How To Build Self Discipline?

Philosophies for Life Building Self-Discipline: Insights from Marcus Aurelius

If you want to know How to Build Self Discipline? you’d do well to read the words of Marcus Aurelius. He was the emperor of Rome from 161 to 180 A.D. and is considered the last of the Five Good Emperors. During his rule, Aurelius found the time to construct a series of autobiographical writings known as the Meditations. In these writings, the Roman emperor offered key insights on how to build self-discipline. Here are 10 of the most important insights from the writings of Marcus Aurelius: Finish What You Start: The Art of Following Through, Taking Action, Executing, & Self-Discipline book (Live a Disciplined Life)

Self-discipline starts with finding your purpose.

According to Marcus Aurelius, each of us has a purpose, something that we were created for. We must carry out that purpose, as it gives us a reason to get out of bed each morning. Having a clear understanding of your goals and how your tasks fit within them is essential for completing those goals.

Count on yourself:

After finding your purpose, it’s important to build a practical plan of action to help you accomplish your goal. This plan should include not only committing to your goals but also committing to all the little actions that you’ll take along the way. Be fully committed to doing whatever it takes to get the job done, regardless of challenges.

Show up every day:

Consistency is key when it comes to self-discipline. Showing up every day and putting in the work builds mental endurance and focus. Even if you fail once, keep going, and don’t let it define you. Remember that each new day is a fresh start.

Practice voluntary hardship:

To build self-discipline, it can be helpful to practice voluntary hardship. This means constantly testing yourself and making life uncomfortable in some way. By experiencing scarcity and hardship, you learn that you can live with both and become more resilient.

Practice dichotomy of control:

Recognize what is within your control and what is not. Don’t let external events derail you from your goals. Accept what is out of your control and focus on what you can do to move forward.

Never play the victim:

Avoid making excuses and assuming responsibility for your actions. Instead of resorting to self-pity, step up and take action, even when things go wrong. By doing so, you maintain control and personal responsibility.

Practice delayed gratification:

Instead of always seeking immediate pleasure, learn to appreciate the process of doing and experiencing things. Understand that putting in the effort and work is necessary for personal growth and progress.

Nature demands delayed gratification, which involves the ability to wait to get what you want. For example, imagine a company Christmas party where there are platters of delicious and tempting food. If you’re trying to lose weight, giving in and filling up your plate with fattening goodies might derail your diet. However, if you manage to resist and spend the evening eating salad and munching on carrot sticks, you’ll presumably receive an even greater reward down the line – shedding those unwanted pounds and being able to fit into your favorite pair of skinny jeans. This ability to resist temptation and stick to our goals is often referred to as self-discipline, and delaying gratification is often seen as a central part of this behavior. We put off what we want now so that we can perhaps get something else, something better, later on

Ignore Naysayers

Marcus Aurelius says, “When another blames you or hates you or people voice similar criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside, and see what sort of people they are. You will realize that there is no need to be wrapped with anxiety that they should hold any particular opinion about you.” Whenever you step out from the norm and declare, even if only to yourself, that you believe you have a special purpose in life and that you’re going to do whatever it takes to achieve it, you will attract naysayers. Naysayers are people who criticize, object to or oppose something.

The naysayers just love to say “nay.” They might love you, but they’re afraid of progress, so they’re against everything, and their opinions are just terrible for your self-discipline. You need to realize that allowing yourself to be upset by the opinion of someone you don’t know or don’t respect is as foolish as getting upset about the weather. It’s a waste of energy. Their voice does not deserve to be heard. Don’t hand over your peace of mind to outsiders to disrupt as they please. You should actively seek honest feedback from those you respect, but if someone just has a history of being a naysayer, ignore them.

Find Wise People to Emulate: Marcus Aurelius says, “It’ll even do to socialize with men of good character to model your life on theirs, whether you choose someone living or someone from the past.” It’s time now to look outward for answers to help strengthen your self-discipline. Specifically, let’s identify role models. Your role model could be your friends, family, or colleagues who’ve already achieved a goal you’re working towards.

Ask yourself: Who’s doing this right now? Who’s successfully achieved this goal? Who has successfully mastered this habit? Who has successfully made this change? Who has the necessary self-discipline in this area? And what can I learn from this person that can help me along my journey? Take time to ask these people how they disciplined themselves. Ask them how they followed through with specific actions that got them their desired outcome. Then, use their experience to help you discipline yourself along your journey.

Honestly Review Your Day

In the words of Marcus Aurelius, “These are the characteristics of the rational soul: self-awareness, self-examination, and self-determination. It reaps its harvest, it succeeds in its purpose.” One of the best ways to become more disciplined is to scrutinize yourself and find your weak spots. Be brutally honest and use this time to connect with your subconscious.

Practicing evening retrospections consistently will allow you to become more self-aware through every step of your day because you will be actively gathering information to formulate and articulate constructive answers to these questions: What did I do well today? Where were my discipline and self-control tested? Where did I do good? What did I do badly? Why did this occur?

Furthermore, how can I improve? Now you know how you can improve tomorrow, but don’t beat yourself up. Be like Seneca and forgive yourself. Have some self-compassion. Research shows that it’s forgiving yourself, not beating yourself up, that prevents you from continuing to put things off. And don’t just be critical of yourself; think about what you did well so you can repeat it tomorrow. Be grateful for the good that happened today.

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