How Do You Develop Discipline

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: I find that I have intentions to do something, and then I never seem to do it? Could you give some suggestions about how you develop discipline?

A: You progressively develop discipline as you grow spiritually and personally. It appears to follow these steps as you mature as a person and evolve spiritually:

  1. Discipline in one area – you concentrate your attention and develop good habits in one area that is important to you. This may be in sports, weight lifting, playing music, or you may be able to be disciplined at your job.
  2. Coordination of discipline – when you have developed the capacity to discipline yourself in more than one area, you schedule blocks of time when you can act in a disciplined manner in more than one area of your life.
  3. Disciplining others – when you have learned to discipline yourself to reach your objectives and adhere to high standards of behavior—and you internalize this—you gain the capacity to discipline others. You do this when you perform supervision of others or you patent you children.
  4. Disciplining your ego – as you begin to function more as the Self and are able to more fully embrace the executive functions of your personality, you use your conscience to improve your character and check the wayward impulses of your ego, and overrule your ego’s rash decisions with the more considered and mature choices of the Self.
  5. Disciplining your entire personality to achieve specific goals and objectives – at this level, you begin to take charge of your life. You identify those goals that you want to achieve in your life, and you enact them through making a plan. Through this means, you progressively actualize your core life’s dreams.
  6. Disciplining your Self to carry out the Soul’s Purpose – as the Soul evolves and rises into its crown of purpose, your Soul begins to direct your Self to enact aspects of its Soul Purpose—beginning with education and training; practice of the skill as creativity, in your career, and in service to others; and then perfecting the skill through insight and innovation.
  7. Disciplining the Soul to follow the Divine Will and complete the Divine Plan – When this stage dawns, you embark on the path of discipleship. You work with your Supervising Initiate to unfold your Soul and actualize your spiritual destiny. Step-by-step, you ascend closer to Mastery and Liberation under the guidance of your spiritual Master.

Wherever you are on this scale today, start generating greater discipline through visualizing the next step in this process. For example:

  • What does discipline in one area look like?
  • In what other areas could I develop discipline? What would that require of me to achieve this?
  • Now that I’ve disciplined myself in several areas, how could I schedule these disciplined blocks of time, so I can make my day more productive?
  • What ways do I know to encourage others to observe self-discipline to be more orderly, efficient, productive, and respectful?
  • In what ways does my ego run the show? What behavior and attitudes could I change? How can I change that behavior?
  • Now that I’ve begun to restrain my ego, and I’m less distracted, what core goals do I want to achieve in my life? What are these goals? What is the plan to achieve each one? By when do I hope to accomplish each of these goals?
  • In what ways has my Soul intimated its purpose to me? What do I need to do to align with this purpose? How can I improve my ability to get clear on what I need to do?
  • If I have begun the spiritual Path, what do I need to do to make spiritual progress, and improve my ability to meditate and commune with the spiritual Master(s) of my tradition? What is required of me to move into the next step of my spiritual growth? What does Mastery in my tradition entail?

In general, to improve your productivity and your discipline, try these things:

  1. Aim to accomplish one key thing each day
  2. Put aside blocks of time in which you can focus exclusively on your goal without distraction
  3. Sit with your resistance to change until it subsides, then press on to accomplish your objective
  4. Work on your goals tenaciously; do not relent until you accomplish them. Engage your commitment and your resolve.
  5. Challenge yourself to improve yourself; strive for excellence
  6. Set up your workspace to be distraction free and orderly. Do one thing in that space, so you can gain the association that you will do that activity in that place.
  7. Reflect on how you will feel when you accomplish this goal. If you think of this as a reward, it will motivate you to keep working to reach your goal, even when there are obstacles.
  8. Do one part of your goal at a time, and progressively work to finish each remaining part. Check off your progress towards your goal on a checklist.

If you can set up your life to allow you the space to accomplish your goals, you can make this a productive, fruitful, and fulfilling life. Resolve that you stir your native will power into action and take charge of your time and your life, and make your dreams come true.

Don’t wait for others to make your dreams come true. If you want them, make them happen!

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