Do You Have the Discipline to Succeed? No? Then Develop It

One of the key properties all successful people have is discipline. Last week I mentioned a hockey player who took hundreds of slapshots every day through the off season because he felt he didn’t have and NHL quality shot.

Think on that.

This is a man who had reached the pinnacle of his game, and when he wanted to succeed at an even higher level, he went to the rink, every day, and practiced one of the most basic tools of the game.

That’s discipline, and if you want to succeed, at anything, you need to apply that kind of discipline to do so.

“But Andrew, I just don’t have that kind of discipline.”

Oh, that’s different. I guess you’ll just have to accept a life of mediocrity and failure.




What? You wanted more? You don’t want to accept a life of mediocrity and failure? Okay, first, stop making excuses.

Second, discipline is a mental muscle and, like any muscle, it can be strengthened. If you want bigger biceps, you do curls. If you want bigger thighs, you do squats, and so on.

Well, if you want bigger discipline, you work it.


You give yourself a challenge, and you overcome it.

So pick something, right now, that you want to do, and challenge yourself to do it. Don’t pick something easy, like eating a doughnut every day for a month. Go the other way, challenge yourself to forego your morning doughnut for a month.

Challenge yourself to do some thing, for a month:

  • Do (x) push-ups every day.
  • Get up every morning, one hour earlier than normal.
  • Give up TV
  • Read one of the classics of literature for an hour a day

Whatever you pick, go outside your comfort zone. Do something good for you, and hard for you to do.

Notice that last bit. Hard for you to do. I never watch TV, giving it up isn’t a challenge. I read, if anything, too much, so reading every day…no problem. Exercise challenger? This used to be primarily a fitness blog, not really a problem there.

On the other hand, I’m a slugabed, so getting up an hour earlier is misery. Interestingly enough, that’s my challenge for this month.

Once you’ve chosen your challenge, start. Like, today. That way, when you fail, and you will fail, you can start again sooner.

Because that’s the key to discipline. When you fail, you have to start over. And over. And over. Until you succeed.

That is discipline.