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How to Hack your Inner Discipline and Motivation

by Adrian Szasz(more info)

listed in mind matters, originally published in issue 263 - June 2020

Discipline… motivation… If you’re into the whole self-development thing, odds are that you’ve already heard a few ‘clichés’ about the two concepts. Maybe you’ve read about why it’s important to stay disciplined and how to stay motivated. Before going deeper into the subject, ask yourself this: “What is my deepest desire in life?” and “What do I have to do to achieve that desire?”.

Why do that? Well, I did pull a little trick on you when I talked about ‘clichés’. They’re not, but lazy people or those who have no vision for their future… people who go through life without a clear objective for the future can’t relate with the two concepts. Discipline and motivation are the everyday weapons at your disposal when it comes to achieving your goals. People who don’t have a target see no need for such weapons.

Many successful people have attributed their greatness to having something they believe in (a vision) with all their heart and being stubborn enough to take the necessary actions over a long period of time in order to make that vision a reality.

The clearer you are about what you want and what actions you need to take, the closer you will be to hacking your way to your heart’s desire. Let us examine the concepts underlying the quest for success, which, most likely, is the reason why you’re reading this article in the first place.


Adrian Szasz 263 Inner Discipline and Motivation


What is Self-Discipline?

Self-discipline is the quality that you need to motivate yourself to do the things that are good for you even when you do not want to do them. There are plenty of things that may not be enjoyable at the moment, but you know that they will be beneficial to you if you carry them out. Self-discipline is what allows you to say “no” to that fatty dish; it moves you to go out for a jog even though you are tired or complete that boring task for your side project. Self-discipline will force you to save money even though you would rather spend it out with friends. Self-discipline is what will motivate you to get a good night sleep even though you would rather stay up and look at Instagram. Self-discipline is what drives leaders to succeed, and it is what keeps them on top. However, since self-discipline is such an important quality, why does it seem like such a difficult quality to display?

The Role of Motivation in Self Discipline

Motivation is what will move you into carrying out self-discipline. We all know what we should be doing, and we may have the desire to do things that are beneficial to our health and wellbeing, but motivation is the ‘fuel’ that makes us actually implement what we already know. When we are motivated, nothing can stop us from carrying out the plans that we have put in place for our lives. Self-discipline is what makes you “fill your tank up” and “stay on the road”. These two qualities go hand and hand.

The Importance of Mindset

In life, it can be difficult to figure out what you want all of the time. It may also be the case that you do know what you want, but you may not know how to make your dreams come to fruition. What will you do? Will you decide that the search is in vain? Will you stop searching all together? Will you recognize your worth and keep fighting? Will you allow life to toss you around? The answers to these questions lie in your mindset. In life, there are two mindsets that can be developed. There is the growth mindset and the fixed mindset. A fixed mindset believes that things are just how they are and that there is no way to change things. A growth mindset believes that change is always possible. It is possible for you to develop a growth mindset even if you’ve spent your life thinking that you can’t change things. That idea by itself is one coming from a growth mindset, and it’s not a bad place to start if you didn’t do so already.

One important fact to clarify is that it’s not a matter of black and white. Your beliefs may change over time and most people, even successful ones, lie somewhere in the gray area. It’s difficult to constantly maintain a positive mindset every day. Maybe it can be done… maybe not. If you’re daring enough, why not try it out for yourself?

Habits that Cultivate Discipline

Self-discipline is just like any other habit. You can develop it over time or you can just as easily lose it if you don’t use it. Ideally, you should set big goals, aim high so that you either hit that big target or fail to hit it, but still get a decent shot. It’s very important to not put yourself down for not living up to your goals. Remember that the big habits that are needed can start out small. For instance, if you want to develop the habit of waking up early, you may not necessarily be successful in the beginning, but as long as you’re seeing some progress, you’re on the right track. This may mean that you wake up just ten minutes earlier than usual in the beginning. With time, you can work yourself up to an hour or maybe even three hours. If you want to develop the habit of working out for one hour a day, you may not be able to accomplish that in the beginning, especially if you’ve been living on the bed, the couch and the desk. It’s very important to remember that things take time to build. Patience is paramount when it comes to maintaining high levels of motivation. Accepting failure as a gift is one of the most important mind tricks you can pull on yourself. The true magic happens when you turn the failure into an opportunity for success.

A ‘Just Do It’ Attitude

If there is something that you aspire to do, you have to make yourself do it. One of the greatest blockers to self-discipline is the belief that things are not possible. When you believe that the attainment of your goals is out of your reach, you give yourself an excuse to not try. When you are building your self-discipline muscle, you have to get yourself out of that frame of mind. This means that you have to start making your dreams come true with no excuses. Maybe you would like to paint, but you first have to learn how to get out of a creative rut and start on a project. You might still be lacking the necessary technical skills, which is something that can either motivate you to grow or make you quit. Reaching your artistic goal could mean painting for 2 hours a day and learning the theory behind it for another 2 hours. If you are working on being an entrepreneur, you cannot let fear get in your way. Fail, but learn something from each failure. Embrace it and transmute failure into success. Also, you may need to work with mentors and other professionals who can continue to inspire you in your business venture. When you stop giving excuses and start doing what you say you want to do, your self-discipline muscle will only grow.

Take Care of Your Health

Your health is truly your biggest wealth. When you are disciplined with what you eat, the portions you take in and the amount of time you allocate to exercise and meditation, you fulfill a commitment to yourself which gives you both mental and physical strength. You show yourself that you are one of your highest priorities. Not only will this increase your motivation to stay disciplined in other areas of your life, but healthy habits will also allow you to feel, look and sleep better. Simply put, it’s a gift that you give yourself, and one that keeps on giving.

Make Self-Discipline Part of Your Lifestyle

When you are a person who exercises self-discipline in one area in your life, you will see that habit spilling over into other aspects of your life as well. A dedication to self-discipline is a dedication to personal achievement. If you are determined to have success in all aspects of your life, commit yourself to self-discipline and you will live a rich and fulfilling life.

Wrapping it Up

Alas, motivation and self-discipline are highly subjective. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to becoming an individual with a one-track mind on the road to success. You may fail in the beginning and it may be frustrating. What separates the winners from the losers is the act of giving up. This is an integral part of hacking your way to success. Know what you have to do and make sure you do it!



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About Adrian Szasz

Adrian Szasz is a blogger and musician, owner of where he writes articles about nootropics and how they can help improve one’s mindset and quality of life. He may be contacted via

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