Self-Discipline Is Hard

One comment I get from people who haven’t seen me in a while is, “Wow! You’ve lost weight!”. And that is quickly followed up with, “Are you okay?” You see, for someone my age (I am in my forties) to lose more than 10kg within a year it is either they are sick or they are onto something.

I would reply that I’ve never felt better and then go on to tell them my secret, “I quit smoking in 2013 after smoking heavily for more than 20 years. I get up every morning (almost) at 4.30am to run. I also eat healthier by making sure I take in greens and fruits daily. I also get plenty of sleep.”

For most folks, you can literally see their eyes grow larger as I describe to them my daily routine.

And their response would usually be, “Oh mine, you are really so disciplined”. What they are really saying is this, “Self-discipline is hard. I just can’t do it.”

It is hard

It is true being self-disciplined is hard. But not being disciplined is even harder.

When you are not disciplined in doing what’s necessary (saving money, building relationships, sharpening your mind), there may come a time when you have to rectify the situation (filing for bankruptcy, having an estranged relationship, or being laid off). Frankly, that’s even harder because it is someone else imposing discipline on you.

When I made up my mind to take on the quest to become healthier, it was tough in the beginning. My alarm would go off at 4.30am and I would hit the snooze button and go back to sleep. Or I would rationalize with myself getting ready for my run that perhaps another hour of sleep would do me good.

The principles

As I reflect upon my actions over the last two years in the area of physical development, it always come back to these principles.

Would you share with me how you’ve successfully imposed self-discipline on yourself?