Your Level of Discipline Could Equal Your Aptitude for Success

When I started this blog almost two weeks ago, I made a decision that I’d post at least one article a day for a certain period of time. It’s taken great discipline to come up with the story ideas, do the research to expand on those ideas, and then to actually sit down and write.

As you know, my posts in general are in the range of 500 to 1,200 words. So, writing to this extent on a daily basis, while juggling other responsibilities, is never easy. But, thankfully for me, it’s fun! Plus, it helps that I enjoy providing readers practical advice and insight related to career exploration and discovering your passion.

Discipline is truly an art. It takes discipline to BE disciplined! Being diligent and hard-working in your profession, and in life in general, is difficult at times because I think our natural inclination is to be the complete opposite — lazy, slothful, idle.

But isn’t it so much more fun when you are disciplined and you begin to reap the rewards and see the positive effects resulting from a life of self-control? 

I’ve been rewarded in several ways as a result of my discipline: I write a daily blog that is gradually growing in popularity and readership; I’ve gained a sense of accomplishment in my profession as a journalist and copywriter; and I’m a much more optimistic person now that I’ve begun to understand that it takes time to climb the ladder of success.

What has resulted from your discipline? A new job?  A raise? Acceptance into a leading academic program or high-profile organization? Fulfilling your ultimate dream? A new business?

Is it time to really start reaching for your goals? Or will you continue to let opportunities pass you by?

Reach for your goal. (Courtesy of Dreamstime)

Reach for your goal. (Courtesy of Dreamstime)

Sport as Discipline

I was recently introduced to a strength and conditioning program called Crossfit. Many of you have probably heard of it. It’s grown in popularity among fitness enthusiasts across the country over the years.

This particular fitness program is considered THE regiment for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide, according to the Crossfit website.

This type of fitness is over-the-top intense and is designed for people who want to reach optimal shape in a short timeframe. It’s also for those who need to build endurance and strength simultaneously. For an example of what this fitness program looks like, I suggest checking out the “Superbowl of Suffering” video clip by clicking here.

In my opinion, anyone who accepts the challenge to complete a program such as this, must have discipline. As does anyone who competes in other sports or athletic activity. Marathons and boxing are similar examples that test an individual’s level of endurance and are pursuits reserved for only the most devoted disciplinarians.

I think sports are the ultimate test of discipline. Which explains why I never did well in them!

For those of you out there who are trying to shed weight, you also know that it takes a lot of discipline to persevere, pick yourself up off the couch to go work out, put down that extra bread roll or ice cream sandwich, and deny yourself of what you’d normally crave.

Similar to these anecdotes, it’s going to take a lot of discipline, hard work, and a clear vision to be successful in life and achieve results.

Well-Known Public Figures, Equally Known for High-Level Discipline

We’re all familiar with the names that are synonymous with “greatness”: Michael Jordan. Tiger Woods. Michael Jackson. Florence Griffith-Joyner (or Flo Jo). Michael Phelps, along with many more.

They all have one thing in common: discipline. They didn’t achieve their dreams simply because they had an in-born ability to attain greatness. It was because they showed restraint and extended themselves beyond that of the average person to eventually reach the height of their chosen pursuits.

As one Fortune article puts it: “You will achieve greatness only through an enormous amount of hard work over many years. And not just any hard work, but work of a particular type that’s demanding and painful.” (Read the article: “What it takes to be great,” written by Geoffrey Colvin, senior editor-at-large.)

Everyone’s dreams are different. And each of us have differing definitions of success . Whatever  your dreams might be, are you ready and willing to put in the necessary work to get there?

Keep the Discussion Going

What’s your vision? How does discipline play a role in your overall vision for success? Have you calculated what effort it’s going to take to reach your end-result? Is discipline a part of your lifestyle wardrobe or is it just an occasional accessory?

Commit to living a life of discipline, and start watching the fruit of self-discipline begin to grow.


  • Nique

    I like this article it is a reminder that success is not given it is earned and if you want to succeed you must first focus and be discipline and the fruits of your labor will follow. :) Thx you Emily

    • Emily Brown

      You’re welcome Nique! I’m certainly learning the same lessons about productivity and hard work. That’s why I consider this blog self-diagnosed therapy! Thanks for your feedback. It’s greatly appreciated!

  • Trevor Finn

    I agree with your assessment about discipline. Discipline or self control is the 9th aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit, the others aspects being love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentelness and faithfulness. God is trying to perfect each aspect of the Fruit in us daily. Do we have the discipline and humility to yield to His will? I bet if we do then we can achieve the success we desire in our relationships, finances, careers and ministries. God bless!

    • Emily Brown

      Great insight Trevor! Thanks so much for sharing that with us!

  • Dijon Anderson

    You know having that mindset is challenging. But it does feel good when you execute a level of discipline. It could be as small as accomplishing a minor task that may take days, but having the disciplined mindset to finish it-and then do it, feels great. Great write!

    • Emily Brown

      Thanks for your insight Dijon and for your point about accomplishing the minor tasks. That’s equally important, if not more important, than accomplishing the ultimate dream. As many like to say, “it’s a marathon, not a race.” Thanks again Dijon!