Lately, because it’s summer and the kids are home, I have been focused on having my kids become more disciplined with regards to cleaning up after themselves. Like any teenagers, they resent me for it. But I persist because I think I’m teaching them a good lesson about organization, and being organized takes discipline.
If you are a competitive athlete, training takes discipline. A student needs discipline to set aside time for homework. If you enjoy spending money, you might need discipline to keep your credit cards in your wallet.
My point is that to be a successful student, athlete, saver, or child-with-a-clean-room, you need some level of discipline.
Discipline is an easy word to say (in comparison to, well, Worchester) but requires a mental strength that some of us simply can’t overcome when it comes to certain topics. So what is the secret to becoming a disciplined saver, athlete, student, or whatever it is you want to do? How do some people have the discipline to exercise five to six days a week? How do people have the discipline to do the hard things in life?
According to some experts in this area, it’s about pleasure and pain. For example, thinking about the pleasure you’ll receive in the long run for a task you don’t enjoy or visualizing the pain that will occur due to your not getting the task completed.
Another tactic is to do small simple things that you don’t want to do because doing them, in spite of your reluctance, will make you stronger and help you realize that you have the power to control and change what you do. One expert suggests visualizing and writing down your goals along with the reasons for each goal, the likely obstacles you’ll encounter along the way, and how you will deal with them. See the article here.
No matter how much we try to improve, however, there are certain tasks that some of us simply can’t muster the discipline to tackle. For example, most people would like to have a better handle on their financial situation and be a more disciplined investor. Putting a financial plan into action not only takes discipline, but time to learn, and the knowledge of changes that happen in the market every day. For tasks like this, you need the self-awareness to know you need help. Once you are self-aware, you either realize you have the mental strength and accountability (and time) required to be self-disciplined about something or you don’t and you hire a tutor, nutritionist, financial advisor, or trainer to help you. This is not a flaw—we can’t all be good at everything and everyone has a vice. Or two.
If you feel you would like to have a better handle on your financial future but aren’t taking the steps to make it happen, you are self-aware enough to know you need help in that area. Working with a properly certified and licensed Financial Advisor is a way to take control of your financial situation. It’s up to you to decide if you’ll have the discipline to drive by the bakery without stopping.
To learn more about Gary Williams, view his Paladin Registry profile.
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