There are very many important qualities that can contribute to one’s achievements and happiness – and one of these qualities is self-discipline. I doubt if I would be very wrong to say that when it comes to self-discipline, to many people, it is a work in progress. One of the greatest contributors to long term success be it in life, fitness, work ethic, relationships among others, is self-discipline. But just like anything else, self-discipline comes from practice. Not every day will be perfect, but with some failures and small wins, you can make very vital progress.
People who have high self-control are happier as compared to those who don’t have. Due to their discipline, they are capable of dealing with many things including conflict and managing themselves. If you are looking forward to some sure ways to build self-discipline, here is how to go about it.
Self-control is easy when you decide to abide by the adage- out of sight, out of mind. The first and most crucial step towards working on your self-discipline is removing all forms of temptations and distractions from your sight. If you want to eat clean, get the junk off your kitchen. If you want to be more focused and productive in your workplace, get rid of clutter, get your phone away, and desist social media.
Eat clean and exercise
Studies have shown when you have very low blood sugar, your resolve is weakened. When you are very hungry, you will suffer trying to concentrate as your brain will not be functioning to its highest potential. At the same time, when you eat too much, you might develop discomfort during the digestion process. Ensure you take small healthy meals that will give you optimum performance. Avoid sugar and foods high on carbs and salt. Avoid processed foods as well since they tend to clutter your brain and slow it down.
Take small steps
One of the most important steps you can take to create a habit and improve on your self-discipline is to take small steps. For whatever you plan to do, the key to getting it done is through taking action. You may have all the best plans and goals in the world, but they won’t come into results unless you take action. Do not wait until you have amassed all the resources required to start. Just get started with the little you have, and work yourself up.
Have a schedule
Do you know the most successful people in the world have a strict routine they follow religiously? They plan their next day before going to bed and have a very organized schedule of tasks before them. Doing so promotes their productivity, saves time, and discards distractions. For any task, you want to achieve, put it done on paper, plan for it, schedule breaks, and work towards having it completed. For all small wins, you make, treat, and reward yourself. Develop new habits that will help you reach your purpose easily. Be principled and stick to what works for you.
From psychology, we get to learn a lot about the mind and mental strength. Mental strength is the ability to regulate your emotions and control your thoughts and behave positively regardless of the circumstances facing you. To develop mental strength, you need to find the courage to live according to your values. You need to be bold enough to create your definition of life and success. Mental strength demands more than just will power. It requires you to work hard and be fully committed. You will need to establish healthy habits and devote your time and energy towards self-improvement.
Although you may feel mentally strong in most times, true mental strength is displayed in times of adversity and tragedy. If you are looking forward to work on your mental strength, here is how to go about it.
Evaluate your core beliefs
As humans, we all have our core beliefs. These beliefs develop over time and are normally based on our past experiences. They influence your behavior, your thoughts, and emotions. Many times, our core beliefs are inaccurate and unproductive. You may develop some negative thoughts out of the bad experience you encountered before. You may believe you will never succeed in life, or you will never get a job out of endless interviews you missed. You need to identify and evaluate your core beliefs and work towards eliminating all negativism.
Expend your mental energy
You should avoid wasting your brain power ruminating about things that otherwise you don’t have control of. The more you keep thinking about the negative problems that you can’t solve, the less energy you will have on your brain to be creative and productive. What is the need for you to sit there and start worrying about the weather? You need to stop worrying and start living. Focus on what important and what you can control. Save your mental energy to focus on productive tasks that can solve your problems.
Replace all your negative thoughts
You need to replace all your negative thoughts with positive thinking. Increasing your thinking on positive things builds new habits and works on your resilience. Avoid negative talk and eliminate self-doubt from your mind. Replace negative thinking with productive thoughts. Productive thoughts don’t necessarily have to be positive thoughts – they only need to be realistic thoughts. Changing your thoughts will require time and monitoring, but with determination, you can do it.
Being mentally strong doesn’t mean you will not experience setbacks, adversities, and discomfort. Mental strength requires you to be aware of emotions and react equally to circumstances as they come your way. A strong mind is one that can accept feelings without being controlled by them. With a strong mind, you will understand when it makes sense to behave contrary to your emotions.
For any step you take towards developing your mental strength, sit down at the end of the day, and reflect on your daily progress. Developing a strong mind is a work in progress and at times, you will find it difficult to reflect. However, success lies at the end of difficulties.
Having high and effective listening skills is key to good communication and understanding of different topics in life. In today’s world, the ability to communicate efficiently and effectively is becoming a very vital skill. The ability to speak effectively is already a high paid skill and one that is among the most sought after. However, effective listening is also attracting the same regard. Listening is as important as speaking. Good listeners help solve many problems, improve relationships, and resolve conflicts.
In workplaces, effective listening leads to fewer errors, improved accuracy, and less wasted time. If you are looking forward to improving your listening skills, here are sure ways to go about it.
The first step to effective listening is facing the speaker and giving them your attention. It can be difficult to make effective communication with someone when you are constantly looking around. Ensure you face the speaker and maintain eye contact to give them your undivided attention. Try your best to ensure the speaker knows you are giving them full attention.
Keep an open mind
Never attempt to judge or criticize what the speaker is telling you. Doing so will utterly compromise your ability to take keenly what they are telling you. Exhibiting any form of judgmental behavior will compromise your effectiveness as a noble listener. However, evaluate what the speaker said after the end of their talking. Avoid any forms of interruption as you will make the speaker miss some vital points they may have intended to speak to you.
By listening actively, you will be showing the speaker you are interested in what they are telling you and you are taking the interaction positively. Active listening skills also show you correctly understand what they are saying. Paraphrase back to the speaker what they said as a way of showing your understanding. Make use of non-verbal cues of communication such as nodding, making eye contact, among others. You can also use verbal affirmations such as ‘I understand’, ‘I know, among others.
Just listen by creating a mental description of model of the information being put across, be it in the form of pictures or images. Listen to the tone of the speaker, their keywords and phrases, and avoid rehearsing what they say. Remember the 90 percent of communication happens through nonverbal form, so be sure to observe their body language. Focus on what the other person is saying rather than what you will be responding back. Be attentive and show relaxation and don’t get distracted by your own feelings and thoughts.
Effective listening is a skill that doesn’t get as much accolade as it needs to get in our society. Good communication happens as a result of both effective listening and speaking. To enhance your effectiveness in communication, always maintain eye contact by facing the speaker to give them your attention. While listening, avoid being judgmental. Additionally, avoid interrupting the speaker and employ active listening techniques. Be genuine to initiate conversations that you would be willing to be part of.
Leadership is a process that entails an individual influencing the behavior and attitudes of other people. When we say leading by example, we mean inspiring, motivating, and showing people how to do their best and achieve their best. If a group is led by someone who has poor leadership skills, it will have frequent disagreements and conflicts against each other as everyone will want to do things their way.
One of the greatest responsibilities of a leader is to inspire people to get the best from any situation. The sure way to go about it is through the leader getting involved in the process and leading by example. Here are sure ways to lead by example.
Listen to your team
Sometimes, a leader may get carried away giving directions and managing teams to a point they forget to listen to the voices of their team members. A good leader should understand that they don’t know everything and should be willing to learn from their juniors. Organizations hire based on expertise and most junior members are very technical and experts. Leaders must devise a culture of willingness to listen to their teams.
Respect the chain of command
Organizations come with a chain of command so that everyone in the organization knows who to report to when challenges come along the way. If a leader deliberately fails to follow a chain of command, there will be a lot of confusion in the organization and employees will get demoralized. At the same time, employees will also find it difficult to follow laid protocol, since their leaders don’t follow them as well.
Get your hands dirty
Although leaders are mostly meant to give directions, they must be willing to walk the talk. They should be ready to get involved in real work. A leader can lead by example by accompanying teams to the field and getting involved in different tasks. When it comes to sales and marketing, leaders should be involved in pitching to clients on products and services under sale. Getting involved in physical work gives teams a lot of morale and also makes the leader understand the challenges that teams face on the ground.
Good leaders must roll their sleeves to deliver actual results instead of making promises all the time. They must pull all available results towards getting tangible results and put less focus on their past achievements. Leaders can get good results through learning the art of delegation. They should be able to break down a huge chunk of tasks into small actionable tasks and assign the most competent persons, support them, and trust them to deliver results.
In any organization that is diverse, chances of conflicts cropping up are almost inevitable. How quickly and amicably conflicts are resolved determines how competent leaders solving such conflicts are. Any good leader should create a decent arbitration to prevent disagreements and have projects moving along. When teams perform well, the leader should appreciate and recognize their hard work, and reward results as well.