“The first and best victory is to conquer self.” —Plato
It’s a tale old as time.
There’s so much for us to enjoy in this life. The world offers us plenty of means of entertainment and pleasure.
And yet, most of us know all too well, that the way to true joy, comes through actually saying no to most of what the world offers us.
The ability to say no to something that you desire in order to better yourself later, is by far one of the most important life skills one needs to obtain if they ever want to even imagine the idea of success.
We are feeble creatures, we’re easily corrupted, and we only have ourselves to blame or thank for how corrupted we end up being.
If every time you saw a sugary treat, you couldn’t help yourself, you can’t blame anyone else for not succeeding as an athlete.
If every time your friends called you to go partying, and you did, you can’t blame anyone for not going to the college you wanted.
And if every time your phone lit up you grabbed it instead of working, you’re obviously not gonna get that promotion.
Life is for the most part unfair and cruel. So it’s only logical that we need to give ourselves whatever possible advantage we can have.
So let’s see how we might help ourselves become more in control of ourselves.
Step 1: Recognize Your Achilles heel
It’s no use fighting something when you’re not sure what it is you’re fighting. Make no mistake, you’re in for a long and arduous fight. So for starters, find out where you’re most vulnerable. Your poison of choice, your sweet tooth, your guilty pleasure, whatever it is that puts off course and drives you away from your goals.
Step 2: Failing to plan means planning to fail
Once you’ve identified your most glaring weaknesses, you need to set a plan that would ensure you avoiding or overcoming those weaknesses. If staying out late creates the perfect opportunity for late night snacks, then you need to weed that out.
If hanging out with a group who influence negatively, you need to distance yourself so you can better yourself, otherwise you’ll never escape their atmosphere.
Step 3: Understand the long game
Again, this is a long fight. Self-discipline requires lifelong commitment, because you’re chasing lifelong goals. It’s actually one of the few fair things in life. So this isn’t gonna be one of those rapid gratification moments at all. You need to wait and reap the rewards in the future.
Step 4: Frustration is the enemy
Nothing kills your spirit like your mind telling you it’s hopeless or that you’ve failed too many times. The only way to success is through hundreds of failures. Get used to the idea so you don’t shut down every time your brain wants to quit.
Step 5: Don’t do it alone
Find someone who can hold you accountable and mentor you in your journey. There’s no extra merit in trying to slug it out on your own. You need people you can depend on in your corner to always support you and push you in the right way.
Step 6: Pat yourself on the back
Lastly, every once in a while, when you’ve managed to be on a good run of days without breaking your choice of discipline, reward yourself. It’s important to recognize even the smallest milestones, they matter because they pile up into bigger ones.
People aren’t born disciplined, it’s sewn into the fabric of your personality by working hard at it day after day. So don’t put yourself down by saying you were dealt a bad hand by having little to no self-discipline. Own up to it, then work at it day in day out, you’ll get there eventually and realize it was just a matter of not letting your inner demons or the naysayers keep you down.
A healthier, brighter and more meaningful lifestyle is the only outcome if you start, so don’t let anything hold you back, or keep you down!