Self-Discipline: Why and in What areas to have it?

Self-Discipline is about balance in life, whether it’s about diet, daily routine, work, or relationships.

Discipline is closely related to focus and accomplishment of goals. These goals could be health, learning, finances, relationships, career, or spiritual progress.

We will cover ‘Self-discipline’ in this blog series. One who gains victory over the self is the true warrior. Let’s discuss some aspects of discipline or restraint.

What do we understand by the term ‘Discipline’?

Often the word ‘discipline’ is used in the context of decorum or balance. We see many instances in nature also when air, water, or earth causes heavy destruction due to crossing their limits; in the form of storms, cyclones, floods, tsunamis, or earthquakes.  At such times, it’s said that Nature’s so-and-so element lost its balance resulting in a terrible situation. We use the word ‘discipline’ to mean ‘patience’ or ‘control’ in some other contexts. Similarly, ‘self-discipline’ primarily means ‘self-control’.

The most common example is when a doctor advises to follow a specific food regimen, that is, discipline. In such a situation, the deeper you understand the pros and cons of following or violating the regimen, the easier it becomes to follow the discipline.

Similarly, you spend your time, energy, and other resources very carefully when you have to complete a task within a deadline or while preparing for an exam. Thus you will find that we have experience of being disciplined. Whether we succeed fully or not, but we are certainly aware of this.

Why do I need discipline in life?
  1. For good health – You can enjoy good health only when your diet is balanced, you exercise or do physical activities regularly, you have a sound sleep, and you take proper care of your body. You would be well aware of how important role the discipline plays in all of these.
  2. For cordial relationship – What is the most essential requirement for maintaining a cordial relationship with your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors? That you behave well with them, isn’t it? You must keep your emotions balanced. That is, you stay calm, keep a cooperating attitude as much as possible and stay together at times of joy and sorrow. You must keep your thoughts and feelings in control and discipline for this.
  3. For a strong financial position – Discipline is needed to ensure that your expenses and savings are in accordance with your earnings. Irrespective of your income, it’s impossible to maintain a stable financial position if you lack discipline in money matters.
  4. For professional development – You can achieve long-term professional success only when you keep on sharpening your skills, maintain transparency and dedication to your duties, and rise above selfish motives in the larger interest of all. You will have to keep control of your selfish attitudes for this. This exactly is what self-discipline empowers you for.
  5. For entertainment – Leisure is as important in your life as work. This may include spending time on your hobbies or going out with your near and dear ones. But, how will you take out time for leisure? Your activities must be managed well to allow you free time. In other words, where there is discipline, there is leisure. Discipline and Entertainment both are essential in life. And they are also complementary to each other.
  6. For spiritual progress – Spirituality enables you to withdraw your attention from the outer world to your inner world. Our minds and senses are focused on the physical world all the time. A subtle world exists within us that is very interesting and powerful. However, we must keep our minds and senses disciplined to experience the peace and joy of the inner world. The practice of discipline is needed for this.

When a man does not control his senses, he becomes a curse to the whole society. These days, it’s very crucial to have the discipline of mind and senses. Discipline is as essential for personal peace and spiritual progress as for the development and unity of society and nation.  

In what all areas do we need discipline?

For a happy life, we need discipline, primarily in these 9 areas:

  1. Diet
  2. Daily routine
  3. Speech
  4. Thoughts & emotions
  5. Behavior
  6. Relationship
  7. Expenses
  8. Profession
  9. Entertainment   

We will discuss some practical tips in the next blog of the Self-discipline series. Keep contemplating the above till then.


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