“Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.” – Elbert Hubbard
Self-discipline is not about depriving oneself or denying oneself. Self-discipline is actually about the ability to manage conflicting goals. For our students, self-discipline flows directly out of their ability to set goals, create plans to achieve their goals, and their ability to understand and appreciate the rewards those achievements will provide. By being able to prioritize their goals (completing a homework assignment versus playing the next level of the latest video game) students can practice self-discipline, doing what is necessary before what is fun.
Likewise, self-discipline has many more benefits to students than simply “getting things done”. Self-discipline leads to building self-esteem which then leads to increasing self-confidence. And, the more self-esteem and self-confidence as student has, the easier it will be to practice self-confidence.
Self-discipline can also manifest in a variety of ways. Perseverance gives the students the ability to overcome failure and setback and continue to work toward achieving their goals. Self-discipline gives students the focus required to resist distractions and temptations that might pull them from their goals. Finally, self-discipline creates self-control. In conjunction with Emotional Intelligence, this self-control can propel students forward in their academic, personal, and professional life.
Self-discipline, the ability to do what you should do whether you want to or not, is the key to success for our students now and in the future. All other success skills depend on being able to master this key skill.