Self-Discipline and Everything You Want

En pointe ballerina balances with grace and steadiness.

Self-discipline is a curious thing. It feels like torture but pays off like Christmas. For some of us (read: ADHD folks), this is magnified tenfold.

Self-discipline is all about self regulation. It’s like being our own overseer, boss or parent. We deny ourselves the pleasures of today for bigger returns tomorrow. Or maybe even to prevent its pains.

We do this by dangling the allure of “rewards” (tomorrow’s payoff), and shushing that whiny voice in our head who insists on its own way.

Easier said than done, right? So we fall off the wagon and there we are, starting all over again.

How Do We Get the Payoff We Want?

The problem is, nothing much is accomplished without self-discipline and delayed gratification. Without them our immediate needs are fulfilled, but we’re like chaff in the wind, at the mercy of the problem, desire or situation before us.

no person is free who is not master of himself

Of course, that doesn’t matter to everyone. Some people are perfectly okay with living in the moment and just letting the chips fall where they may.

But if you’re here and reading this, I’m guessing you want something more.

And you can have it.

It comes with self-discipline – and it’s a KILLER, but worth it.

Do you want to be alert and well rested? Ditch the late-afternoon caffeine and crawl into bed at a decent hour.

Do you want a good credit rating? Park your butt in a chair and send off those bill payments. (Or better yet, do yourself a giant favor and set up auto-pay.)

Do you want to top out at work? Arrive ten minutes earlier and check in often with your boss to stay on top of assignments.

Do you want a clean, orderly home? Tackle one room/zone every day, and you’ll be shocked at the transformation. (BTW – if you have little kids at home, don’t send me hate mail. You’re exempt from this one.)

Do you want vibrant health and energy? Eat 90% clean, nutritious food (the remaining 10% is your playground!) and find some full-body exercise(s) you love. Then do that regularly.

Do you want a life that matters, to be there for people you love and the world in general? Then reign in your emotions. Choose your foundation, and anchor yourself to it securely. Become the unshakeable, steadfast voice that is strong in the storm, no matter the fury.

Life will never be everything our childhood dreams imagined and hoped it would be. That just isn’t reality.

But with self-discipline, we can be the person we imagined living that life.

With self-discipline, faith and focus, circumstances don’t determine our fate. We do.

Image by Jabore from Pixabay



Dana is a freelance writer, serial entrepreneur and the author of "You Can Make Soap!" Diagnosed with ADHD in her late 40s, she's survived 33 moves, 16 jobs, 5 direct sales gigs and 3 home-building projects - all without medication or jail time. Dana is the Chief Toughie at ToughBaby.com, where she blogs about habits, hustle, and the brilliance of the human spirit.

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