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Self-discipline. The basics of mental toughness

If you are reading this seeking for an easy way to gain discipline, read no further.

There is no fucking easy way to become disciplined.

If you have a strong determination to change your life and work hard in order to build up your discipline level, I will share with you my knowledge that will help you to sort things out and develop an action plan

#1. The Mindset.

Read a book called “The Willpower Instinct” by Kelly McGonigal. This knowledge is pure gold. Her talks on YouTube will also be helpful.

The main motivation is not to grow some muscles, it is to grow some brain.

Regular exercises cause the development of neocortex, in particular, those parts of it that are responsible for the willpower.

#2. Take 100% responsibility.

Now, once we have our gym analogy clear, you can understand the following example. If your friend is working out his abs every day in the gym there is no way that you will be the one having a six-pack.

Self-discipline is called so because it starts with self.

Everything that you have right now in your life is your result. Some of the settings that you got at birth are indeed given to you as prerequisites, but what you do with them is a matter of personal choice.

#3. Use the right vocabulary

Starting from this moment you have to revise all your daily vocabulary.

“I have an intention to” — instead of “I want”.

There are many “wanters” out there — babblers, windjammers, bullshitters. There are few who know how to behave like real men. Rephrasing Elvis,

A lot less conversation, a lot more action.

When you say “I want” the energy of your intention dissipates. How many times did you use “I want” and nothing happened after. You fall into ostrichism. By saying “I want” your brain fools himself to think that something is already actually achieved. It is not.

Work in silence and let your results speak for you.

“Deploy”— instead of “practice”.

I can’t remember which article on Medium I picked it up from. The brilliance and the precision of this word struck me. I fell in love with it. I can practice playing the guitar, get tired of it, put it aside and go drink some tea. It’s a cozy word.

Die but Do

This is the degree of internal determination to make something happened.


This is how I personally motivate myself.

Fuck motivation.

Motivation might get you started. You might even be fueled by it for two weeks. But what will happen when it burns out? Motivation comes and goes. Discipline is what keeps you going.

#4. Embody your philosophy.

The core of my personal philosophy is Stoicism. Why do I think that Stoicism is the philosophy of a new age? The answer is here.

Don’t talk about what a good person is. Show it.

Time for practical stuff.

Here is the “condensate” of the best practices to beat yourself into shape. Here is what you do:


If I could give you the only one advice to improve your self-discipline that would be it.

Get a coaching.

One of the best things that happened to me in my life was Sparta. Sparta is a Russian coaching-training workshop designed specifically for men.

Challenge yourself.

Live a life of challenge. Here are some things that you can try:

Little tips

Start small! Don’t take up all of the challenges one at a time. Remember the analogy with the gym. You don’t start lifting weights by trying to pull 200 kg deadlift right away. Pick up a challenge that causes discomfort but not enough for you to bail out.

Deep work

Read “The Deep Work” by Cal Newport. This book is brilliant I will be writing about it in a separate essay.


I wrote about the State of Flow in a separate essay. You will learn how to put yourself in the zone when time flies and hard work gets done. Please, check it out.

Final words

We all have moments of self-doubt. The discipline of the mind is not about having a superpower of not having a negative self-talk. It is about making yourself immune to it.


After you leave this page watch this video. The guy on the video is the toughest man alive. The name is David Goggins. He is a monster, a real beast. When it comes to resilience, I look up to him.

Do you see those clapping hands in the bottom?

Clap as many times for my essay as you are willing to celebrate your new-born discipline.

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