Four Misconceptions About Self Discipline

Think about your top three goals right now. How many of those can be achieved without self discipline? None of them, right?

Four Misconceptions About Self Discipline

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Self discipline has such a negative connotation in our culture, yet it is probably the one trait above all that sets successful people apart from the unsuccessful. And nobody knows more about the subject of self discipline than Rory Vaden.

Rory is one of my favorite people on the planet. His book Take the Stairs is hands down my favorite book about achieving success. You can check him out here. On Sunday nights after putting the kiddos to bed, I’ll usually go for a walk, think, pray, and create some space for dreaming.

Last night found me listening to episode 46 of Rory’s podcast. Towards the end he shared four misconceptions about self-discipline. I found them very helpful and wanted to pass them along. You’re welcome. :) 

Four Misconceptions About Self Discipline

Misconception #1: Self Discipline is Selective

  • Myth: Some people have it, some people don’t.
  • Self discipline is defined as a noun…but it really should be a verb. “It’s a vehicle, not a destination.”
  • People struggle more from a lack of vision than they do a lack of discipline.
  • When you clarify your vision, you will see an automatic increase in your ability to exert self-discipline.

Misconception #2: Self Discipline is Hard

  • The only ones who think about self discipline as being hard are the ones who don’t understand it.
  • Self-disipline doesn’t create a hard life…being without it does.
  • The Paradox Principle of Sacrifice (from Take the Stairs): “Easy short term choices lead to difficult long term consequences. Meanwhile, difficult short term choices lead to easy long term consequences.”
  • Self discipline isn’t hard, it’s just different. It just has to be learned like anything new does.

Misconception #3: Self Discipline is Emotionless

  • Self discipline isn’t about brute strength, willpower, or the denial of everything good.
  • Self discipline is the art of managing your own emotions.
  • It’s about “engaging your heart and your mind in an intentional way to guide the way you live towards achieving the goals that you want in life.”

Misconception #4: Self Discipline is Boring

  • What do you think of when you hear the word? Salads, weight rooms, being in trouble, self-control, etc.
  • After 10 years of studying some of the most successful and disciplined people on the planet, Rory states that self discipline “equates much more to things like being rich, being [healthy], being influential, having peace, having joy, being spirit-filled, and having money, and adventure and excitement in your life. Self discipline is NOT boring.”

My big takeaway from the podcast is the mindset that self discipline is a vehicle to take you where you want to go. It literally is impossible to achieve anything worthwhile without self discipline.

Since it is required to be successful, it’s time we make friends with self discipline instead of seeing it as the enemy.

As Rory goes on to say, “Self discipline is beautiful.” Why? Because it brings you what you really want in life. And that my friends, is beautiful indeed.

[reminder] What are your thoughts on these misconceptions? Which one do you most relate with?[/reminder]