Self-discipline really matters (4D Chiu Ching, Caitlin)


Self-discipline, contrary to the common belief, is not a severe and limited behaviour or a restrictive lifestyle, but rather the ability to forgo instant and immediate gratification and pleasure in favour of some greater gain or more satisfying results, even if this requires effort and time. Self-discipline leads to self-confidence, self-esteem, and inner strength, and consequently to happiness and long-term satisfaction. It allows you to stay focused on your goals and enables you to stay in control of yourself and your reaction to any situation. Self-discipline is like a muscle: the more you train it, the stronger you become.

Self-discipline matters as it helps us achieve good grades, which is important in a competitive society such as Hong Kong. According to a study done by Psychological Science, highly self-disciplined adolescents outperformed their more impulsive peers on every academic performance variable, including report card grades, standardised achievement test scores, admission to a competitive high school, and attendance. Therefore, self-discipline matters as it has a huge impact on our grades. 

Moreover, self-discipline matters as it helps improve our mental health. According to a survey done by George Mason University, higher scores on self-discipline correlated with higher self-esteem and more optimal emotional responses. Similarly, research done by the National Library of Medicine, shows that people with higher self-discipline levels have better self-esteem and fewer impulse control problems. Therefore, self-discipline matters as it helps improve our mental health. 

Now that we understand the importance of self-discipline, how do we develop it? Well, one of the many ways is to remove temptations. As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” It may seem silly, but this phrase offers powerful advice. By simply removing the biggest temptations from your environment, you will greatly improve your self-discipline. The fewer distractions you have, the more focused you will be on accomplishing your goals. Set yourself up for success by ditching bad influences. By doing so, self-discipline will be easier to develop.