Discipline is a quality akin to the ability to conform to specific imperatives, tasks or actions. It implies maintaining regular behavior and perseverance in achieving one’s goals despite difficulties.
It often requires self-control, willpower and the ability to stay focused and concentrated on what’s important. It is often associated with a high level of rigor.
Discipline is important in sports practice, but it can also be applied in many areas of life, such as studies, relationships, the workplace, the adoption of lifestyles or the achievement of any goal.
It inevitably plays a key role in achieving success and personal development, but it is not an innate skill.
It is therefore necessary to develop and cultivate the discipline so that it becomes a given, and this requires the implementation of simple processes designed to define a guideline that will form your common thread.
The direct link between discipline and rigor
While discipline means forcing yourself to adopt actions, routines and structured, regular behaviors to increase your efficiency and accelerate your evolution through strict regularity, rigor means applying all these efforts meticulously and adopting a higher level of demands.
So it’s easy to understand the direct relationship between rigor and discipline. In fact, you can implement the highest level of regularity in your actions and behaviors, but you will only reap results to the extent of the quality of execution and involvement you place in each of them. Likewise, you can be the most diligent person you want to be, but you’ll only get results if you’re diligent.
Distinguishing between motivation and discipline
The most common mistake, and often the most devastating, is to associate discipline with motivation. Although they are somewhat related, they remain 2 very distinct concepts.
Motivation refers to all the reasons or motives that drive us to act. It is an internal motor that drives us to act and persevere in our efforts. It can be fuelled by a variety of sources: passion, the desire to succeed, rewards, ambitions, encouragement or the achievement of intermediate goals. It is the buffer between our emotions and discipline.
On the other hand, as mentioned above, discipline is only expressed in the ability to follow pre-established rules, actions and behaviors to achieve objectives. And that’s regardless of emotions or level of motivation.
In short, motivation is the engine that drives us to act, while discipline is our reservoir of capacity to maintain the necessary and consistent efforts to succeed. Motivation can influence discipline, but the level of discipline is directly related to the ability to sustain effort despite fluctuations in motivation. So be careful not to confuse the two, and fall into the trap of systematically making motivation indispensable to action. What’s more, it’s actually possible to reverse the process, and use action to influence motivation and adopt a positive mindset.
Become aware of the impact of emotions on discipline so as to deal with them more effectively
Emotions can have a significant impact on discipline, affecting our motivation. Indeed, when you’re overwhelmed by negative emotions like frustration, discouragement, anger and disappointment, it can be hard to maintain your discipline. Emotions can distract and demotivate you. However, positive emotions such as passion and satisfaction can have the opposite effect, helping you to create the right balance to remain constant, providing you with the energy and willpower to persevere in your efforts. It’s therefore important to recognize and manage your emotions in order to maintain a solid discipline, to stay focused on the important elements you can influence so as to stay focused and keep moving in the right direction, despite the difficulties.
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How do you embark on a path of unwavering discipline?
Discipline is a skill that can be learned and practiced, so it’s vital to put certain fundamentals in place to increase your chances of staying on course.
Set clear objectives:
Setting specific goals will help you make sense of what you’re doing and the effort you’ll have to put in. This will make it easier for you to get back on track when you’re facing difficulties or lack of motivation. Being able to clearly identify the finish line will help you stay focused on it.
Creating routines :
Setting up routines will help you get things started more naturally on a daily basis. Anchoring small actions in your habits will help create structure and rhythm. It’s a great background tool for planning and staying organized. What’s more, establishing routines boosts productivity by taking the mental load off your shoulders, allowing you to concentrate on other important actions. At the same time, they free up your time.
Efficient time management :
Managing your time effectively means allocating the time you devote to each task in a way that’s consistent with their level of importance and priority, and finding the ideal balance between the different spheres of your life. It also means setting deadlines and making sure you stick to a basic planning schedule. These operating methods will help you avoid exploding stress or anxiety levels in the face of uncertainty or the unexpected.
Overcoming temptations and distractions:
It will be easy to be tempted to give up, to put off certain actions or tasks until tomorrow, to be attracted by shortcuts or to lower your level of demand and rigor in the face of difficulties or daily distractions. In fact, it’s not uncommon for those around you to misunderstand you and try to influence you towards a slower pace or a less strict path. Don’t be persuaded! Lack of discipline leads to stagnation if not mediocrity
Contrary to what you might think, discipline, although influenced by your motivation, is not dependent on it. To help you achieve your goals through discipline, it’s important to understand that discipline is based on the implementation of actions and routines that are rigorously executed in the direction of your objectives. It requires assiduity and perseverance, and requires you to be focused on your finishing line so as not to flinch in the face of difficulties.