this, and then you can allow yourself a little playtime.

So, there you have it. CANDo’s guide to kicking Self-Discipline into shape.

It’s not easy we know, but one of life’s greatest myths is that lucky people were born lucky. Most of them make their own luck by strengthening the muscles of their Self-Discipline.

If you’d like some extra support, tell us about your aims in the comments below and if you start to feel Self-Discipline is slipping into bad ways, drop us an email or sign-up for our free CANDo Get-Up and Go-Go Newsletter and we’d be happy to send you back some positive CANDo Get-Up and Go-Go motivation. Alternatively, our Facebook and Twitter communities are awash with positive CANDo Go-Getters, who are always willing to offer support.

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