9 Practical Tips for Building ‘Self-Discipline’

In the previous blog, we got familiar with the areas in which we need self-discipline and also saw why we need it. Let’s learn some tips for exercising self-discipline in our practical lives.

  1. Do keep a high aim in life. 

If you have a genuine love for your aim, concentration follows naturally. Concentration enables you to avoid waste so easily. It would help if you took your life’s goals seriously and were sincerely committed to them. How can any worldly attraction distract you from your chosen path if you do this?

  1. Realize the importance of Time.

The deeper you realize Time’s significance, the better you can save yourself from waste matters.

  1. Proceed from gross to subtle control.

Start by exercising self-discipline at the gross level. Speaking, holding, moving, urinating, and excreting are five bodily functions. The five respective organs responsible for these functions are the mouth, hands, feet, genitals, and anus. These are called the five organs of action (karmendriyan). First of all, one should control these gross organs through the practice of Yoga asanas.

The eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin are the five sense organs (gyanendriyan). Eyes provide the intellect the knowledge of form; ears give the knowledge of sound; nose that of smell; tongue that of taste; and skin that of touch. One should keep the sense organs in check through the practice of Pranayama.

  1. Practise Pranayama (Yoga related to breath control).

Controlling breath is known as Pranayama. Those who keep their breath in control gain mastery over their body, senses, and mind. They also experience good health and longevity. Mind is closely related to the breath. It’s challenging to control the mind. However, managing one’s breath makes it easy to tame the mind.

  1. Keep your mind pure.

When the mind becomes pure, its concentration increases. And the senses cool down with the concentration of the mind. Meaning the senses turn inward from outward. To purify the mind, you may practise Pranayama, Karmayoga (selfless service), or Devotion – whichever path appeals to you.

  1. Experience yourself separate from the mind.

Often, our mind identifies itself with one of the senses and gets attracted to an external temptation. For example, it gets attracted to a beautiful form by associating itself with the eyes, or to a tasty food by identifying with the tongue, or to a sweet voice by associating with the ears.

Practise experiencing yourself as separate from your mind to overcome these attractions. Create a gap between self and mind. Don’t identify yourself with your mind. You are an independent being, and your mind is a separate entity. Doing this lets you observe your mind’s deeds as a witness.

  1. Provide a point of focus to the mind.

Look, you need some point for the mind to stay there. You must provide some alternatives to the external attractions so it stays there. Some such alternative points can be:

  • Your Guru, Deity of choice (Isht Dev), or God
  • Your high aim or purpose
  • Your inner centre (conscience)

How to create an inner centre?

Mentally create an anchor point within your body, say at the heart, the naval, or the third eye. Consider this as the seat of your Higher Self or God. Connect to this daily, especially in the morning, and experience peace, joy, love, stability, and balance. Get your mind into a habit of connecting to this centre as many times a day as possible.

  1. Contemplate when you commit a mistake.

Don’t get disheartened when your vow of self-discipline gets breached. Do contemplate a bit to identify where the mistake occurred and think of the precautions that can help you in the future. Have a firm determination. Also, pray to God from your heart that He may grant you the will-power so you don’t lose your control in similar future situations.

  1. Ask those you have hurt for forgiveness.

When we breach a decorum, we hurt or cause harm to someone. Therefore, you must realize your mistake and ask for forgiveness soon. This action will help you stay attentive going forward because you will know that you must ask for forgiveness if you commit a mistake. We understand how difficult it is to bow down before someone.

Keep gaining your experience of Self-discipline following these tips. We will see some attributes of a Self-disciplined person. And we’ll also learn from an exciting story in the next blog.

Take care. Namaste!

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