How to Develop Discipline


  • “You won’t stay disciplined unless you can see, feel, sense, and acknowledge intellectually what the outcome is you’re after. If you’re not disciplined on a consistent basis, it’s because you don’t know what you want. So don’t beat yourself up that you’re lazy. You just need to make a decision.”
  • Do you struggle to stay disciplined? In this episode, learn 4 powerful tips to increase your discipline and productivity!
  • “There is no discipline without a schedule.”
  • Discipline can be one of the hardest things to develop. Try these tips so you can build the habits that will push you in the direction of your dreams!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

Discipline. I’m going to share four ideas with you today. How do I stay so disciplined? And I’m not saying that for me, because I’m so disciplined and perfect. I get asked this by all of my clients. They’re like, “Gosh, I need more discipline in my life.” I’m like, “Okay, well, let’s talk through what that means and how you achieve it.” If you want to show up for something, be consistent, be committed to something. How do you develop that discipline for something? I think there’s four simple things.

1. Know Your Outcome

Number one, you must know your outcome. How can you possibly be focused or disciplined if you don’t know the outcome you’re after?

Most people don’t lack focus or discipline, they lack clarity that would give them the focus and the discipline.

That’s why the first high performance habit is to seek clarity. We learned it from our research, right? Well, an outcome. What am I after here? What’s the goal? What’s the tangible or intangible thing that I know when I get there, when I see that, feel that, experience that, achieve that, that’s what I’m after here? Some kind of outcome.

You won’t stay disciplined unless you can see, feel, sense, acknowledge intellectually what the outcome is we’re after. If you’re not disciplined on a consistent basis, it’s because you don’t know what you want. So don’t beat yourself up that you’re lazy. You just need to make a decision.

You need to make a decision about what it is that you want. And it doesn’t have to be what you want for your whole life, your ultimate grand purpose in the cosmos of the destiny of the universe. No, no. What do you want by Friday? What do you want by the end of the month? What do you want this quarter? Start there. If you’re really confused about the next five years of your life, please start with the next five weeks of your life. Come on. People don’t understand, clarity is built upon.

You don’t have the epiphany where everything’s perfect. Very few people ever have a complete perfect picture, or an epiphany moment of everything coming together in life. Very few people, very few people. Instead, usually what happens is, as we move throughout our lives, we get a little more clarity about what we like and what we don’t like; what draws passion and strength and contribution to what doesn’t. Know your outcome. You want discipline? Know your outcomes.

2. Schedule

Number two, schedule.

There is no discipline without a schedule.

It’s so easy. If your calendar doesn’t have anything in it the next six weeks, don’t be mad at yourself for lacking discipline. No one shows up and goes, “It’s discipline day,” and has nothing to do. Discipline requires a schedule. So fill out your schedule, work the schedule. Fill out the schedule, work the schedule. Fill out the schedule, work. As you fill out your schedule and you work the schedule, you get more self-trust. With that self-trust comes confidence. From that confidence comes more competence. We gain more mastery and we’re in the game more. We feel good about ourselves. The progress mind loves it and eases up.

It’s like, “Hey, we’re doing it. We said we were going to do it and we did it. We moved towards our outcome today with a schedule, with an idea.” But you and I both know it’s easy to get off track with this.

3. Delegate More

So number three, you want to be more disciplined, you’re going to have to delegate more. You want to be more disciplined about what really matters for you, you’re going to ask for assistance, for help. You’re going to have to build the team. You’re going to have to socially engage people to support your focus. It’s just real.

Every writer I know who’s become a major writer has assistance, meaning they get somebody—their spouse, their partner, their agent, a personal assistant. Somebody is helping with the part of their life so they can focus on that thing, right? It’s hard to be a disciplined writer if you’re doing everything under the sun. You need time to be able to write, which means there are some things you can’t handle by yourself. And you’re going to have to delegate that.

And if you’re like, “Well, Brendon, I don’t have anyone to delegate to.” Then I’m like, “Then stop saying yes to everything under the sun. Stop putting more and more on your plate when you can’t handle what you already got there.” We got to go, “No, no, no. If I want to be disciplined, I got to choose a few things.” Say no to the rest, delegate the rest, and do what is here. You don’t lack discipline; you’re taking on too much. You don’t lack discipline; you’re taking on too much or you don’t have a schedule or you don’t know your outcome. Outcomes, schedule, delegation, and last thing is what I think this is really a critical thing for us in aliveness and fulfillment and connection in our lives.

4. Set Up Reward and Reflection

Often we don’t have discipline because we’ve set up no reward and reflection in our life.

And what I’m always trying to tell my highest performers: reflection is a reward.

Reflection, it’s a reward. Like sitting down and allowing your processing mind to think of all that you’ve been through and how beautiful it was and how grateful you are for it. We don’t lack discipline because discipline feels like always the grind.

Unless we stop the grind once in a while and look back and go, “Wow, look, how far I came! Let me celebrate the small win. Let me take myself out to dinner tonight. Let me write down a few of the things I’ve learned and share them. Let me give thanks or prayer or meditation towards the great things that have been happening for me.”

I think as soon as we realize that, it’s just a whole different experience of life. I’m disciplined ’cause to me being disciplined doesn’t sound like I’m disciplining myself. What it means is I am reflecting and rewarding myself for my progress. It’s so important for you to hear me say this.

If you’re lacking discipline, it’s probably because you’ve never rewarded yourself. You’ve never reflected on how far you’ve come. You still think you’re the same as you were in your 20s and your 30s.

It’s like, you’ve come so far and you’re still thinking like that kid, because you let your protecting mind, your processing mind, your progressing mind run rampant without the peace practices, without those moments of purpose. If you want to be disciplined this month, know your outcome, put it on the schedule, delegate or say no, and fourth, reflect, reward yourself. I do, again, with my High Performance Planner, I do my weekly reflection in every major in my life. I just look at it and I think, oh, what a blessing. This is going good. Or, oh, I can do better here. And the reward is the reflection. The reward to me is learning. The reward is developing competency.

Reward doesn’t have to mean I have this much more in my bank account, or these many more people following me; the reward is I’m growing.

Growth days, to me discipline requires growth days; having the growth days and rewarding and celebrating and reflecting upon the growth days. I’m disciplined because I’ve gotten so many hits of joy and learning by pushing myself as a growth day, but reflecting on those growth days. You did all that? That was a good day. What did I learn about myself? And I’m growing every day, so discipline gets easier.

Discipline gets way easier as you engage growth more; discipline gets hard when you went a season without even thinking about yourself, taking care of yourself, not sleeping, poisoning your body, not engaging in personal development, instead just engaging in everybody’s dramas.

And now you’re exhausted. You know when it’s hard to be disciplined? When you’re exhausted. So you take care of yourself, you recognize it, you reward it, you delegate it or say no. All of these things I hope will help you have an awesome March.