Discipline: a Necessity For Success

A friend once told me that she plans to have her an NGO to her name before she is 20. Another once told me that she wants to have a show to her name before or by the time she is 25. A brother also once shared his desire to own a fashion line to support himself financially. Pretty cool.


All of these desires are quite interesting and desirable. We all have something related to these above desires that we plan to achieve. But – like another brother of mine discovered after he had visualized a beautiful plan…

Planning, desiring, and visualizing to do something is a lot easier than actually doing it. Taking an action is the real task. It takes discipline.

Having examined a few successful men, I can say that: discipline is next to success. There’s not but one truly successful man who is not disciplined. No, not one.

{Read: Discipline; a Price for a Prize}

The greatest musicians in the world would always talk about how they practiced for 8-12 hours a day, or how they had to transcribe the whole album of another musician whom they admire just so they could learn, and add to their vocabulary. Successful doctors (those who tell us to sleep for at least 8 hours sleep in a day) will not but trace their enthusiasm to sleepless nights of reading. This is true with Architects, teachers, and every successful person in any field. Even a successful trader would have the story of how she had to keep up her sale despite challenges.

Discipline, although being hard work, cannot be taken outside the success story of any man.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines discipline as a controlled behaviour, self-control. It also says it is a set of rules regulating behaviour. I love the latter definition, as it clarifies the fact that discipline is an action to be incorporated by oneself.

To be disciplined is to work hard to achieve a set of goals. Success is not birthed in the presence of laziness and/or indiscipline.

The late Kobe Bryant once said: “I can never understand lazy people, we don’t speak the same language, I don’t want to understand them”. Now, those are the words of a disciplined man.

In essence, to be successful, one has to be committed to being better in a particular course. One has to set appropriate rules to regulate one’s behaviour.

The irony is that everyone is disciplined at something, the question is to what? Some haven’t achieved that goal because they are disciplined at indiscipline. We all are committed to a thing or two – for some, it may be sleeping away half of the day, and spending the other half on their phones. For another, it’s hitting the gym early. For some other folks, it’s to reading daily.

Hence, our discipline must be channelled rightly.

We have to decide to be disciplined at that which would benefit us, and lead us a step forward to achieving our dreams, and not to that which would be of no benefit to us.

The funny but true fact is that – to be disciplined to that which does not profits us is quite easier compared to being disciplined to achieve our set goals. I mean, chatting the whole day off is easy. Watching Netflix with a bowl of popcorn is cool – but waking up to hit the gym by 5am, or reading for hours is not so easy.

By default, no one wants to work hard, but is it necessary? Well, I believe the likes of Mo Abudu, Angelina Jolie, Lionel Messi, Beyonce, Michael Jordan, Raphael Nadal, and any other successful person would agree with me to say Yes, hard work is necessary. Would it be easy? I know that Dwayne Johnson (the rock) would say with me that it’s not going to be easy, but you have to put the hard work in, any way.


Although, it won’t be easy, here are some ‘rules’ I believe should help you regulate your behaviour (like the Oxford dictionary puts it) to achieve those set goals of yours.

1. Do what you love, and make up your mind to be disciplined at it

This simply means to be focused. As easy as this seems, many have failed to be acquainted with it. You see, doing something just because of your love for it gives a satisfying feeling to your soul. There would be challenging times that you wish to back out, but the passion would keep you going.

Even in doing what you love, you have to resolve in your heart that -come rain, come sunshine- you would be disciplined enough to move a step closer to achieve that goal of yours daily.

It could get boring sometimes, but like a quote that pops up on my phone puts it:

There’s no chance, no fate, no destiny that can hinder the firm resolve of a determined soul.

2. Know when to keep off

As a determined and disciplined soul, you shouldn’t be found doing everything. Everything is not your business. I have once stayed at home to brush up my piano skills, while every other person at home went for a party (of a family member). Yes, I also would love to eat the meal prepared at the party but I figured that I could use the 6 hours to practice to get better. Now, I am not suggesting that you should not go for parties -if you want to go- I am only saying you should prioritize. Achieving your set goal needs you.

3. Manage your time well

A disciplined and successful man is the one who has understood time management very well. Yes, as humans, we do need time to recreate, and stay off the hard work: times to ‘chill out’ in the midst of our tight schedules.

But we must not overdo things. If you would sleep, for example, (which is necessary) don’t overdo it. I personally believe a young adult/teenager doesn’t actually need 8 hours of sleep. I believe 5-6 hours is good enough (don’t tell your doctor that I said that).

I am only saying that you should plan your day ahead of time.

Before the start of each day, plan how you would make the best out of the same 24hours which Usain Bolt, Warren Buffet, and Mark Zuckerberg has.

4. Keep yourself in check

This simply means to ‘manage yourself’. Make sure there’s a way you can call yourself to order. Surround yourself with friends that you would be accountable to, friends that can correct you and put you back on track whenever they notice the apathy in you. We all get tired sometimes, but in these moments, don’t lie to yourself. Get help.

{Read: Being Accountable in Life}

The day you stopped doing that which keep you ahead of others is the day you start depreciating.

I don’t think Usain Bolt -for example- would stop training because he is the fastest man in the world. He would rather keep it up. Because many would do anything to be where he is. Likewise, yourself, don’t stop. Evaluate yourself, and keep running.

Discipline is not a suggestion for the man who wishes to be successful, it’s a must.

Therefore, be disciplined for the right course.

Let me end with another Kobe Bryant’s quote, he said:

If you want to be great at something, there’s a choice you have to make. We all can be masters at our craft, but you have to make a choice… there are inherent sacrifices that come along with that.

Pay the price, my friend, and be disciplined to achieve that dream of yours…


{Related: Disciplining Yourself for Greatness, How?}


Do you find this post helpful? Yes! Then drop a comment below, and share with me what you got from this. You can also let me know how you stayed disciplined even in the most challenging times.



6 thoughts on “Discipline: a Necessity For Success

  1. Beautiful…

    The first point says do what you love… I will like to add that there are some things you don’t love but are very important in the path of success. E.g. reading.

    Some persons don’t like reading and it’s an important tool in achieving success. I will say work on your mind. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Just be willing and work on your mindset.

    Liked by 1 person

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