Personal Development: The Art of Self-Discipline When it comes to the field of personal development the key focus is on inspiration and motivation. The leaders of the personal development movement have the false belief that people can and need to be externally motivated to create a better life for themselves. It has been my experience that such extrinsic motivation and inspiration are short lived.
There’s even a name that was coined for this momentary height in motivation, the seminar high. The seminar high is when a person attends a motivation seminar or inspiration seminar and they leave with a high that lasts for a few days and after these few days that person’s level of motivation drops back down to whatever it was before they attended the seminar.
You will find that this is true for religions events as well as business events. In college, I remember attended a Kiwanis retreat for college students. The retreat is designed to get you pumped up about service and running your campus clubs. The problem I had was that they pumped us up so high that by the end of the seminar I was worn out. What was intended to pump me up left me deflated.
What I will say next is a bit vanilla and plain so many won’t like it: They key to success at anything is discipline.
It is discipline that is forcing me to write this article while I am sick with the flu. It was discipline that forced me to work 80 to 100 hours a week to start my business. It was my own internal inspiration and motivation image that gave me the drive to achieve these things.
Quickly, lets go back to motivation. In psychology, there are two forms of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic is the form of motivation that comes from within you, it is your internal flame that propels you into action. Extrinsic motivation comes from other people and it is temporary in nature.
For me, motivation is only useful at getting you started but it is self-discipline that we keep you going.
Discipline is not something that comes natural to me, and I thought it comes natural to most people. What I fined is that self-discipline had to be cultivated by the individual. You have to go to war with yourself and be determined to claim victory over yourself.
Lack of discipline is why fat people stay fat and why poor people stay poor. It is also why you haven’t achieved your goals.
Self-discipline is a skill that can make you successful in any area of life. The first step to cultivating self-discipline is to focus only on those things that will bring you closer to your goals. Stop wasting time on things that don’t matter, stop seek entertainment and distractions. This is the first step and most important step to cultivating self-discipline and success. Once this step is in motion, you will then have to continue to fight with yourself to stay on track and to pursue your goals.