Saturday, 31 March 2012

Starting to Meditate

There are many different kinds of meditation, with many different purposes.  Some people use it as the end itself, rather than a means to an end; they simply enjoy the meditative state.  Others use it for spiritual purposes, whether they be Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, another religion, or even a humanistic spiritual end.  Some wish to achieve out-of-body states, acquire paranormal powers, or use their meditation for other occult purposes.  Some just want to get the health benefits that come from a period of relaxation and meditation.  Yet others simply want to learn to relax and focus better so they can achieve their goals.  No matter what aspect of self-development attracts you, it is very likely that using meditation will help you achieve your goals more rapidly and more effectively.

Learning to meditate properly is not, however, something you can simply pick up and try and get instant results. As with any other worthwhile skill, you have to be prepared to practise regularly.  You have to be willing to suspend any disbelief, make meditation a regular habit, and do it properly not half-heartedly.

Imagine you were hoping to learn to play the piano.  You had never played any keyboard instrument before, so you were starting as a complete beginner.  This has real meaning for me, as I received an electric keyboard as a Christmas present and had never played any kind of keyboard before - unless you count my computer keyboard!  I could have acted like an overgrown child, tried playing a few notes, realised what came out was not music, and given up in disgust.  I could have reacted by saying that I had tried playing it and that it was clear nobody could possibly make any beautiful sounds come out of such an instrument.  That Chopin and Rachmaninov were deceiving us and that no keyboard or piano could make sounds like those we hear in their beautiful preludes and concertos.  Or I could have said that I needed a good piano teacher and that there was no point doing anything until I found one.  But that is not how I reacted.  Instead, I resolved to practise a little every day.  To make just a slight improvement each day, until with regular practice I could produce some music which sounded beautiful to me and which gave me pleasure to play.  And that is exactly what I did.  Well, not every day.  Sometimes I let several days slip without practising because I am too busy.  When that happens I don't give up and say "That's it!  I have broken my promise to myself to practise every day so now I have failed!"; I just shrug my shoulders and try to find time to practise the following day.  And slowly but surely I have found I am starting to play familiar pieces of music that I actually enjoy hearing.  Not Chopin or Rachmaninov yet, but that will come.

What has all that got to do with regular meditation practice?  Everything!  Most people who try meditating, or most other practices in the personal development area for that matter, only try it a few times - or maybe even only once - find it hasn't made any difference, and then give up and say it doesn't work!  Just like the grown spoiled child who tries playing on a keyboard for the first time, finds what comes out is dissonant rather than harmonic, and says the instrument is no good and will never produce a lovely sound.

I strongly recommend you try putting aside a few minutes every day to meditate.  Don't worry too much about whether or not you know exactly how to do it - just do it anyway.  Yes, spend a little time researching on the net (or even in your library or local bookshop) to find out what different types of meditation are around, and which ones seem most comfortable to you.  But don't expect to become an expert in forms of meditation before you begin.  If you start out with that attitude you will never actually begin at all.  Just put the time aside and do it anyway.  Get into a regular habit.  Gradually, just as I noticed nice melodies and harmonies appearing as I struggled to learn the keyboard you will find the benefits of your regular meditation appearing too.  And just as I have started to study a little more seriously so I learn to play better, so you can study the techniques of meditation to improve what you are already doing and what is already benefiting you.

I will be posting further articles on meditation, and aids to meditation, from time to time.  You will even find some meditation aids amongst the products advertised through the various banners surrounding my blog - for example Isochiral Music, or Subliminal Messages.  By all means have a browse, and if something really appeals then go ahead and get it.  But don't wait for those further articles, and don't wait to see whether anything advertised here is really for you.  Start now, today, with even just a few minutes of relaxation and meditation.  Keep it up and I think you will be suprised at just how much of a difference it can make to your life.

Original article by Graham Dragon

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

How Motivation Makes You Chase Your Dream

How Motivation Makes You Chase Your Dream

Author: Michael Lowe

"Build a dream and the dream will build you."
- Dr Robert H. Schuller

#1 Define Your Mission
Think of all the things that you would like to accomplish within your lifetime. Not just the big, bold and daring things but also the smaller, yet still important, things. What would be your ideal weight if anything were possible? What places would you like to visit if you had unlimited funds to do so?

Who would you like to meet? Picture yourself with the house you truly desire; the car; the social life. Describe the type of person you want to become in this no-holds-barred, dream environment. Start writing.

"A pencil and a dream can take you anywhere."
- Joyce A. Myers

While your creative right brain is being encouraged to soar freely, your left brain, the analytical, executive part, may be thinking, "I'm not sure these things are possible." You must suspend your beliefs about what is impossible long enough to allow your creativity, spontaneity and imagination to start to show you what is possible. You have to replace words such as "I can't", "I never" or "I couldn't" with "I want" and "I will".

If you over- rationalize in this elementary process, you will greatly limit your ability to tap the power of your inner potential.

Would you like to spend a week away on an enchanted tropical island? Maybe you desire more money because "there's too much month left at the end of the money"! Perhaps you'd like to take your children to Disneyland? Have you ever dreamt of starting your own business? How about meeting the perfect man or woman? What about these: would you like to climb Mount Everest, buy a new car or contribute to the less fortunate in a generous way? It's your life so dare to dream! Get in touch with the things that, deep down, you'd love to be, have or do. Go for it!

Write down on a piece of paper, in a journal or notebook, all you would like to be, have or do. You don't have to know the "how", just work on developing and planning the "what".

While this process will cause you to search deep within, the rewards can be life-changing. If you're serious about improving your present conditions or if you have a dream that you've been too shy to express, engage your power of choice and act now!

By defining the big picture, your life's mission, you will have taken your first important step towards making it possible.

#2 Assign ETAs
Now, next to each item on your list, write an Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA). How long do you think it will take to achieve each of your dreams? You might write, next to some of the smaller ones, one month, three months or six months. These we refer to as short-range. You may categorise other items as being medium-range by writing one year, two years or three years next to them. Anything you believe will take you five years or beyond we refer to as long-range. Calculate your ETAs quickly and roughly.

#3 The Seven Areas of Total Success

"A dream is what you would 'like' to have; a goal is what you 'intend' to make happen."
- Denis Waitley

Now, let's get tangible. It's time to create a few specific, short-range goals that will begin to propel you towards your mission in life. If you want to turn your dreams into reality, there are two important things to consider.

The first is - Goals must be written .

Goals must be internalised and clearly defined within the imagination. Writing, however, crystallizes thought and thought motivates action. Therefore, when you write your goals, you'll enable your RAS to lock on more precisely to your intended destination.

The second fundamental is - Goals must be specific .

All those who produced great things in life had one thing in common: they all knew precisely what they wanted. The same law that controlled their success also controls yours. This is why you must know exactly what you want if you are going to receive it. The problem most people encounter when attempting to create their goals is that they don't really know what they want; therefore, they can't be specific when naming it.

Here's a goal I often see: "I want to be happy." So, too, does your neighbour's horse! He's happy if he gets a pat on the neck, a rub down and the occasional bale of hay!

Final Note by the Author

Generalisations and fuzzy thoughts get lost in the fog of non-specifics. So, don't soar into the fog zone by programming your RAS with an imprecise or vague destination. Goal setting makes it specific and prepares you to shatter the boundaries of limitation!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Reaching Your Goals - How to Achieve More

 Reaching Your Goals - How to Achieve More

Author: Bob Crawford

You see, there are basically two different ways of thinking about goal setting and manifesting your desires. The first is an inner approach to goal setting - these methods are usually all about aligning with your desires and then waiting for them to manifest or show up in your life. The second is the external method of goal setting - a much more clear-cut approach that involves linear thinking and taking specific action steps to produce specific results.

The good news is that both methods work, but neither method works for everyone all the time.

What does work all the time? Well, I'm sure you won't be surprised when I tell you that the only true way to guarantee your success at reaching your goals is to merge both the inner and outer methods into one inclusive method. You can't really separate the inner you from the outer you anyway, so your best approach is always to work with your total self.

If we are, as so many of the great teachers say, spiritual beings having a physical experience, then it only makes sense that we should tap into as much of our internal strength and energy as possible. But at the same time, we are living in a physical reality, and in that reality, time is an important factor.

That's why you have to approach the idea of reaching your goals from a perspective that includes both your inner and outer worlds. That means not only should you begin to set very real goals and create specific action steps that will move you in the direction of those things that you want, you should also look inside yourself and work on things like your beliefs, your self-talk, and your intentions.

If you are having a hard time reaching one of your goals, it might be because your efforts are focused too much on one side or the other. Are you are being too inner focused? Or too outer focused? Try to see where you have been placing your more of your attention lately. Have you been working hard on a lot of your 'inner' stuff? Or have you been driving yourself by being heavily invested in external goal setting?

Whichever method you have been favoring, try spending a little more of your energy working on the other side. I think you will discover that as you begin balancing your efforts between your inner and outer selves, reaching your goals becomes a little easier and a lot more enjoyable!

Article Source:

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Creative Visualization Techniques

Creative Visualization Techniques

Author: Kisha Scott

Everything you have in life, people, events or circumstances, you have attracted them by the virtue of the images you hold in your mind. This is known as visualization. Since childhood we have been building images in our minds either consciously or unconsciously. No matter what the images are whether things we want or those we don't won't they eventually come to us.

Our subconscious mind knows things in form of images. Ask any successful person and analyze the predominant images they constantly hold in their subconscious mind, you will find their life is an ultimate result of those images. Any thought which appears as images in our mind when held for long periods of time manifest in physical equivalent. Thus by means of creative visualization, we can begin to deliberately create the images of our goals and achieve them. This is the secret to success.

Studies have shown that successful athletes before appearing in an actual game first visualize themselves as winners and feel as if it has already happened. In this way, they train their mind to act exactly in accordance with the visualization. Aside from sports, this visualization exercise holds true in every area of your life from wealth to health to happiness, etc. Be honest and analyze the past mental pictures that you have been visualizing since childhood and you will find how those picture and your life match.

Creative Visualization technique

Find a quiet place, sit or lie down comfortably and close your eyes. Take few deep breaths in to settle your awareness. Imagine the fresh life force energy entering your lungs and spreading to every part of your body. Relax your whole body starting from toes to head and imagine it glowing with Divine white light. You may say yourself ‘Relax…relax…relax' silently. Now make a clear and vivid picture of any goal you want to achieve. It may be wealth, health or happiness in relationship. Imagine the end result of the goal as clear as possible. For example, you may want to travel around the world but you are hopeless because you thought of insufficient money or any other impossibility you acknowledged. During this visualization meditation, picture yourself traveling around the world, you may see yourself standing in front of Eiffel Tower, feeling the fresh breeze touching your skin, you are feeling alive, may be you are with your loved one or any close friend you care about. You see people around you moving, children playing on other side and your favorite music being heard from a neighbor house. Now feel this feeling of aliveness and fulfillment in your body, what color is it, size and shape.

It is recommended if you do this exercise 10 minutes before you go to bed and 10 minutes after getting up in the morning. This is all you have to do. Don't be hopeless if things don't work out. Persistence is the key. You will have to do this visualization until those images are successfully embedded in your subconscious mind. Remember to pick up one goal at a time. Universe won't understand if you mix up multiple goals. After several days of doing visualization, you will find your life in control of yourself and your ability to change circumstances.

About the Author

This article was written by Kisha Scott, who says:

Wishing you Success, Freedom, and Prosperity! My greatest knowledge has been attained from my love to teach! My hopes now are to motivate and help others pave their way to prosperity and success!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Universal Life Secrets

Chris D’Cruz is a confident man. Why do I say that? Because on he makes no qualms about offering you “god-like” powers which will enable you to create your own reality as you see fit.

I’m not kidding, that’s almost word-for-word what he says on his site.

He promises to show you secrets that will give you greater personal power, power that will give you, amongst other things, the ability to influence ANYONE to do your bidding. He even mentions somewhere about the “Jedi Mind Trick”, and for all you Star Wars fans out there, you’ll know how impressive the “Jedi Mind Trick” can be.

The problem here is that the “Jedi Mind Trick” is supposed to be fictional, but Chris D’Cruz promises that you’ll have that very ability once you learn the secrets he’ll reveal to you.

Now, I don’t know about you, but the thought of mastering such a powerful (albeit fictional) ability makes me wary of everything else he has to say. But as a self-help product reviewer I have to keep an open mind no matter what, and so I read everything else he had to say with regards to Universal Life Secrets.

Included in the package he is offering is something he calls a "Universal Sex Guide".  Personally, this was of no interest to me.  I found it rather embarrassing the male-centric way he refers to what should be a beautiful expression of love.  I am quite sure many readers of this blog will feel the same way.  If you are easily offended, just skip quickly past the bits referring to this.  But the "Universal Power Guide" which is also in the package is certainly well worth looking at.

Upon browsing the site you’ll find that his promises does seem a little exaggerated, and you almost feel as though he’s offering the entire universe for you to control. Who else in your entire life has made you the promise of “god-like” powers?

Yet, as you read on, you can’t help but be intrigued by the man’s confidence. You find his promises a little absurd in his exaggerations, but at the same time you wonder why he’s willing to back his promises with a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee. If it’s a scam why bother offering to give your money back?

These secrets are actually techniques on how a person can become greater than they already are by building on their personal strengths and achievements, and how one can become a commanding and authoritative figure that has the ability to influence practically anyone. It’s a must-have for anyone who has had self-esteem issues, or simply looking to be more confident in both their personal and professional lives.

Definitely worth looking at.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

How To Turn Into A Successful Individual

Basic Methods On How To Turn Into A Successful Individual 
by Harry888

Sometimes in life, we all need a little improvement. We could be a little smarter, a little more spiritual, or even a little more honest. There are many attributes that we can adjust to make ourselves better people. The following article contains tips for anyone who wishes to do a little personal development and improve themselves.

To stay motivated use your emotions as tools. People avoid painful experiences and seek out experiences that are pleasurable. When trying to break a bad habit, associate bad feelings with it. Then replace that habit with a good habit that makes you experience joy. You will be more likely to continue the good habit and less likely to continue the bad one.

Have plenty of self confidence in yourself. Never doubt that you cannot do what you set out to do. Set realistic goals for yourself, things that are attainable and within your reach at the time being. This will ensure that you never feel self conscience and always have plenty of self confidence.

Knowing does not mean understanding. A knowledgable person can even seem overbearing and pompous. If you are going to take the time to seek knowledge, also take the time to learn knowledge. Anyone can spout facts and data from memory, however, taking the time to understand and research the depth of the subject creates wisdom.

Some people have trouble moving on and the easiest way to move on is to find out exactly what is holding you back. Is it a task? A person? The environment you're living in? Once you let go off that burden you will be able to move on with your life and began focusing on the more positive aspects of your life.

Having integrity and a clear conscience will keep your self-esteem up and self-esteem is pivotal to personal development! Do not cut corners, make excuses or give yourself other reasons to feel like you are not giving life your best effort. All of those little things will add up to a weight that will burden you with guilt and stop your success dead in its tracks, not to mention keeping you from getting a good night sleep.

Exercise regularly to build strength and endurance. When you have stamina, you have more energy to withstand the challenges of everyday life. This will boost your confidence, increase your mental clarity, and will help you keep going in any endeavors that you take on in self-improvement. Your overall health influences how you live.

When you are stressed out, exercise. This is one of the best remedies to relieve stress. Exercise releases adrenaline that stress produces. You will find that almost immediately you will feel better. Try to make exercise an enjoyable daily habit and not a chore, so you can get into the routine of it.

Keep a diary or journal. It will be very cathartic to be able to put what you are feeling down on paper. Keeping things locked up and having thoughts running through your head can really take a toll on you. Just letting it all out on paper will allow you to release those thoughts without having to involve someone else.

Use mistakes as growing points. Everyone is going to make mistakes from time to time, whether serious or very minor. Either way you go, you have to understand that these mistakes are sometimes inevitable, and the best thing you can do is learn and grow from these mistakes, using them to propel yourself forward instead of letting them hold you back in frustration and discouragement.

Personal development is not a measure of who you are but of what you can do. It is important to take pride in each of your goals, but it is equally important not to think of yourself as better or worse than others. Perhaps you will become a better swimmer than someone but that does not mean you are a better person.

A great personal development tip is to stay disciplined. It is not easy to improve yourself. It takes hard work and dedication to truly make a positive change in your life. It is extremely important that you realize this and keep yourself disciplined whenever any sort of temptations arise.

If you want to better yourself, you should strive to always be thankful for everything good you have in your life. Being thankful is the road to true happiness. Sometimes, it can be hard to think of things to be thankful for if you have had a hard life, but you can always be thankful for breathing, hoping, and loving.

When trying to tackle a long to-do list, one effective technique is to do the most difficult tasks first. That way, you get the hard stuff out of the way early in the day. That sets up a great mood of success for the rest of your day and you will feel free to tackle all the relatively easy things that are left. Remember, do the tough jobs first for maximum productivity.

Ensuring that the path we chose in life is the most optimal is often a matter of planning each step before we take it. The hints provided above help us do just that. Whether our goal is to improve our financial situation or to implement an exercise routine, these tips can help us accomplish it.

Article Source:

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Treasure Map

Have you created your treasure map yet?

By “treasure map” I mean a sheet of paper with pictures on it representing all your goals, all the things you are aiming for in life, all the achievements which you will regard as a success when you get there.

Many people do not bother with a treasure map.  But remember, many people also never achieve the successes they wish for.  And I can assure you if you do it properly the treasure map really does work.

Why it works is really less important than the fact that it does work.  But for the sceptics among you let me just outline a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the mere act of creating the map crystallises your thinking.  Many people who first create a treasure map only realise as they are doing so what some of their objectives are.  And unless you know what you are aiming for how can you expect to get it?  Also, by putting those objectives on paper you have a chance to look at them carefully and decide do you really want to achieve them.  It is not unusual to find objectives which are out of synch with your own code of morality.  You had a vague idea that this is something you wanted, but when you see it in black and white you realise it is actually something you would not be very comfortable getting.  It is also not unusual to find you have put down two objectives which are completely contrary to each other.  Again, until you actually see them next to each other on your map it is not so obvious that you cannot have both.

Secondly, once you have a properly formed treasure map you have something to focus on to ensure your subconscious mind gets the message that this is what you want to achieve.  Once your subconscious mind really does get that message you can be sure it will be working behind the scenes constantly to ensure you obtain it.

Try to be quite specific.  Think carefully about what you want to achieve and why.  Saying “I am wealthy” is certainly not specific enough.  It would be better to say “I have £1,000,000 in my bank account”.  But personally I would not choose that as my goal even though I do aim to be wealthy.  It is specific, certainly, but it is not my real goal.  It is not the money itself I want, it is the things that money could do for me that I really want.  How I get them, provided it is honestly and ethically, is not really important.  So on my treasure map are the things I want, not the money that I may need in order to get them.

Ideally you should have pictures which tell the story properly.  If you want to live in a lovely little cottage surrounded by woodland, then find a photo of one that looks exactly how you would like your own little cottage to look.  Cut it out and stick it on your map.  Or draw it yourself.  It doesn’t really matter if you are not a brilliant artist.  Your subconscious will be quite forgiving about your lack of artistic skill.

Surround your treasure map with a border.  It may sound odd, but this is important.  It is setting limits.  Preventing a kind of sorcerer’s apprentice mishap where your subconscious keeps getting more and more of something until it is beyond a joke and you wish you had never put that on your map.

Don’t show that map to anyone else.  If you do, they will almost certainly ridicule you, and that will sap power away and make it far less likely you will achieve your dreams.  This is your secret treasure map that nobody but you even knows exists.  Study it daily, and visualise your life as it is with these dreams realised.  Note the use of the present tense here.  Not the future.  You must visualise your dreams as already realised.  And any writing on the map should reflect that.  Don’t write “I want a house by the sea” but rather “I live in a house by the sea”.  Don’t say “I want to speak fluent Italian”, but rather “I speak fluent Italian”.

As your life evolves, you will find you have already achieved some of the goals on your treasure map, no longer wish to achieve others, and have more goals that were not on the map.  So be ready to add to the map, and also sometimes to start afresh and make a new map.

Finally, a warning.  If you do this properly you will find you start to achieve the goals you put on your treasure map.  Make sure they are goals you really want to achieve.  Remember the old fairy tales where a genie granted a number of wishes, but then tricked the wisher by giving him or her exactly what was asked for, but which was not what the wisher really wanted.  There is a real point to those stories.  Be very certain of where you are aiming, what you want to achieve, as you will only have yourself to blame if you realise when you achieve it that it was not what you wanted at all!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

How to be successful in life regardless of any major setbacks

How to be successful in life regardless of any major setbacks by Dante Petrilla

When you're considering success and how to be successful in life, the first thing you need to do is to decide exactly what success means to you.  Define it in clear, precise, measurable terms, and decide exactly what things need to happen in order for you to be successful in different areas in your life.  Define it for each area, i.e. money, career, relationship, family, spirituality, personal development, etc.

For instance: What job would you like to be doing and how much would you need to earn from that? What type of person would you like to have a relationship with? What would that person look like and what qualities would he/she have?

The specificity is important because there needs to be a clear evidence procedure so that you can see your success happening and know it when it happens.  Success is a subjective term, and it means different things to different people.  The reason why so many people are not "successful" in life is that they have not clearly defined what success means to them.  In other words, they have no idea what they want.  And as the old saying goes, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there."

Now once you've set out exactly what success means to you in the various areas of your life, you can make plans and set goals, both short-term and long-term that will take you where you want to go.  Write these down refine them so that they are very specific and so that they inspire you and involve you on an emotional as well as a psychological level.  Review these goals often.

As part of achieving your goals, you'll have ideas on what you should do and how things should be done.  But understand one very important thing: if you have a big goal which is far outside your current realm of knowledge and experience, you don't know how to achieve it.  You'll know you've got the goal when you reach it, but you don't know what things will happen along the way, and you can be certain that things will not happen as you planned them.  There will be setbacks.

But setbacks are nothing to be worried about.  In fact, they're great, because this is how we learn, grow, expand our comfort zone and improve the quality of our lives.  Without setbacks or problems, we do not grow.

As you learn how to be successful in life, the best way to handle setbacks of any kind is to not think of them as setbacks, but rather as necessary steps along the path toward the achievement of your goals.  If you experience a setback, there was something in it that you needed to learn.  Search for that lesson.  Consider the situation and ask yourself what you can learn from it.  How can you use it to improve? Look at it from a different perspective.  What else could it mean? What opportunity might there be in it? If you had to find something positive about it, what would that be?

Asking these kinds of questions opens your mind up to seeing the setback in a completely different light and not allowing it to stop you in your tracks.

We have this inbuilt mechanism that causes us to judge everything we come in contact with.  There's nothing wrong with this.  It's quite natural, and it's part of what allows us to survive.  But we need to be careful when we place labels on the things that happen in our lives as "good" or "bad".   We place limits on ourselves when we do this.  The fact is that we have no idea whether a thing is good or bad.  It may seem one way or another, but we don't know what will come about as a result of the event.

In reality, the events and circumstances of our lives are neither good nor bad; they just are.   It's how we perceive and define them that makes them good or bad, helpful or destructive.

A setback is an opportunity to learn, grow and improve.  Make that your new definition for setback and always be looking for that opportunity.  This will allow you to meet with the success you're seeking far more easily.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

How to Build Self-Discipline

How to Build Self-Discipline (by Peter Clemens)

Discipline is freedom. You may disagree with this statement, and if you do you are certainly not alone. For many people discipline is a dirty word that is equated with the absence of freedom. In fact the opposite is true. As Stephen R. Covey once wrote, “the undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions”. And in the longer term, the undisciplined lack the freedom that comes with possessing particular skills and abilities – e.g. to play a musical instrument or speak a foreign language.

Self-discipline involves acting according to what you think instead of how you feel in the moment. Often it involves sacrificing the pleasure and thrill of the moment for what matters most in life. Therefore it is self-discipline that drives you to:
  • Work on an idea or project after the initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away
  • Go to the gym when all you want to do is lie on the couch and watch TV
  • Wake early to work on yourself
  • Say “no” when tempted to break your diet
  • Only check your email a few of times per day at particular times
In the past self-discipline has been a weakness of mine, and as a result today I find myself lacking the ability to do a number of things which I would like – e.g. to play the guitar. But I have improved, and I can say that it is self-discipline that got me out of bed this morning at 5am to run and then write this article. Believe me, I would love to be curled up in bed right now, but this desire is subordinated by my inner sense of purpose.

If you struggle with self-discipline, the good news is that it can be developed. For example, it is only in the past two years that I have trained myself to wake early. The following are what I have found to be the five traits of self-discipline:

1. Self-Knowledge

Discipline means behaving according to what you have decided is best, regardless of how you feel in the moment. Therefore the first trait of discipline is self-knowledge. You need to decide what behavior best reflects your goals and values. This process requires introspection and self-analysis, and is most effective when tied to written expression. I highly recommend taking the time to write out your goals, dreams and ambitions. Even better, write out a personal mission statement. I found that writing such a statement gave me a greater understanding of who I am, what I am about and what I value. Dr. Covey has an excellent Mission Statement Builder on his site.

2. Conscious Awareness

Self-discipline depends upon conscious awareness as to both what you are doing and what you are not doing. Think about it. If you aren’t aware your behavior is undisciplined, how will you know to act otherwise?

As you begin to build self-discipline, you may catch yourself being in the act of being undisciplined – e.g. biting your nails, avoiding the gym, eating a piece of cake or checking your email constantly.

Developing self-discipline takes time, and the key here is you are aware of your undisciplined behavior. With time this awareness will come earlier, meaning rather than catching yourself in the act of being undisciplined you will have awareness before you act in this way. This gives you the opportunity to make a decision that is in better alignment with your goals and values.

3. Commitment to Self-Discipline

It is not enough to simply write out your goals and values. You must make an internal commitment to them. Otherwise when your alarm clock goes off at 5am you will see no harm in hitting the snooze button for “just another 5 minutes….” Or, when initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away from a project you will struggle to see it through to completion.

If you struggle with commitment, start by making a conscious decision to follow through on what you say you’re going to do – both when you said you would do it and how you said you would do it.

Then, I highly recommend putting in place a system to track these commitments. As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets improved”.

4. Courage

Did you notice the sweat dripping from the man in the picture at the start of this article? Make no mistake, self-discipline is often extremely difficult. Moods, appetites and passions can be powerful forces to go against. Therefore self-discipline is highly dependent on courage. Don’t pretend something is easy for you to do when it is in fact very difficult and/ or painful. Instead, find the courage to face this pain and difficulty. As you begin to accumulate small private victories, your self-confidence will grow and the courage that underpins self-discipline will come more naturally.

5. Internal Coaching

Self-talk is often harmful, but it can also be extremely beneficial if you have control of it. When you find yourself being tested, I suggest you talk to yourself, encourage yourself and reassure yourself. After all, it is self-talk that has the ability to remind you of your goals, call up courage, reinforce your commitment and keep you conscious of the task at hand. When I find my discipline being tested, I always recall the following quote: “The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret”. Burn this quote into your memory, and recall in whenever you find yourself being tested. It may change your life.

Peter writes about how to change your life at The Change Blog. He is also the author of Starting a Blog and Audio Book Downloads.