TED Conversations

Ross Kleiman

Biomedical Engineering student, Rutgers University

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How do you go about self discipline?

I recently realized that the area I would like to work on most is self discipline. So, TED community, do you have any books, websites, anecdotes or other resources you recommend for developing self discipline?

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    Jul 5 2011: Hi you all. I agree with your comments. I would only add that a good way to increase your self discipline is to look at three things: Values, your mission and what roles are you playing in society. Your values drive you to do what you do and sometimes your actions separate from your values for different reasons. One good exercise is to review them and then look at your behavior. Your mission is what you do on a day to day basis. Why are you in this world? What would you like to accomplish? See if what you are doing on a day to day basis is contributing to your long term goals. Finally, we all play many roles in life.Spouses, parents, sons, professional, neighbor, Rotary club member, adventurer, conselor, etc. Choose the top 7 and then align your activities to be able to be successful on those seven roles you choose. Last, a great way to be self disciplines is to take 15 minutes every day and plan your day. Write down your A activities, those that need to be done during the day, no ifs and buts, B activities, are important and need to be done, but not exactly during the day and your C activities which are optional and they can be done or not, not important.
    Hope this helps. Thank for referencing my talk. Regards
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    Jun 16 2011: Hi Ross, not sure about books etc, but I can give some personal guidance.
    The irony of "self discipline" is that most of the time it concerns our interactions with others. Eg: you're working on an important research paper, and some chums come along and take you for cocktails (or starbucks, given that I see you're an engineering student), how do you resist them? You have a big exam, but a hot date the night before... but you've got to be careful not to be too tired before the test.
    I tend to re-cast the notion of 'self discipline" as how best to associate with others, and manage your personal relationships in the most disciplined fashion, and the easiest way of doing that is to share and be very open and say "hey, I take this work seriously... I'll see you tomorrow", or "hey. I would love to take you for dinner tonight, but it's the big exam tomorrow, how about we do something especially special to celebrate after the exam". Etc
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      Jun 16 2011: Ross I agree with James, be very open/honest and share your deep conviction on why you are doing what you are doing. There's always a better time to do anything.

      For self-discipline alone and if we think we need to deepen our convictions, we summon or ignite the deep convictions of our upbringing or the example of great people (read their autobiographies or see their TED talks) then see the state of our world around us or around the world and call that strong passion and vision that will help transform ourselves and our world. This strong purpose and vision gives us great courage and inspiration and will transcend all the little worries of our lives and devote more of our energy to bring real happiness to ourselves and to our world. http://Bit.Ly/KeyPower
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    Jun 16 2011: I have no trouble with my will power- its my won't power that gets me into trouble.

    Sincerely though. although I disagree with James often, I think he has great advice to offer here and it is backed up by personal achievement.