It’s undeniably good, but oh-so-hard to do—or even want to do. It’s self-discipline. In this week’s episode, we will discuss what discipline is and is not as well as give some basic thoughts about how to develop discipline as a skill.
This week’s Inspire Me quote is from Vincent Van Gogh:
“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.“
Discipline keeps you going toward your goals. We have to get past the negative associations we have with discipline in order to find the freedom it brings. In this episode, Leary and Armin discuss why we struggle with self-discipline and then provide some clear steps to develop more discipline in our lives.
Quotes from the show:
- “Most of the mistakes we make in our life […] are made […] on impulse.” —Leary
- “Once I started seeing discipline as an enabler to the things that I want, then it became a tool rather than an overlord. […] The problem [had been that] I was seeing […] self-discipline as taking something away from me rather than […] giving something to me.” —Leary
- “There seems to be a process. 1. You have to know why—your greater, deeper why—as to why you want to do this, and 2. […] you have to have a tangible goal.” —Armin
- “You literally could be the person [who] breaks the chain and causes a tremendous contribution to the world based on what you choose to do today.” —Leary
- “With so many distractions, it is hard to stay disciplined because you’re always just like a gerbil on a wheel, jumping from one thing to the next.” —Leary
- “Structure is the way in which you put something together that you’re going to be disciplined about. […] The discipline is […] staying with it […] and getting closer to what [you] want to do.” —Leary
- “You get better at discipline all the time. […] When we feel out of control and not disciplined in every area, we almost think [we] need […] a whole do-over. […] We say ‘I need to get more disciplined.’ […] Just pick one thing that you [will] develop a habit around.” —Leary
This week’s Challenge Me:
Pick an area of your life that you want to be more disciplined. Choose something small and manageable. Then, decide a minimum non-negotiable starting point and just do it.
Comments? Questions? Stories from your own life? Share them with us in the comments below.
Resources mentioned in or related to this podcast episode:
- Episode 21: How to create habits for your next great beginning
- Episode 70: How to beat procrastination
- The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, Nicholas Carr