Why Is Discipline So Hard?

Brian Johnson
Feb 4, 2019 · 2 min read

What do personal growth, positive change, and accomplishment all have in common?

Well, many things, but one thing is for certain, they all require discipline. The only problem is that so many of us have a negative association with the word discipline.

For some people, discipline conjures up images of military-style boot camp, for others perhaps punishment as a child and still others, some type of deprivation that requires some sort of stamina or endurance. All of these may be true to a small degree or under specific circumstances but the truth is that discipline is usually a simple choice.

Wait, could it be that simple? Absolutely!

In fact, I don’t see discipline as something negative or even burdensome at all because discipline is merely the act of choosing between that which I want now and that which I want most. In that context, it’s pretty simple. But it does demand that I ask myself and be honest about what I want and what I’m willing to do to get it.

This is so helpful for me because when I find myself in a position where I need to exercise discipline I can remind myself, at a conscious level, of that which I want most and even why I want it in order to get the strength I need to exercise discipline, e.g. make the necessary choice.

Making it about a choice gives me the freedom to choose to give up what I want now for what I want ultimately. This doesn’t mean I always succeed in making the correct or most disciplined choice, but it does help me stay motivated and helps me stay focused over the long term because discipline is all about the long game.

It's the small consistent changes over time that yields the biggest results in our lives, careers and relationships. So when I put this understanding into the context of choosing what I want, it simplifies the process.

Today, I hope you are making good progress towards all your goals, whatever they may be and let me know if you have any discipline hacks that work for you.

To your success!

More From Medium

More from Brian Johnson

Also tagged Entrepreneurship

More from Brian Johnson

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade