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Summary of The Neuropsychology of Self-Discipline

The Master Key to Success: Self Discipline

What is meant by self discipline?

It is the ability to systematically and progressively work towards a goal until you have reached it.

It is the ability to say this is what I want in life, and this is how Im going to get it and if I have to give up
some other things along the way, then I will because its worth it on the long run.

So, why dont more people have it?

Because we live in a quick-fix get-rich schemes age, where people are always looking for instant
gratification, they want to be an over-night success person. We all admire successful businessmen, artists,
doctors,etc. but how many of us are really willing to put in years of learning and effort to get to where
these people really are?

And thats the difference between a self disciplined person and a wishful thinker.

The first four qualities add to the self assurance aspect

10 Characteristics of Self Disciplined Achievers

1. Strong Well-Defined Sense of Purpose

2. Positive Role Models
3. Strong Visualizations
4. Positive Sensory Orientation
5. Confidence and Assurance
6. Ability to Plan and Organize
7. Ability to Acquire the Knowledge Needed
8. Patience
9. Persistent
10. Ability to Enjoy Work and Viewing it as Pleasure

3 Types of Motivation That Rarely Work

1. Evangelical: This first type is like when a motivational speaker comes to town and does a speech
that is truly inspiring. You and all the attendees feel pumped up by the ideas and slogans of the
speaker. Within the next few days, you put in more effort in your work and feel more motivated.
However, this motivation starts to dwindle even if you have notes from the speech or even an
audio recording of it and your productivity starts to fall after an artificial peak.
The reason why this approach doesnt work, is because it depends on an external factor to get
you motivated, and it becomes like drug addiction, with time you need more & more of an
artificial stimulant to reach the same level of motivation.
2. External Rewards: Such as rewards from your boss at work.
The reason why this fails too is like the previous point it depends on an external motivator. It
creates a child-like dependence and short-term spurts of motivation.
3. Fear: If you dont perform well, something undesirable happens such as losing your job.
The reason why this doesnt work is because you rapidly go into a burn-out stage and start
resenting doing the work. Anger brings less productivity, and less productivity bring more
fear and you get stuck in a vicious cycle.

So, the important point here is not getting motivated, but being able to sustain the motivation. It is not just
important to have a road map, but also having enough fuel to get where you want to go.

The self disciplined achiever has a strong sensory blueprint and feedback system, he begins his journey
by asking himself: If I can have whatever anything I can imagine, what do I want? What is my purpose?

Throughout his journey he imagines his goals and creates new ones once he achieves them, or changes his
goals as his reality changes. This is where most people get side-tracked, when they are faced with
hardships or undesirable circumstances, they think they have failed and give up. The self disciplined
achiever uses his visualizations as a reality check, he simply adjusts his course of action to fit his new

7 Steps to Become Self Disciplined

1. Define a purpose
2. Find a role model
3. Translate possibility into sensory vision of
4. Flame your emotions
5. Planning
6. Acquire knowledge & skills
7. Persist and perseverance
I. Finding Your Purpose in Life
There are Macro purposes which are the big picture and micro purposes with are the stepping stones to
your macro purpose. And even your macro purposes can become later micro purposes in another even
bigger macro purpose.

So how do you know what you really want? Here are a few ways to help you identify and narrow down
your purpose

1.Limitless Wishing

Imagine that you have found an old lamp and while rubbing it clean, a gene emerged out of it. He tells
you that you have 5 wishes, anything that you ever desire he will grant you as long as it is specific &
humanly possible to achieve. Think carefully about what it is that will make you happy, write down 5
wishes, staring your sentences with: I want and in the present tense.

2.Wishful Imagining

Here you will close your eyes and imagine with as much detail as possible how your life would be if you
achieve each of your wishes. Really imagine you are there in that moment and be honest with yourself
imagining the positive and the negative that has changed in your life. Look at your emotional responses,
are some wishes easier to imagine than others? Do some make you smile, laugh or make your pulse
quicken with joy? Which wish feels comfortable and draws you to it naturally?

There will be one wish that unmistakably evokes your greatest emotional response.

3.Creative Biography

What would you like to be remembered for after you die? Close your eyes and imagine yourself opening
an encyclopedia from the year 2100, flipping to the page to where they have your name written, what do
you see? Did they include your most important accomplishments? Did they understand the purpose
behind your achievements? Now, write down what you have just read in your own biography, put
everything in vivid description and dont forget any details.

4. Recognizing the Pattern

Now that you have done these steps, you should start seeing a pattern emerging and an answer to the
question: What do I really want to do in life?

5. Statement of Purpose

Now write down your statement of purpose which is meant as a focusing tool and not as an actual
blueprint for achieving it. Your statement can be as general as you want it. For instance Amelia Earhearts
statement of purpose was to go on great adventures and show the world that women can be as heroic as
II. Choosing Role Models
It is very rare in life that one devises a new path for himself in life without first learning from a mentor.
When we were kids, we had our parents as mentors and modeled their behaviors both positive and
negative and through this process we learned many skills.

There are two ways to draw your inspiration from role models:

Indirectly: from reading books or watching films. Think about a person (real or fictional) that has
inspired you in the past and you felt a throb of admiration for. Search out book, movies, or magazine
and newspaper articles about this specific person.
Directly: from day to day contact. If you dont have someone in your direct circle of your family and
friends, you can try networking to find more people who inspire you. You can also try apprenticeship,
most high achievers have spent their early years of learning under a master mentor in the field which
they are pursuing.

After you have studied the your role models behavior, you must be able to answer: what skills do I need
to become like my role model? How must I behave generally and in certain situations? What obstacles
must I endure or overcome?

Choose a role model wisely as you will be emulating his or her behavior to achieve the results you want.
Also remember that your mentor is human he or she makes mistakes, so always listen with a
questioning mind. Never be intimidated by your role models success, and realize if they could do it, then
so can you.
III. Translate Your Purpose Into an Emotion Evoking Image
Now you must translate your statement of purpose into a sensory goal statement. This statement unlike
the statement of purpose is much more specific. The three main elements in it are:

Must be result oriented: focuses on what you want to get out of your achievement
Must be time specific: you must determine a point in time when your goal will be achieved
Must be measurable: you must specify a criteria that lets you know when your accomplishment
is complete.

For example if your statement of purpose was I want to be a successful Chef, then your sensory goal
statement might be: In June 2015, I will receive a diploma in culinary arts.

Gather images and photos or news clipping or videos that are directly related to your goal. Stick them to
your wall or in a place you will always see them in front of your eyes.

Now that you have your sensory goal statement written down, you must imagine it. Science has shown
that the mind cannot distinguish between reality and a strong vivid mind image. Close your eyes and
imagine that you have achieved this goal, what you will be doing? Who are you with? What do you see,
hear, smell, taste, feel? Try to make it as colorful and vivid as possible, the stronger the image the more
powerful it becomes.

Always start your day with reviewing your statement of purpose and sensory goal statement. Look at the
pictures or clippings you have gathered. During the day take a 5 minute break to close your eyes and
recall your sensory image, this helps always remind you and keep you motivated. By the end of the day,
review your days events and how well they fit into the scenario you had for yourself. Keep in mind there
is no effortless path and there will be times when you need to adjust your routes and ways or face some
setbacks, never let those discourage you, just make new adjustments to your sensory image and work
from there.
IV. Turn Your Vision Into an Action Plan
Planning is the logical mapping of where you are going and how you are going to get there. Keep in mind
these important points as you work on your plan:

Planning is both looking at the whole picture and the details that make up the whole, it is a
process by which part are organized in a logical and sequential way, one step should lead to
Ideas take time to implement. You must develop the patience for achieving your goals.
Ideas take concentrated work to be achieved. Pay attention to the details, dont ignore them.
Planning and implementation is a trial and error process. Learn from your mistakes and adjust
when needed without being discouraged.

The term used for the process were going to use is called Visual Network Planning. Visual because it
helps you look at, identify and visualize all the steps necessary to complete an objective. Network because
all the steps are linked together to make a whole picture.

The diagram below illustrates what a simple plan may look like. At the top of your page you will write
your goal or objective of the diagram.

Each box contains a certain activity, with a reference number in the top left corner (reference numbers
dont have to be sequential but must in order, so activity (6) can follow activity (3) directly but it cannot
come before it)

A duration number in the bottom right corner (which might represent hours/days/weeks/months). The
activity boxes are linked together by arrows .

Some activities do not depend on each other and can be done simultaneously such as activity (2) & (3) in
the diagram, but only after the completion of both can activity (6) be started.

Goal of Diagram 3

Reference Number 2

1 2 6


5 3 4

The Critical Path on your visual network plan is the longest duration path. The activities on this path are
called critical activities and completing them on time determines the overall completion of the project on
time. In the sample diagram this would be (1) (2)(6)

The activities that are not on the critical path can be delayed for a certain amount of time without
affecting the time completion of the project. These activities are called Float. In the sample diagram
activity (3) can be delayed for 1 week (if the duration here is measure in weeks) without affecting the
overall duration of the project.

Lastly, once you have your visual network plan, assign each of the activities you have mapped out to a
date on your calendar depending on their durations and your overall completion time for success.

This process can be used for macro goals as well as the micro goals by breaking them down in smaller
micro goals. Make sure your referencing numbers are consistent so you dont lose track.

Always remember that nothing is carved in stone, there will be many times when you have
underestimated the durations of activities or have unforeseen events in your life that delay you, simply
adjust your plans accordingly and learn from the process as you go along. This system does not measure
your success of failure rather it just gives you a logical system that must always be flexible to change
according to the changes in your life. This is not an excuse to quit but rather to follow through in your
V. Making Intelligent Use of Your Time
Rarely anything happens instantaneously, and once you do a job properly the first time, you prevent
having to put more time and effort later on fixing it.

To achieve excellence you must allow for a great deal of time for knowledge and skills to mature and
grow. This is the concept of Seasoning, all things take time to be accomplished. Shortcuts most of the
time lead to mediocrity or failure. This is where most people sabotage themselves because they want
quick results, and when they dont see them immediately or within a short time, they abandon their
dreams or goals.

All successful achievers know this concept and value it, for they know that hurrying a project is ruining it.
They also know that the road to success can and should be half the fun, so the concept of seasoning
doesnt bother them. They are not intimidated by having to study 10, 15, or 20 years in order to achieve
their success. They know that this time spent is worth it, and these years are going to pass anyway, so
either they spend them doing real steps to reach their goals or simply dreaming and wishing what theyd
like to do.

The second concept is Time Quickening. This has nothing to do with taking shortcuts, rather this is how
you perceive time. The is where you find yourself so engrossed in something that nothing can distract
you, or as some call it, being in the zone. Mastering this skill helps you view a long time as a short time
and easy matter. There are six steps you must take to achieve this:

- Find a work environment that is free of distractions as much as possible

- Focus on doing one task at a time and stick with it until it is completed
- Surrender yourself to the task at hand, doing as much as you planned to do of it as possible
- Plan to work uninterruptedly for a certain amount of time
- Dont watch the clock as you work, dont continually compare what you have accomplished
against what you have to do
- Stop working when your thinking becomes muddled with fatigue

These steps may be hard to follow but with practice you get better at them every time, and then start to
find that time just flies by as you work.

Procrastination is another point which many people think is harmless but is actually the cancer of self
discipline. The more you succumb to it, the worse it gets, and the harder it is to get rid of it. It takes a
serious effort to overcome it.

There are three main reasons for procrastination: Fear of failure, fear of success, and rebelling against

Fear of failure: These are the people who are already successful in their lives, but only up to a
certain point. They setup high hard to meet standards for themselves and live in a constant fear of
failure. Therefore, they never work up to their highest potential, they are never really challenged
and therefore they will never really fail. These people usually postpone doing things until the last
minute, so that they dont have to find out their real capabilities, and can easily blame mediocrity
or failure on lack of time.
Fear of success: These people are afraid of standing out too much. They fear if they are
successful that they will lose loved ones, family or friends. They fear any kind of change success
may bring into their lives.
Rebelling against authority: These people put off work because it gives them a feeling of
control over their boss or circumstances. They have a fear of being controlled or dominated. They
procrastinate just to prove they are the ones in power.

Once you identify the reason for your procrastination, you can then start to work on getting rid of it. Here
are some points that can help you overcome procrastination:

- Swiss cheesing: this is the same as dividing a macro task into small micro tasks
- Unscheduling: make a table with the days of the week in the row headers and the hours of the
days from the time you wake up till the time you sleep in the column headers. Fill in the blanks
with the activities you do daily according to your daily routine. Only fill in the necessary tasks,
and leave out blank spaces for things like watching TV or going bowling. Now in the blank
spaces schedule your micro tasks, just dont overdo it! Leave out spaces for leisure and family

Your goal is not to punish yourself by filling every single hour of your day with work. Instead this way by
scheduling in a balance of leisure and work, you will start looking forward to your working hours as an
integral and fun part of your day.
VI. Identify and Learn the Knowledge and Skills You Need
Successful people first, determine what knowledge and skills they need to learn in a particular area or
areas in order to achieve their goals. Second, they believe that they have an unlimited potential to learn
new things no matter how difficult it may be. Third, they know that acquiring new skills requires
patience and time, and is often a slow step-by-step process of trial and error. Fourth, they develop their
own personalized system of learning.

Remember that success in learning brings more success. Once you master a certain topic, you realize you
have the ability, you confidence gets boosted, and you get enthusiastic to learn more. Learning does not
require a high level of intelligence, but rather a it requires applying self discipline.

Imagine the process of learning as a jigsaw puzzle, you see what the end picture on the box looks like,
when you pick a new piece from the box, you first examine its shape and size to see how it will fit in with
the others. Likewise, when learning new skills you must first see how they fit into your end goal and
their application in your life.

Always practice what you learn, repeating something you have learned over and over again makes it
become almost second nature, which makes possible for more advanced levels of learning in the same
area of knowledge.
VII. Winning through persistence and perseverance
There is a subtle difference between persistence and perseverance. Persistence means never giving up.
Perseverance means persisting despite hardships and setbacks. Both these are qualities are the final and
ultimate key to your success. There are 5 crucial steps to develop these two qualities in you

Rekindle and refuel your vision every single day. The emotions you draw from daily
reminding yourself of the benefits and rewards you will get by achieving your goal you will
have the persistence and perseverance it take to go on.
To truly believe you can achieve anything, and that nothing is impossible if you want it badly
enough and willing to pay the price for it no matter how much effort and time it takes.
Realize that obstacles are going to happen and setbacks are eventually going to occur.
Consider them as opportunities to learn from and that every obstacle you overcome
strengthens your character and brings you a step closer to your goal.
Use creative ways. There is no one path to achieving success. Most people quite when one
plan doesnt work out. Always explore new paths to the destination you want to reach.
Make your work fun. Turn something that you have to do into something you want to do.
Working towards a goal shouldnt feel like a sacrifice, because it is the thing that you want

So, how do you deal with problems of setback effectively?

1. Dont ignore them, they dont go away on their own. Look at your problems carefully before
plunging into solutions, study their aspects from all angles.
2. Dont blame others for your setbacks and dont blame them on fate either. Learn to deal with
them level headed as possible and be responsible for the things you do. Try acting as your own
mentor, what would he/she do in your situation?
3. Be your own critic in an understanding way. Dont tell yourself you have failed, rather say I have
slipped due to so and so. Failure is only failure if you dont learn from it.
4. In every setback there is a seed of opportunity, find it and use it. It might be a slightly different
path to achieving your goals, take the time to study the possibility.
5. Take the attitude of: Every problem has a solution. There are only very few problems in life that
have no solution at all. With this attitude you can always have the optimism to explore creative

Hope this was useful! \(^_^)/

Summary by Reem S.