The Power of Self-Discipline

The well known author Mark Twain said “There are a thousand excuses for failure, but never a good reason”.

We all have a fundamental wish list to want to make more money, spend more time with our families, be fit and trim and achieve financial independence. And we all intend to do all those things sometime. However, very few people develop a plan to achieve those goals.

Procrastination is the root cause of failure for most people. Self-discipline on the other hand is your salvation. In combination with motivation and persistence, you can achieve almost any goal, but you have to be willing to pay the price, and never give up.

Self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you like it or not. Successful people make a habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don’t like to do. When you master the power of self-discipline, you will become unstoppable.

There are three fundamental requirements for success:

  1. Decide exactly what you want to achieve in your life.
  2. Determine the price you will have to pay to achieve that goal.
  3. Resolve to pay that price.

Everyone wants to be healthy, happy, thin and rich, but most people are not willing to pay the price. To achieve this you need to develop a plan to make if happen. Success is the simple implementation of the strategies in your plan – everyday.

Persistence is self-discipline in action. It’s all about using your time efficiently and effectively. Most people waste most of their time. A great exercise is to keep track of what you do every day, all day, for a month, and then see how much time you wasted on everything, but your plan. You probably will be surprised to realize that you have spent a lot of time doing nothing productive or what didn’t need to be done at all.

Time is perishable it cannot be saved. Every minute lost to procrastination, or doing what doesn’t relate to achieving your plan is a minute lost. Your ultimate goal in life is to achieve your own happiness. Your ability to achieve your own happiness is the true measure of your success in life.

Most people live their life by accident – they live it as it happens. All these people have lost control of their destiny. Fulfillment comes when you live your life with a purpose exercising your life plan.

What is your life plan?

Robert M. Donnelly is an author, educator and brand builder for businesses and individuals. His consultancy business is called His corporate life was spent in executive positions with IBM, Pfizer and EXXON and then as the CEO for several U.S. subsidiaries of foreign multinational firms. Professor Donnelly is on the faculty of Saint Peters University as well as Rushmore University, a global online university. His latest book is Personal Brand Planning for Life, available on Amazon. He also functions as an interim executive. You can contact him at or visit his website at