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By: Wencen Zou

Self-discipline. I’ve been interested in this topic because it does affect me, my friendships, and most importantly, my study. So how does self-discipline affect study? Student motivation and engagement play an important role in learning and in students achieving their goals. It gives students a better understanding of themselves and the ability to control their own emotions and be able to make right decisions. Self-discipline can also allow students to be focus on important long-term goals and make wise decisions related to academic engagement. So what is self-discipline? Self-discipline is the ability to get actions done regardless of your emotional state. It gives you the motivation to accomplish your targets. People make mistakes or are distracted by other issues because they don’t have self-discipline. This will cause them to make the same mistakes again and again because they cannot control their emotions or cannot endure others.

However, you may think: If you have self-discipline, do you not have freedom or personal desire? In this case, that is an incorrect understanding of self-discipline. In fact, as Stephen R. Covey once wrote: “The undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions.” This explains how the people without self-discipline cannot dedicate themselves to those necessary procedures for their lives. In other words, if you don’t have good sense of self-discipline, you are not mature enough to take your responsibility and to manage yourself.

Here is an example. Picture yourself saying to your body, “You’re overweight. Lose 20 pounds.” Without self-discipline that intention won’t become a reality because you are still going to eat too much by not limiting yourself. You have not been controlled by yourself, but rather, by your endless appetite or indolence. But with sufficient self-discipline, it is much easier to keep your promise because you will have the right mindset that keeps your apart from the unhealthy food. Self-discipline is one of many personal development tools available to you, and it doesn’t apply to only this example.

For study, it will serve the same purpose as the example I used. Students with a strong sense of self-discipline repeatedly outperform students without self-discipline. Of course, self-discipline is not a panacea; you will also need to develop a deeper understanding of your future desires in order to succeed. Nevertheless, the problems which self-discipline can solve are important, and while there are other ways to solve these problems, self-discipline is much more effective. Moreover, it becomes a powerful teammate when combined with other tools like passion, goal-setting, and planning. With all the following traits, I guarantee that all of you will become the person you want to be.


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