The hack for self-discipline you learned as a child
by Tobias van Schneider
The word discipline itself is intimidating. It implies mental toil. Manual labor. Forfeiting pleasure and immediate satisfaction for a nebulous, far-off reward. But it’s much less complicated than that.
Discipline is simply envisioning yourself on the other side of the thing you want to do.
Imagining yourself satisfied at the end of a workday motivates you to do your work well and finish early enough to enjoy your evening.
On the other hand, telling yourself you can always wrap this up later (maybe after dinner or early the next morning) gives you permission to drag your feet and take your time. You don’t finish the workday by 6pm because you told yourself you wouldn’t when you started.
Envisioning yourself in great shape, confidently walking on the beach in a new swimsuit, motivates you to wake up early every day and exercise.
Imagining the feeling of accepting an award in front of an audience of your peers motivates you to do your best work on that big advertising campaign.
Picturing yourself hitting 1 million downloads for your new app motivates you to start writing your business plan.
Having discipline is much easier than our failed New Year’s resolutions make it out to be.