Discipline - One of the Fundamentals of Success

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Most of us are regularly exposed to information offering get rich quick schemes and ways to make our fortune for little or even no effort. This is probably even more the case for students of Personal Development than for most other people.

There may even be some people who have become rich as a result of such offers.

However, if you study the lives of successful and wealthy people you will be unlikely to find many, if any, that achieved their success with little effort. Most worked very hard for their achievements, and you'll find few, if any that didn't have one of the fundamental skills of self improvement and success - discipline.

This certainly does not only relate to financial success, but human achievement of every kind. Sport is one the best examples of the power of discipline. Tiger Woods may have been born a naturally gifted golfer, but do you think he would have gone close to achieving his phenomenal success without the self discipline required to continually practice the fundamentals?

The same applies to the arts. Even a child prodigy on, for example, the piano or the violin, will still have to spend countless hours rehearsing and practicing to fully develop their gift and become a true virtuoso.

Making positive changes to our lives usually doesn't require such dramatic levels of commitment and discipline. Even small actions can have a lasting impact. It's often best to start with small steps to get you started, and work your way up. After all, if your ambition is to run a marathon, you wouldn't try to run 26 miles on your first day!

If you want to improve your education or learn more about a certain subject, spend half an hour or an hour less watching television each day and dedicate that time to reading and research. If you want to get fitter or lose weight, park your car half a mile from your office, or get off the bus or train one stop further away, and walk the rest of the way. If you work in a high rise office, take the stairs instead of the lift more often. Small steps like these will help to build your willpower and self discipline, and get you into the habit of taking action, and help you to move on to bigger steps.

Of course, if you're the type of person that prefers to go all out and dedicate a lot of time to a new project or goal, that's great too. Whatever works best for you. In any case, it's vital to have the discipline to stick with it and follow through, and allow yourself the flexibility to make adjustments along the way as necessary.

You can also work on developing self discipline by doing things you don't like doing, or that you find disagreeable. Try changing how you feel about things by changing your focus. For example, instead of thinking about how much you hate cleaning the house, focus on how much you enjoy living in a clean house.

Whatever the task, when it's completed you'll feel much better about yourself, and you'll begin to break down learned resistance and bad habits, and to build inner strength, resolve and character.

It takes discipline to do the things you know you should do when you don't feel like doing them. It takes discipline to be able to follow your vision despite indifference or negative opinions of friends and family. It takes discipline to work on your dreams when you could be relaxing with friends or watching TV. It also takes discipline to search out and read the books, listen to the tapes, learn the skills, or get the training that can greatly enhance your progress towards your goals.

And there are countless other examples. Some disciplined actions are easier than others, but there's little doubt that it's almost always easier to take no new actions at all and do nothing. That's fine if you're totally happy with your life and have no desire to make any changes, as it's unrealistic to expect different results and outcomes without taking different actions.

However, if you have dreams, and desire more from your life and your future than you have now, you need to define your goals and have compelling reasons for wanting them, and you need to make plans to reach them. But without the discipline to take the actions and to follow through, your dreams are likely to remain just that - dreams and nothing more.

"In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first." - Harry S. Truman

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Garry Zancanaro is the creator of http://www.SuperSuccessLibrary.com a collection of the Best Success and Personal Development Resources on the internet, and the founder of http://SelfImprovementDirectory.com where you can claim a FREE copy of Napoleon Hill’s classic ‘Think and Grow Rich'.

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