©2012, Diligence Eke
Dedicated to Dad and Mom
For teaching me self-discipline while growing up
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as you do not alter the contents in any way. If you have questions or comments you can contact me at:
Self-discipline is upheld by five building blocks or pillars. The first of these blocks is realization, which
was treated in the first part of this series. In this second post I’d be talking about decision as the next
very important block which must be laid.
Immediately after realizing and accepting that you are not self-disciplined enough, the next quick step is
to make that all important decision to change. It would be useless that after reading part one of this
series and inevitably realizing that you lack self-discipline, you sit back and don’t make the much needed
decision to change.
Decision is paramount in your pursuit of self-discipline. Decision is the ability to choose to do something
in a specific direction and do it without hesitation or delay. It is the inner strength that forces you to set
the ball rolling. It’s quite pretty to set targets, but without deciding to take that first step of action you’ll
very much remain where you have always been.
For most people realizing their shortcomings and faults is not a problem, but deciding to take action in
the direction of positive change is usually a great challenge. In fact, many of them remain at that level
where they are just aware of their shortcomings, but seem to always fall short of deciding to take the
step of action.
For example, a student who has noticed that he keeps scoring low grades at school due to his poor study
habits. It is good that he has identified his problem and its cause, but he can’t just sit back and bask in
the fact that he is naturally intelligent. That won’t do him any good at all. He needs change; change in
his attitude to his studies, change in the activities that take his time, and change in his reading habit.
Biggest of all is that he has to decide to change.
You want to shed some weight, be more frugal with money, eat better, or whatever area of your life
needs you to be more disciplined, you need to decide to initiate the change. Someone – a friend or foe,
can make you realize how fat you’ve become, how lazy you are, or how erratic and unreliable you are. If
it’s a foe you might get angry that it was stuck in your face, but he or she still helped you come to the
point of realizing your state. However, that friend or foe cannot make the important decision to change
for you. Only you can make the decision to change.
Making the decision
See the need! Until you see reason enough to change you might end up doing things the way you have
always done them.
You can come to the point of knowing that you need some more discipline in your life, and that you are
performing well below your potentials because you are not disciplined enough. In fact, you may well be
aware that things are not the way they should be just because you lack self-discipline, but still find it
pretty hard to make the bold decision to whip yourself up.
The simple reason for this is the little achievements you have accomplished despite your lack of self-
discipline. Someone said to me, “I don’t study as hard as other people and don’t read most of the time,
but I still get ‘B’s and ‘C’s at school.” He was carried away by the average grades he was getting, but the
truth is that he could have done better.
Basking in small achievements make you create a comfort zone where you are complacent. Hence,
anything that seeks to bring you out of that little room will require a lot of energy and time. You may
say, “I am not as fat as Chloe,” or “I don’t wake up as late as Perry”. These are comfort zones you have
created for yourself, but it doesn’t cancel the facts that you are fatter than you should be, and that you
wake up late.
You have to see the need for self-discipline before you can make the decision to take action. This need
will fuel the desire to change. In order to see this need take the following steps:
Make a list of areas where you have found out that you lack self-discipline
Write down how much you have been affected negatively in those areas
In each of the affected areas write down how much better you’d have done with a little more
Look at your lists and make comparisons
You’ll be surprised to see how much difference self-discipline makes. A key dividing line between
successful and unsuccessful people is the ability to be decisive. Successful people make important
decisions quickly and stand by it. They do not hesitate to take action in tandem with their decisions.
You can take a step further towards becoming self-disciplined today by deciding to change. Decide to do
things the right way, decide to be better, and decide to achieve more. Decide to be self-disciplined!