9 surprising reasons self-discipline leads to greater happiness

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People often assume that living a happy life involves throwing caution to the wind and breaking the rules.

They think that the wild and carefree individuals they see on social media are the happiest.

But research contradicts this belief, showing that people who exercise self-control tend to be happier in the long run.

Disciplined people are more likely to achieve their goals and maintain their health, which gives them the freedom to do what they want without sacrificing their overall well-being.

Here are 9 reasons why disciplined people tend to be happier:

1) They Have More Control Over Their Time

Contrary to what you may believe, having discipline and prioritizing your tasks can actually lead to more freedom and leisure time.

After all:

Focusing on the important tasks first and avoiding procrastination gives you more time for the things you enjoy.

As someone who manages a lot of responsibilities, I’m often asked how I manage to balance it all while still finding time for leisure activities.

The answer is simple – self-control.

I don’t shy away from new tasks or challenges because I know I can fit them into my schedule.

And even with unexpected obstacles, I consistently meet deadlines and avoid tardiness thanks to my discipline.

So if you’re looking to add more freedom and leisure time to your life, start by prioritizing your tasks and practicing self-control.

You’ll be amazed at how much more you can achieve without sacrificing the things you love.

2) They Are The Masters Of Their Emotions

“Control your emotions or they will control you”, as the old saying goes.

However, controlling emotions doesn’t mean that you have to suppress them.

I guess it’s more of a matter of managing emotions, and learning to process them in a way that doesn’t affect your life in a negative way.

While many people champion the idea of always being true to your emotions and never pretending otherwise, the reality is more complex.

Sometimes, it’s better to let go of your emotions and be diplomatic in certain situations.

This approach can lead to more positive outcomes in the long run than allowing your emotions to run wild.

However, it’s important to clarify that not facing the truth about your emotions is different from managing them effectively.

Rather than letting emotions dictate their actions, disciplined individuals are able to translate their emotions into positive actions and outcomes.

This is why disciplined people are often perceived as keeping their cool and not holding grudges.

So, rather than blindly following the mantra of always being true to your emotions, strive for disciplined emotional management to be happier and more realistic. 

3) They Always Choose For The Long-Term

The freedom that disciplined people have comes from their philosophy of always choosing for the long term.

For instance, I would never hesitate to give up my Friday night cocktails with my girlfriends so I can afford my health insurance.

Similarly, I would also choose to buy expensive items if I know that they were durable and built for long-term use.

Many people prioritize having more quantity over quality and prioritize immediate enjoyment over saving for the future.

While this may seem like a path to happiness, it often results in a lack of freedom and options in the long run.

On the other hand, practicing discipline and frugality can lead to greater resources and options over time.

Rather than being restricted by financial commitments, disciplined individuals have the freedom to do what they truly want in the long run.

But note that these resources aren’t limited to finances — they can also be time and energy.

Truly disciplined individuals understand the value of delaying gratification. They are willing to forego immediate pleasures if they feel they haven’t yet earned them.

By waiting until they’ve accomplished their goals, disciplined individuals ensure that their happiness and satisfaction aren’t fleeting.

They can enjoy good times knowing that they have something to fall back on when they return home.

Unlike those who prioritize instant gratification, disciplined individuals don’t hinge their happiness on a fleeting experience or a few days of travel.

Instead, they create a life that they’re proud of and can return to after their adventures.

4) They Are Fully Dedicated To Progress

Disciplined individuals prioritize excellence and continuous improvement.

They have a lifelong goal of developing themselves to achieve greater progress in life.

Rather than being content with their known strengths, disciplined individuals are constantly challenging their limits and discovering their full potential.

This pursuit of progress can be just as daring and exhilarating as adrenaline-inducing activities for daredevils.

Disciplined individuals understand that progress is not just about showing off but is a source of true fulfillment and happiness.

This may be surprising to some who view the pursuit of progress as a difficult and tedious process, stuck in an endless cycle of mindless work.

But for those who prioritize progress and excellence, the journey is as rewarding as the destination.

They derive a sense of purpose and fulfillment from constantly challenging themselves and pushing their limits.

5) They Understand How To Multitask Properly

There are so many kinds of multitasking, and people often tend to get the wrong notion of it.

Multitasking isn’t just being able to focus on multiple tasks at a single time — it’s effectively managing your time so you can finish tasks earlier.

You’re not a robot and you only have 1 brain, which can run 2 tasks at the same time but only to a certain extent.

For instance, morning preparation includes rituals while waiting for coffee, driving while on the phone, and cooking while doing dishes.

Multitasking is about transforming the idle moments of a task so you can already make progress with the other.

This way, you can reduce your work time and increase your leisure periods, to ultimately have more time for fun and enjoyment.

6) They Critic Themselves

Being avid chasers of their lifelong goals, they always criticize themselves.

Discipline brings perfectionism, often viewed negatively, but striving for perfection leads to a fulfilling life where you never settle for less than your dreams.

Self-criticism is not harsh, but an effective way to reparent and push yourself to improve.

Criticizing yourself also prepares you for what others may have said about you, which makes you manage your emotions better in the face of their unsolicited criticisms.

This kind of preparation, in turn, makes you happier than when you hear harsh words for the first time.

7) They Know How To Balance Work And Life

Disciplined people think long-term — they tend to believe that balancing between work and life would be beneficial in most of aspects in their lives.

They prioritize work before pleasure to have more freedom and fewer regrets in life.

Work-life balance is often easier said than done, as those who claim to prioritize it tend to favor either work or leisure, without finding a balance between the two.

Picture this: You’re at a crossroads between work and living your best life. Which do you prioritize?

The truth is, there’s no clear answer. It all comes down to what’s most important to you and what will contribute to your overall happiness and well-being.

By finding the right balance between work and leisure activities, you can create a fulfilling life that aligns with your values and goals.

Don’t be afraid to prioritize what’s important to you, whether it’s a thriving career or a fulfilling personal life.

Just make sure that your choices are contributing to your overall happiness and well-being.

8) They Prioritize Their Health

Disciplined people are the ultimate work-smart enthusiasts.

They know that working hard isn’t the only key to success – it’s all about balance.

They don’t burn out from endless work or partying until they drop, because they prioritize their physical and mental health.

These disciplined individuals prioritize their diet and exercise routines, ensuring they’re taking care of themselves both physically and emotionally.

This holistic approach to health means that they are not only healthier physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

In the end, disciplined individuals are happier because they don’t have to worry about health problems weighing them down.

After all, you only live once, and you only have one body – so it’s essential to take care of yourself as you strive for success and enjoyment in life.

9) They Are Closer To Their Goals In Life

Disciplined individuals always keep their eyes on the prize – their goals in life. While they may stumble at times and take a break, they never sacrifice their progress or disposition.

Their hard work translates into tangible progress, leading to greater fulfillment and happiness.

In contrast, those who find temporary happiness in fleeting pleasures often struggle to find true fulfillment.

By achieving their goals and leading fulfilling lives, disciplined individuals are happier than those who live day-to-day without direction.

Setting and achieving goals may seem simple, but the cost of neglecting them can be significant.

In the end, it takes less effort to keep your life together by setting and pursuing your goals than to later require greater amounts of self-control.

So why not start practicing discipline now and achieve greater happiness and fulfillment in the long run?

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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