What if EVERYTHING became easier? You would get what you wanted also a lot easier. There are two types of skills you can have; direct skills and indirect skills. Direct skills are ones you can really learn and show, for example to be able to do computer programming. Indirect skills are skills that you don’t directly see, but show themselves from other work. If the most important direct skill for an entrepreneur would be copywriting, the most important indirect skill would be discipline. If you have discipline you learn and finish anything, because you persist more easily through the hard times! Read this article to get to know how to build this discipline:
Having discipline or not is all a matter of building this habit of persisting. If you started a project with a clear endgoal in mind and give up in the middle of it, because of hard times and adversity, you will probably do this in all the aspects of your life. You’ll probably also not be able to stick to a diet and maybe also give up a relationship after some fights. I had the same problem of not having any discipline. I couldn’t finish any of the projects I started. My resolution was to stop gaming some years ago. Somehow I kept falling back to gaming every hour I had nothing to do. Studying at the time was also a large problem for me, I couldn’t do my homework for more than 15 minutes. Also when I reached an exercise that was hard, I just gave up and stopped doing the homework.
Does this sound familiar? Let’s see how to overcome the low discipline level.
Here is an unfortunate fact: you can’t just gain discipline without doing anything. Building discipline requires hard work. But if you have built it up the hard work will become easier. A great book on how habits work and how to change them is The Power Of Habit by Charles Dunhigg. An essential part of the book is about how habits work. Every habit consists of 3 parts: a cue, the routine itself and the reward.
The way to change a habit is to recognize the cue every time, but then doing another routine to get the same reward. An example on the right is to change the habit to drink alcohol when you are stressed. The cue is being stressed, or feeling bad, the routine is drinking alcohol and the reward is feeling better. If you recognize the cue of feeling stressed and change the routine to for example talking with someone about it, you will achieve the same reward; relieved.
If we want to change our habit of giving up and not persisting, we first need to find the cue.
So ask yourself: “what sets this habit of giving up in action?” For me it was adversity, those hard times when everything you do seems to go wrong. When I encountered one of these problems and I didn’t know what to do with it, I just stopped. Try to identify your cue. After what moment do you stop persisting?
When you’ve identified the cue, you need to change the routine so that it still gives the same reward. For me when I faced adversity formerly, I did something like gaming to relieve the stress. Herein lies the reward I got, stress relief. But the routine of gaming was very bad, because that way I kept gaming and just didn’t finish the task. The routine I now implemented is going for a walk outside when I face adversity. This way I can think about a solution, and the walking relieves stress greatly!
But how do you change this routine? That’s pretty hard, because you really need to build that habit. Scientist have found out that it takes 66 days to change a habit. So you should try to stick to this routine for 66 days. The hardest part is recognizing the cue throughout the day. You really need to be aware at what your doing all day. This is the only way to recognize the cue and change the routine at that exact moment.
To stay aware of your cue, you have to always have this idea of building discipline in the back of your mind. Here are some tips to keep you aware all the time:
If you stay aware of this cue, you realize everytime it occurs. Now the only thing you have to do at that moment is change your routine. If you stick with this change of routine for long enough, it becomes a habit and you have built discipline! Now every time something becomes hard, you will have an easier time persisting through it, and achieve more. A great habit to have!
Thanks for reading 😉