3 Hacks To Instantly Increase Self-Discipline

As a young entrepreneur, one of the things that appealed to me most was also one of the biggest challenges to overcome, answering only to myself.

Growing up I always dreamed of being my own boss, building people, and becoming a serial entrepreneur. And when I launched my first company at the age of twenty-one I got a huge dose of reality experiencing what being an entrepreneur is really all about and the need for self-discipline.

For most of my life, I was highly self-motivated. Due to trauma from early in my childhood, I grew up thinking I was never good enough. Because of this, I strove for excellence academically and in athletics to prove that I was worthy. And I excelled, graduating high school as class valedictorian and getting a huge scholarship to a prestigious university. Throughout college I continued the course receiving awards and accolades. Then afterward, this drive translated into the pursuit of excellence in business as an entrepreneur. And it was this drive for excellence that created the self-discipline which carried me through my first few years of entrepreneurial pursuits.

This seemed all good and well until many years later, this unresolved trauma came back to haunt me. You see, all this striving for excellence but never feeling good enough started to eat away at my drive and desire to achieve goals. In my mid-twenties, as the drive was waning, I discovered Adderall. Now I could work for hours (and sometimes days) on end without needing breaks. Instantly the drive came back, I just popped this little pill and I had all the motivation in the world to get work done. But very quickly I developed a heavy dependence on Adderall to get me going which turned into a full-blown addiction. This led me down a dark path for several years in which I completely lost all of my self-discipline as I battled an addiction to Adderall.

This all came to an end a little over three years ago when I finally accepted that Adderall was toxic for me and there had to be a better way to live life and achieve my dreams. And thus began the process of recovery and rebuilding myself starting over at ground zero, rebuilding my self-discipline. One of the interesting things about discipline is that like our muscles, is that it is highly perishable. Meaning that if we don’t practice it regularly it will quickly fade, much like muscles atrophy when not being exercised. We must practice self-discipline daily in order to maintain it and to have any hope of expanding it.

Below are three resources I’ve found extremely helpful in building and maintaining my self-discipline:

Jocko Discipline Video - for me, much of self-discipline is mindset. And Jocko is the man when it comes to a mindset of discipline. In fact, his mantra is, “Discipline Equals Freedom.” I love this entire mixtape but especially this track on discipline and I’ve listened to it so many times over it has programmed my subconscious brain with this message, and all the time I hear Jocko’s voice saying, “There must be discipline.” I recommend giving it a quick listen, then putting it on a workout playlist to begin programming the positive messaging into your subconscious brain. Seriously, go take a few minutes and play this track with your eyes closed and tap in fully to the message.

Strides App - This is a powerful habit-building tool to aid in your self-discipline practices. I started using this app a few years ago and it was a huge boost to help me stay on track with my daily, weekly, and monthly habits. One of the most encouraging aspects of using an app like this is that it follows the wisdom of Karl Pearson who said, “That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.” Get to work tracking and reporting your habits so they will improve exponentially.

Meditation - This is one of the most powerful methods to elevate our life across the board. Especially in regard to self-discipline and mental toughness. In my experience over the years practicing various forms of meditation, I’ve found that a daily meditation practice helped me build discipline the most. By building the daily habit and stretching myself to sit still with my eyes closed for the duration of the meditation worked wonders in expanding my mental toughness and self-discipline. There are tons of resources available online to learn meditation, one of my favorite guided meditations is this Youtube video. If you’re struggling to get started with meditation or find time in your schedule I’ve got the solution. Start with a simple 60-second gratitude meditation before each meal you eat throughout the day. As you sit down to eat, just take one minute to close your eyes and think of the things in your life you are grateful for. By starting with just a few sessions each day of one minute, you can expand this to several minutes before each meal. And when you’re ready to pop the training wheels off, now you’ll be able to make the jump to a 10-15 minute practice with ease.

🔥 Bonus (possibly controversial because of Corona) - Join a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) gym. I started training BJJ in the summer of 2019 as a way to build my self-discipline. By having to show up for practice and then participate with everyone watching helped me to build accountability thus expanding my discipline. Now, I have to say, first and foremost I’m not a doctor and don’t pretend to play one on TV or the internet. So, make sure you check with your doctor and have a clean bill of health to begin a new exercise routine. Admittedly, I haven’t been practicing BJJ much since the lockdown last year. I took some time away to be safe and allow healing of some old injuries that resurfaced from training and competing in a tournament. And this suggestion may be controversial to some because of the current world we are living in with this Corona Virus (I get it, I get it), however, it is by far one of the most powerful ways to build discipline and life skills. Everything in BJJ translates into life when applied correctly. You will learn to be disciplined and show up to practice on time regularly, while also being in a community of growth-oriented people. And if you deem it safe to train with other humans (or have been vaccinated) it will transform your life to learn BJJ. To get started google some local gyms and go do a trial class at a few different spots until you find one where you vibe strongly with the professor and students.

What are your go-to habits for building and maintaining self-discipline?

Leave a comment and tell me your experience, I’m always looking for new ways to improve my routines and tips to share with my audience.

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