Do names like Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, A R Rahman, Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg figure in your list?
What’s common among the names? What puts them there on your list?
Their success makes them the poster boys/girls you paste on your wall, closet or sometimes heart. What makes them tick? How come they turned out way they did?
Hard work. Long hours. Hundred per cent commitment. In love with what they do. Passion. Focus. And a natural rhythm within to have all of the above which comes with discipline.
We hardly ever give a thought to the gruelling hard work and long hours that they put in to master their craft. But whether or not we give it a thought it is like any other law of nature. Success comes from hard work and hard work is another name given to practice.
What does discipline do for you? Discipline helps improve your skills. It helps bring in system. What, according to you, would it take to come out as a winner in say an entrance exam or a job interview? Some will say luck. Some might say practice. For those who say luck, I extend my best wishes and for the others I will say that you have zeroed in on the way ahead. Practice indeed makes a man perfect. Discipline is that primary factor that helps you enter practice mode.
Discipline is routine and it needs consistency and that is why it is difficult to acquire. Yet there are ways to bring discipline into your life. Here are some:
Finish what you start: It happens with all of us, we start something that we think is crucial for our success in a certain area and then lose interest, or lose focus and forget why we started. We give up on the thing that we started. You must finish what you start. Remind yourself why you initially began that activity, consider it a sort of training and take yourself to task for not completing it.
Give up excuses: Discipline requires you to constantly show up. Don’t give yourself a chance to make excuses and if a small voice within does come up with me, don’t let it win. If you want to get something done, it will have to be you doing it.
Make it non-negotiable: You have to go for a morning run and the weather is bad? Or your friend has called for an impromptu party during the hours reserved for study? Self-discipline will guide you to choose in circumstances like this. There will be times when you might give in to the temptation of lying in bed for an extra half hour but do not make that a habit. Remind yourself of what you stand to achieve by following your own path and self-discipline will follow.
Don’t overreach: Don’t expect an overnight change, though they do happen sometimes. Take small steps. Breathe. It is okay to fail. But keep at it. Fail in a new way each time. Take it easy. And after each small success talk to yourself, make a note, register it in your system somewhere the accomplishment, however tiny that may be.
Three months is a good practice time to turn something to a habit. And you need discipline to get there.