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Discipline is Destiny

By creating small habits on a daily basis, you create your routines, and routines end up determining your destiny.

By: Beatriz Iglesias Garcia

Arrows arranged in a circle with weights, a cup of tea, skincare bottles, and books
Graphic By: Tamar Ponte

If you want to know what your life is going to be like in the future, your discipline will take you there. And guess what? You are the author of your discipline, for better or worse. The Ancient Greeks put it this way: Character is fate. Your character shapes your day to day, and your small daily habits end up shaping your life. Self-discipline is the tool to not only anticipate greatness but also transform whatever you are doing into excellence. It is not merely a means to an end; instead, it is a constant value. From cooking a delicious meal to getting good grades and securing your dream job, being self-disciplined will get you there. Eventually, it will lead you to create the life you want. 

When you are disciplined about your life, you win, because no matter the outcome, you know you have given your all. There are always variables we can’t control, as Stoicism explains – knowing what you can and can’t control and learning to only act on whatever you can control is the key to a happy and successful life. If you develop self-discipline or know you’ve put your best into something, you’ve won. When your self-worth depends on things you can control, such as effort, you win.

Here are three tips to develop self-discipline:

Slow down. “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast,” as they like to say in the military. This saying in the ancient world was festina lente. That is, to make haste slowly. Energy plus moderation. Eagerness, but under control. “Slowly,” the poet Juan Ramon Jimenez would say, “you do everything correctly.”

Focus. As Steve Jobs, speaking to his top designer Jonny Ive, would explain, “Focus is not this thing you aspire to…or something you do on Monday. It’s something you do every minute.” When you focus, you can make the most of the task in front of you. 

Get the little things right. Everything great starts with something small. Take that first step. Start with just a few small actions, and you´ll slowly build the foundation for anything you want. 

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down. This quote was put up in the Questrom student lounge last year, and I have found it to be true. When you slow down, you are able to focus more on where you are, leading to more effectiveness and efficiency. Taking these small tips will lead you to create the life you want. 


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