How Top Entrepreneurs Cultivate And Master The Art Of Self-Discipline:
As a young student in Federal Government College Okposi, I came across many interesting people and teachers. I also had the privilege of having three different principals with varying personalities. What I learned from one of them is what will form the basis of how top entrepreneurs master the art of self-discipline.
You see, one of them was obsessed with the concept of self-discipline and he was always repeating it on every Monday assembly. It was more like a joke to us then but Ukeje never stopped hammering it home. Gt Igwe Chrisent and my homies from high school can relate to that.
But here is the thing; he taught us that discipline is the act of “doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way and at the right place.”
Doesn’t it sound awesome? If you can maintain these four principles or four aspects of the discipline, you will always have success following you.
As an entrepreneur or as a career individual, you will always be faced with situations where you will need to choose to act or not to act on something. Most times, your body tells you to procrastinate but you know that shit needs to be done. Discipline entails acting on something important even if you don’t want to do that.
Discipline is about doing the needful. I can tell you categorically that as an entrepreneur, the most important skill to have is discipline. Your success and failure will come from the discipline you have got.
My Experience With A Developer
I want to prove that discipline is more important than expertise. My experience with one developer taught me a lot. I will not mention names for professional reasons.
It happened that we embarked on building a platform for a particular idea. I’m just a writer who would want others to express themselves too. So, we contracted one of the best developers in the country to build the platform. We were given the shock of our lives.
Now, for you to understand the thing I’m saying, this platform would have been whipped up with WordPress which one of us is actually very good in but we decided to go with programmers.
This platform was supposed to be ready in just a month but 3 months down the line and we are still looking for our platform.
It is not that the developer is not good; his expertise is well spoken of. But he lacked something. That thing is discipline. If he was disciplined enough, our platform would have been ready in just one month.
Many people are like that. In schools, most people that come first in class are not the most intelligent people but the most disciplined people. Your intelligence and expertise can only take you to an extent, but you need that discipline to become a success.
Again, Lionel Messi may be the most talented player on earth but he shares 5 world’s best trophies with Cristiano Ronaldo who is widely seen as the most disciplined footballer alive. Don’t get it wrong, talent does pay but with discipline, talent can become secondary.
Well, entrepreneurs must come to terms with stuff like this. It is that simple. We want to help them achieve that. We want to show you how top entrepreneurs master the art of self-discipline.
Tips on How Top Entrepreneurs Master The Art Of Self-Discipline
- Understand your weaknesses
Man is not perfect. I guess you must have heard that on many occasions. We may be addicted to the phone like one my friends, Ogechi Ezinwa, who is addicted to operating her phone that if she is not doing that, she would be pressing anything and everything within her reach, even your body. It could be snacks, alcohol, cigarettes, sex, etc.
Now, we are working through that and she has become better and I believe you should too. The thing is that you need to know what your weaknesses are first and start making conscious efforts towards conquering them. Top entrepreneurs master the art of self-discipline when they conquer their weaknesses and they can only conquer it when they know it exists and make efforts to overcome it.
- Remove temptations
When my friend, mentioned above, comes around me, I make a conscious effort to instill in her the ability to re-channel her distraction. I do that by removing the temptation from her whenever we are working on something. It is about setting the environment right. That way, you can be certain of concentrating to achieve maximally.
If you are hugely distracted by the social media, turn it off. I had put my phone in flight mode to put this up and it took me just an hour and 30 minutes to put this together. It could have taken 3 hours or more if I kept those distractions on.
- Put up clear achievable goals and have an execution plan
Self-discipline will come when you intentionally keep on doing the right things at the right time, in the right way and at the right place. It is as simple as that. When you keep on setting up goals and achieving them through your execution plan, it will come to you naturally. It is easy for the human mind to be tricked and procrastination can be the easiest thing for you to achieve.
The essence of having a clear execution plan is to have a handy guide on the steps you need to take to achieve your aim. You will need to discover yourself and understand what needs to be done.
- Build your self-discipline
Top entrepreneurs master the art of self-discipline by understanding that it doesn’t come overnight. It is a gradual process. The French man will call it “petite a petite.” It is like any other behavioral pattern you will ever imbibe. All you need is to take your time and each objective you set and meet draws you closer to achieving the aim of mastering self-discipline.
It is not about getting a particular task done. Any fool can manage that. It is about a track record of delivering and convincing yourself. If you can handle small tasks, you should increase the tasks gradually and see where it takes you. Believe me, when you start handling challenging tasks effortlessly, you can be sure that you have achieved your aim. Don’t relax because you can gradually relapse into ill-disciplined actions faster than you can imagine.
- Keep it simple to create new habits
Self-discipline could require that you acquire new habits that can effectively counter the effects of the toxic ones you had before. How do you do this? Simple, very simple indeed I would say. You don’t need to jump into it and expect it to happen overnight. It will break you and intimidate you. What you need to do is work on taking them in bits and keeping it very simple.
When you look at a problem from a holistic perspective, you might be intimidated by the task ahead. Take another route; break the solution into simple tasks and everything becomes easy. For example, if you look at the number of years it will take you to acquire a law degree or medical certificate, you may become discouraged. Take it day by day, and you are a graduate before you even know what is happening.
- Work on your meals
Top entrepreneurs master the art of self-discipline by understanding the importance of healthy feeding habit. A hungry man is an angry man and when you are annoyed or irritated or angry, your productivity will drop, your willpower will be affected and your discipline goes into the wind.
Therefore, understand that eating is not because you are hungry but because you need to eat for optimal productivity.
- Reconstruct your belief on willpower
This study carried out by Stanford University shows that “the amount of willpower a person has is predetermined by their beliefs.” The mind is a weapon and it can construct and destroy pending on the usage. If you believe you are weak, then you are weak even if you are meant to be strong. If you believe that you have limited willpower which is necessary to master discipline, then you have just that.
Therefore, work on what you believe in as that is very important. Top entrepreneurs master the art of self-discipline by mastering their belief in the use of unlimited willpower at their disposal. You think, so you are and what you are, all start from your mind.
- Work on a backup plan
Ever heard of “Implementation intention?” Psychologists will know better. It is a technique that boosts willpower and it involves constructing a plan that will enable you to deal with a potentially cumbersome or troublesome situation you may likely face. It is about taking into cognizance the fact that something will happen to make you relapse and then you come up with a plan to conquer that possibility.
When you consciously work on a plan, your mind is attuned to the fact that it is going to be tempted and you have given it weapons to handle the temptation. In medical sciences, it is like vaccinating or immunizing someone against a particular disease.
- Find a way to always reward yourself
The human needs constant appreciation even from itself. It works better when there is a reward at the end. For instance, the commitment you will give to a race when it is going to fetch you 100k will be different to what it will be when it is just an exercise. to get your mind to be fully focused, always work on giving yourself a treat once a task is completed even its impact is infinitesimal.
The motivation to succeed will come from the anticipation that you will get something out of this. If I write this and I’m the only person reading it, I may lose the motivation to write another one. But when you read it and I get feedback from you, I get motivated. When I get the desired feedback, I will give myself one bottle and work on something better than this. Always reward yourself when you reach your goal.
- Learn to forgive yourself and move forward
I’m going to share something with you. Something I never thought I could share with anybody. At a point in my life, I was battling with pornography and I was working on stopping it. That shit almost got me into countless problems but here we are. Well, most youths or should I say most boys battle with pornography even though 99 percent of them will deny it.
Here is the thing; I wanted to stop. If I need to have sex, why not go out there and get it but it was so convenient watching porn. I didn’t have a girlfriend and I was so much interested in my books. This was happening at the university. There were times I could go for months without watching porn and then, just in a matter of minutes, it will seem as if I have come back to square one.
At that point, if I had accepted that relapsing was part of the process, I would have picked up and continued and I would have conquered it sooner. Luckily, I learned it along the line and the story is different today.
Today, many people go through processes of building their self-discipline and at some point, they just relapse and they start hating themselves. You don’t have to do that. Just forgive yourself and move on.
You see, the key to success is the level of commitment you give to your dreams. You can be as talented as hell and you will still end up frustrated. Top entrepreneurs master the art of self-discipline because they know that without it, success will be very distant from them. You should do same if you want to succeed.
Well, if you know someone you know can benefit from this, you can share it because it is the disciplined thing to do. Remember, I’m waiting for your response to get myself a bottle. Await the next edition.