Want to know one thing you can do right now to elevate and improve your life?
Instead, I’m going to give you 10.
These are the foundational rules that disciplined people practice on a daily basis to have better and more fulfilling lives.
1) Follow through. Every time.
The top one of the rules disciplined people live by to elevate their life is that they follow through no matter what.
If they say they will do something they do their damn best to do that if possible.
If they can’t, they let everyone else know and reschedule.
When it comes to their own promises to themselves, they don’t relax the rules in any way.
If they vow to get up daily and run four kilometers, they do exactly that, and they create firmly-enforced consequences and an accountability partner if necessary whenever they fail to stick to the bargain.
If they promise their mom to show her how to post photos on Facebook, they do it, no matter how aggravating and how many hours it could take to do such a simple thing.
Disciplined people know that discipline only counts when you do it every day and have accountability when you fall through.
2) Don’t play the victim. Ever.
Disciplined people know that nothing is quite so addictive as the cheap wine of tragedy.
Poor me is the rally cry of many of the saddest people in history and it’s more addictive than heroin.
When you think the universe has singled you out for more pain and suffering than anyone else, you do one thing and one thing only:
You disempower the sh*t out of yourself.
That’s why people who want a good life don’t even dip a toe into playing the victim. Not even once.
There are so many times life victimizes us. Why make it twice as bad by believing we’re uniquely disadvantaged and suffering in a way that makes us deserve some outcome or reward?
It doesn’t work that way!
The victim mentality seeps into your system without you even noticing, but it just gets worse and more painful the more you indulge in it, and it never presents solutions, only reinforces itself.
The disciplined individual avoids focusing on victimization like the plague.
They know that that sh*t will kill you, and they don’t want any part of it!
3) Think long term. Always.
He’s smart, certainly and creative, but he also sticks to a philosophy that has helped him enormously in life.
This is a philosophy called “longtermism.”
It is exactly what it sounds like: putting long term success and growth ahead of short term profit and reward.
Disciplined people are great investors, because they don’t just jump for the nearest penny stock and lose everything.
If they start a business they do it step by step, not all at once.
Disciplined people think long term about their personal and professional life, and as such they tend to be much more successful.
They come up with companies, creations, relationships and ideas that stand the test of time, not just the next couple of days.
They are in it for the long haul and they’re able to avoid getting addicted to temporary dopamine hits in favor of actually building something real and lasting in their personal and professional life.
This truly makes all the difference!
4) Keep fit. Daily.
The mind and body are intrinsically connected in so many ways, and each day science reveals more to us about how true that is.
Take gut health, for example, which relates deeply to our immune strength, mood and psychological health.
One of the top rules disciplined people live by to elevate their life is staying physically fit.
They try to eat as well as possible in our ultra busy modern world and they go for a run or a walk if they can, or stop by the gym.
Healthy body, healthy mind is more than just a cliche, it’s a fundamental truth!
5) Know when to say yes.
Disciplined people like to get involved in projects, goals and relationships that are meaningful to them.
They know when to say yes and when collaboration is a good idea.
If they trust those around them and feel something is worth pursuing, they will go for it.
To talk about starting a new business, for example, the disciplined individual knows when to say yes to a great idea or opportunity.
Is there a vacant lot that’s quite a decent price on which he or she could build a hotel and potentially resell in ten years?
Others might be too scared to go for it, but the disciplined person knows when to let go and say yes.
However, you can rest assured that they’re doing their due diligence beforehand and making sure they have all their ducks lined up in a row.
6) Know when to say no.
On the other hand, another of the key rules disciplined people live by to elevate their life is that they also know when to say no.
This is harder than it seems in almost all areas of life.
When people want your attention, affection, money and time it can be very hard to say no, especially if you don’t have strong personal boundaries or have a shaky sense of self-worth.
You don’t want to let them down!
Maybe you should just say yes to be nice?
Never. Not if you want to have a good life.
7) Stand up for yourself. No matter what.
To follow up on the previous point, disciplined people stand up for themselves.
They respect other people, but they expect respect in return.
When they don’t get it, they let you know.
A disciplined person is willing to work hard and do whatever it takes to succeed in life.
But he or she is never willing to be exploited, manipulated, gaslit or taken advantage of.
If somebody is trying to get the better of you, stand up for yourself. It’s the disciplined thing to do.
8) Differentiate between excuses and real reasons. Even if it hurts.
Disciplined people sometimes fail. We all do.
The difference is that they try again twice as hard or try something new and see if they can succeed.
If they let others down or let themselves down, they own up to it.
They apologize. They admit their mistakes. They try to make up for their mistakes.
They know the difference between a real reason for letting themselves or others down and just an excuse.
For example: you may have failed to pick up a friend who needed a ride due to your car breaking down and having no time to fix it.
But if you didn’t help them out because you were binge-watching some junk on Netflix you admit it (which you really shouldn’t be doing if you’re disciplined).
9) Practice radical self-honesty. Consistently.
This leads right to the next point about rules disciplined people live by to elevate their life:
Radical, complete, brutal self-honesty.
The disciplined individual doesn’t shy away from hard truth and they’d rather the ugly truth than a beautiful lie, every time.
Radical self-honesty works in the following way:
- Admitting your faults to yourself, as well as your strengths
- Being honest about what you want to improve in your life and what you think is going well
- Focusing on relationships that need work, ending ones that are not working out and confronting those people who are trying to mistreat you.
- Pursuing a career and a lifestyle that’s in line with your core values and mission and pushing away that which is not.
10) Pursue relationships that strengthen you. Be patient.
This leads directly into point 10:
Disciplined people don’t waste their time circling dead-ends.
They pursue relationships that strengthen them and bring joy and learning.
If they want to just sleep with someone they make that clear from the get go and don’t play the mind games that so many play these days just to get laid.
The disciplined individual is honest with him or herself, as I said, and part of this is being honest with potential partners.
That includes waiting for something real and being ready for it if and when it does, but not lying to themselves about being more interested in someone than they are.
The disciplined person is in touch with their feelings and vulnerable, but they’re never chasing somebody or seeking external validation and some kind of codependent connection.
They’re patient, and they wait for a good fit.
Before you achieve, you must believe
It’s just a fact that you have to truly believe before you can achieve.
Self-discipline hurts. You may find yourself sometimes doubting the path you’re on.
There may be times you look at those who are eating what they want, sleeping with whoever they want and working whenever they want and think you’d be better off just letting your standards go.
But you wouldn’t.
In fact, you’d be right back in a tailspin at square one: an undisciplined and passive person waiting for life to give you what you want.
Stick to the path you’re on: where there’s a will there’s a way.
Discipline hurts in the short term, but in the long term it pays off in droves.