Can a person learn to drive success

Learning to discipline: 10 steps to more self-discipline

Discipline is an important virtue, but at the same time it has an aging image: stiff, old-fashioned, about as cheerful as marching music. The root of the word is certainly not entirely innocent. So comes the concept of discipline from Latin and stands for Instruction, discipline and order. However, researchers have long agreed that discipline is a particularly important success factor. It is not talent, intelligence or education that lead to success, but more often this discipline. The good news: Self-discipline is difficult, but can be learned ...

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➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Discipline: not easy, but important!

Admittedly, even the word sounds unsympathetically sharp. It hisses so quickly. And it sounds like ...

  • drill
  • Cadaver obedience
  • Chain of command
  • Regulation frenzy
  • Sustained effort

Because nobody likes that, one stumbles over in books all the more regularly advices of the type:

Do what you love - and money and success will follow you.

That sounds a lot better. Unfortunately, this is only the Readers Digest version of a classic one Wisdom of success. An excerpt. The full version goes something like this:

Do what you love, work hard, very hard, be passionate, be determined, be open to new things, get involved, more than expected disciplined, persistent, hold on and work really hard, even a little harder - and then, one day, money and success will follow you.

The message isn't very popular, but it doesn't make it any less true: Nobody does great without hard work and discipline.

The fairy tale of the easy, fast way from rags to riches is mostly just that: a fairy tale. A dream that is often illustrated by people who are already millionaires.

What is hidden here, however, are the many hard years of discipline, courage, privation, defeat, persistent commitment and perseverance before it.

Talents are often not that unevenly distributed - in hard work, in that Perseverance and the discipline is the difference.

For example, do you know the 40 percent rule the Navy Seals? It is:

If you think that it is no longer possible, you have only reached 40 percent of your capacity. It is not your physical fitness that decides, but your mental fitness.

And what is meant here, above all, is that Self-discipline. So no outside determination, but rather a form of the conscious Self-regulation and Self control.

The dangers of self-discipline

Maintaining discipline, being good at one's job - this also carries a risk that hardly anyone has on their radar. Scientists working with Christy Koval from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business were able to prove that self-discipline has many advantages for those affected but also suffer considerably from their own competence.

Such people are instinctively made higher (by others). And last but not least, self-disciplined and self-reflective are enormous Demands on yourself. Precisely because they are so disciplined, they work more and harder than others and often like to exploit themselves - to the point of burnout.

Due to the discipline, they continue to work hard, even beyond their own limits. As with so many things, the following applies to self-discipline: It depends on a healthy level!

Discipline is more important than intelligence to success

That discipline is often more important than that for success Intelligence quotient (IQ) - Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania came to this conclusion.

In 2005, US psychologists examined a group of 300 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 14. In an initial test, they tested how well the students were able to follow rules, adapt their behavior and impulsive reactions to suppress.

The result: those who could do that achieved significantly six months later better notes, was absent less often and improved his performance more than his classmates.

In a second test, the researchers compared this finding by also giving the students different Intelligence tests let graduate.

Result: none. The IQ had at most half as much influence on the performance of the children as the discipline.

Even more: Tests with students showed: Those who were willing to forego short-term pleasures (parties, chilling, etc.) in order to instead pursue the long-term goal of academic success torment, achieved his academic goals within each semester.

Not so the more intelligent, but less disciplined fellow students: They failed more often.

So a high IQ says nothing at all about whether someone has a good university degree. Are more crucial Strength of will (in technical jargon Volition called) and perseverance - or in short: discipline.

Rewards can harm discipline

It's a tried and true tool: if there is a lack of discipline, there will be one Reward promisedto persevere. This does not have to be monetary, but can take many different forms - the main thing is a positive incentive. However, it ignores the fact that rewards only have a short-term effect. In the long term, they do not promote discipline, but actually damage it.

At first everything seems to be going well. The reward motivates, you bite through and exert yourself to achieve the goal and earn the reward. However, it should not to be confused with actual discipline become. As soon as the reward falls away, your motivation and discipline will have it done too.

So, in the long run, there would always be more and even growing rewards that would be needed not implement in practice leaves. It is better to work on your own discipline right away and not fight your way from one reward to the next.

The Marshmallow Test: Discipline and Patience

It is no coincidence that intelligence says far less about future success than discipline is reminiscent of the so-called Marshmallow test, which is now one of the classics in social psychology.

Its result is - in short - that the Ability to control oneself, the so-called Waiver of gratuities, an essential one Success Criterion is and this is already revealed in childhood.

Back in 1968, scientists around the psychologist Walter Mischel put a group of preschoolers in front of a bag of marshmallows (hence the name of the test) and the choice:

Either you eat them Candy immediately - or you wait for the experimenter to come back and then get a second snack.

A few children took hold of it immediately, but the majority waited - with astonishing consequences: Because the experiment (PDF) was far from over: Round 14 years later the same students were examined again, result:

  • The Be patient of them had matured into confident, socially competent personalities, could handle setbacks, and were able to postpone a reward when it served their goals.
  • The impatient instant eater on the other hand were more insecure, more indecisive, more envious, and also - regardless of their intelligence - performed worse in school.

In short: the ability to waive gratuities, or better said Delayed reward, to patience and self-discipline was and is a hallmark of strong, successful characters.

Former Harvard professor Daniel Goleman, who wrote a bestseller on emotional intelligence in the mid-1990s, goes in the same line. His thesis:

There is more to success than a high IQ. That is at most 20 percent responsible for success and happiness in life. Those who, on the other hand, deal wisely with their feelings and desires, exercise patience and can wait, will make progress in life as the most brilliant gut person.

Criticism of the marshmallow test

Celeste Kidd from the University of Rochester noticed a few years ago in a home for homeless families in Santa Ana, California, that the children there would devour all the marshmallows immediately - out of sheer necessity. If (young) people have the feeling that they are always missing out or something has been taken away from them, then they meet with the supposed impatience also a rational decision.

In her subsequent study she came to the conclusion that the Ability to waive gratuities also strongly from the (social) environment is influenced and how reliable this environment is.

Self-discipline: this is how it works!

The good news is that discipline is not something that is innate or not - it is based on willpower alone. And it can work out.

Before that, however, there is an important self-knowledge: We have the power over ourselves and over to change things.

In Anglo-Saxon there is a nice bon mot or rather a question:

Who is driving the bus?

In other words: Who is the bus driver in your life - yourself or someone else steering?

Quite a few leave it to others - even if it's just the proverbial inner weaker self - pursue goals. Just not your own.

If you really want something (yourself), finds ways; Who does not want something, finds reasons. And makes room in his driver's seat for chauffeurs, excuses, circumstances ...

There are many examples of highly disciplined people. All those who do sport every morning, stick to goals despite difficult circumstances and overcome all hurdles with self-discipline. As a normal person you ask yourself: How do they do it? How do these people motivate themselves?

You then think guiltily of all the times you have turned around in bed instead of putting on your running shoes and jogging before work. On the bad conscience follow the excuses: bad weather, no time to do too much ... Instead of showing discipline, talk your own behavior nicely: I can't help it at the moment. But next time I'll definitely do it ...

Some also try to convince themselves that self-discipline is boring and spoils the fun. But if you are honest you have to admit that Procrastination and avoidance of tasks doesn't exactly make you happier either. Especially not in the long term.

The tasks still do not take care of themselves. And then they are still haunted somewhere in the back of my mind around and give the current occupation a bland aftertaste.

Certainly failing at a task is not a child's birthday either, which is why so many do Challengeswho require discipline, get out of the way from the start.

You can do it like that, but it doesn't get you anywhere. What distinguishes the successful from the rest: You continue anyway. No matter how difficult the discipline is.

example Abraham Lincoln. He's not just one of the most revered presidents in the United States. What is less well known: It started as a failed existence ...

  • Failed in business life at 22.
  • Lost in his election at 23.
  • Failed again in business life at the age of 24.
  • Survived with 26 own children.
  • Had a nervous breakdown at 27.
  • At 29, not elected as Speaker of the House.
  • Not elected as Elector at 31.
  • Not elected as a congressman at 34.
  • Not elected again at 39.
  • Not elected as a senator at 46.
  • Not elected as Vice President at 47.
  • Not elected to the Senate at 49.

Lincoln was only elected president at the age of 51. Until then he survived these twelve alone Defeats. Most people would probably have buried their political careers much sooner and would have disappeared from the public stage. But Lincoln kept going, showing discipline, and making it into the history books.

Self-deception instead of self-discipline

Self-discipline is one thing Temptations the other: an essential path to more self-control is to strictly avoid temptation. This is the conclusion of a study by Loran Nordgren of the Kellogg School of Management.

The irony is that people who believe they have a high degree of self-control often expose themselves to more temptations - and ultimately succumb to them. In one of the underlying experiments, prospective ex-smokers promptly failed because of an animated film (“Coffee and Cigarettes”) or started smoking again after just four months. Classic case of self-deception.

10 tips on how to learn discipline

The paradox is that many people who are believed to be self-disciplined would not say that about themselves. Getting up in the morning and going for a jog first is as natural for her as brushing her teeth. The way there is the real challenge - it's the art that train your inner weaker self and outsmart him.

How it works? They are the classic ones stepshow you can also get other things done:

  1. Act of your own accord

    Take a step back and ask yourself: Why do I even want this? Does the wish come from you or is it well-intentioned advice from outside? To stick with it permanently, you need to make sense of it. It has to be your personal wish. Everything else does not work in the long run.

  2. Set priorities

    Decide what is really important and urgent and what still has time or can be delegated. The Eisenhower method is particularly suitable for this. But also the to-do lists.

  3. Set a specific point in time

    If you plan to finish your tax return sometime by the end of the year, then you probably never do it or you do it at the last minute. The “sometime” deadline tempts you to postpone it. It will be much easier for you to stick to your resolution if you set a specific point in time - as with Parkinson's law.

  4. Break big tasks down into small ones

    It is like the physical law of inertia: Once a heavy body is in motion, it becomes easier to keep it moving. “Even the longest journey begins with a single step,” goes a Chinese proverb. So start with small steps.

  5. Set realistic goals

    Many also fail because they set themselves a goal from the start that they cannot possibly achieve. If you then realize that you cannot achieve this goal, give up in frustration. In the beginning, it is better to set yourself small goals, such as running ten minutes a day. Then you will feel good when you have achieved these goals.

  6. Find your rhythm

    Every person has different work phases within a day. The so-called chronobiology is decisive for this. The organism, i.e. metabolism, organ activity, ability to concentrate - everything fluctuates considerably within a day. The early risers in particular differ from each other (also Larks called): You get up early in the morning and are immediately in top shape. And the late risers (also Owls called), who are still wide awake in the evening and can concentrate well. These types are independent of the amount of sleep an individual needs. Your individual work phases are markedly delayed. So, if possible, only become active in your personal high-performance phase.

  7. Visualize your goal

    Motivation arises from the expectation of a positive feeling, of a reward. Keep this in mind. Why are you doing this? What do you indulge in after work? For some people it is enough to imagine the goal, others need a picture. Try what works best for you.

  8. Find a role model

    Just the thought of a person who is self-disciplined promotes one's own self-discipline. Social psychologist Michelle van Dellen from the University of Georgia and her colleague Rick Hoyle from Duke University demonstrated this in an experiment. The subjects either saw a person reaching for the carrot or the biscuit. Those who saw vegetable eaters were more self-disciplined afterwards.

  9. Ignore doubters

    Surely you know that: You have told a friend or acquaintance about your idea and he or she reacted with skepticism. This will stir up self-doubts that will shake your motivation. Before you know it, your new venture is a thing of the past. Arm yourself against it and just let complainers bounce off you.

  10. Reward yourself for partial success

    In the absence of positive feedback, people tend to give up.Conversely, appreciation has an enormously positive effect, as Albert Bandura, psychology professor at Stanford University, demonstrated: Those who have been praised are more motivated, set themselves higher goals, feel more committed to them, and sometimes even assume they have better skills, which in turn improves their performance . So praise and reward yourself for what you have achieved. Because that also unites all successful people: They keep the gap between intention and execution as small as possible - and thus the fun factor large.

And don't give up. This is a rush, but there is no shortcut to it. As Friedrich Nietzsche said:

Many are persistent with regard to the path once taken, few with regard to the goal.

Extra tip: stick your goals on the refrigerator door

What always helps (even if it sounds just as old-fashioned as the term discipline) is to write down your goals clearly. In this case, visible means that Notes on the refrigerator door, for example to glue or on the inside door of the toilet. In such a way that you are reminded again and again of what you actually want and why.

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