What is self-discipline?

“The ability to control yourself and to make yourself work hard or behave in a particular way without needing anyone else to tell you what to do.”

When I was in high school, I used to study for long hours in a day. My performance was not too good as compared to other folks in my class.

I wondered how are they able to do such a difficult question in minutes? How do they study? Are geniuses born? Will I be able to do these things?

When I was preparing for my post-graduation entrance exams from some of the most prominent institutes of India, I knew I couldn’t succeed if I study the way I used to study when I was preparing for grad schools.

I explored the internet and came to know about some of the best ways to study. I studied different books, listen to the podcast, and even joined some online courses to know how to study.

In this post, I’ll explain how self-discipline can help you grow in your life.

When I graduated, everyone called me genius as I performed extremely well in my academics, being gold medalist of my batch, cleared India’s top institutes’ entrance exams, and ended up being in IIT Bombay.

Let’s see why self-discipline is important for students and how it helped me so far in my journey.

Students hesitate to talk about self-discipline, self-control, and habits when it comes to education and exams. Everyone thinks to score more, you need to study more i.e. hard work leads to success.

Surprisingly, this does not work this way in education. Smart work is the key to success.

Self-discipline lets us do any work efficiently. When we are disciplined we have full control over our time, action, and outcome that we expect. 

A quote on self-discipline by Jesse Owens: “We all have dreams. But to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” 

Discipline is one of the main key factors for any student. With discipline, we can maximize your productivity and achieve more in life easily.

We are being distracted by many things in our life. It was not easy for me to be self-disciplined initially too. 

I was also a student, distracted by social media on Netflix and a lot more things. I wasted a lot of time on unnecessary things. 

How did I become disciplined and achieve so much in life in much less time?

Here are 5 steps that help me to be self-disciplined;

1. Set Small goals:

Make a routine. We all make routine and I also did. The fact was that earlier I was not able to follow it for more than one or two days. 

I came to know that I made the routine wrong way. So, how can we make a routine so that we follow it?

When I started I also used to make a routine for the whole week and guess what I even couldn't follow it for one day. 

I changed my way to make routine. I started making a routine for just 1 or 2 hours ahead. 

Setting small goals eventually have more impact. This way I could utilize even the small fraction of my time for some productive works.

2. Focus on your Goals:

I know most of the time you study, you don't have any motivation or goals. When we are working without a goal, we are more likely to be distracted.

Whenever we are doing any task, we should think about what we should be knowing after completing it. 

I also used to study without knowing why I am studying this topic?  What are the things that I need to know after completing this topic?

After completing any topic I didn't get a complete understanding of it. It required me to revise it a lot of times to make it clear. 

When I started focusing on my goals I was able to study more clearly.

3. Analyze yourself:

Having a routine is a nice thing. The goal-oriented study is also good. But, when you start to analyze yourself each day, you will know if you are going the right way or not.

According to research, self- assessment is the best way to enhance learning.

I have used self-analysis at each step of my preparation for entrance exams or academics.

Think it this way, let us suppose we are studying Pythagoras Theorem. We read the formula and solved two examples.

Here self-analysis is to, take a blank paper, put a question, and try to solve it using your own.

Whenever I study any topic, I create a summary in my mind about it. What is it? Why it works this way? What is the way to approach any new problem using this concept?

Believe me, this way we could understand any topic easily and it also requires less effort in revision. It also allows you to keep the topic in memory for a long time too. 

When you don’t analyze yourself, you are less likely to get full control over the topic.

4. Reward Yourself:

Till now you are trying your best to be self-disciplined. Put a reward for yourself when you accomplish any goal.

According to the book, The power of habit by Charles Duhigg,

“The current consensus around the theory of habit is that they are produced through a three-part process: cue, response, and reward.

Whenever I set a small goal, I told myself, when I will complete this topic, I will buy a bar of chocolate for me, or I will watch 15 minutes comedy on YouTube, or go for a movie next weekend with friends.

Rewards can be anything and you don’t need to be harsh on yourself. You are making yourself better, so reward yourself and it will motivate you to do even more.

5. Visualize:

The power of Visualization can change your life. How to use the power of visualization to be self-disciplined?

The daily practice of visualizing your dreams as already complete can rapidly accelerate your achievement of those dreams, goals, and ambitions.

Imagine an ideal self-disciplined life for you. Imagine how well you can control yourself and put all your effort to do something amazing. Imagine your perfect day. Imagine yourself practicing self-discipline for a long time and how your life has changed.


Self-discipline changed my life. It can change yours too. It’s completely fine if, in the journey of self-discipline, you get distracted sometimes.

We are human and mistakes are part of our life. Visualizing your goals at each step and accordingly setting your goals let you do better.

Let us know how you make yourself self-discipline?

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