Work Out Your Discipline Like a Muscle

A lot of the most successful people I know have habits that appear odd at first glance. They may eat an inordinate number of pistachios and eat no carbs (or, even odder, somehow eat only carbs and maintain great shape), they may wake up two hours before the sun comes up, they may consume only certain drinks, they may only use a certain type of pen, etc. These odd habits are not a function of their success — being successful probably didn’t make them odd — and they are not the cause of their success.

Instead, I think peculiar habits are a product (and at the same time, a creator, of) discipline.

The one common theme I have noticed among all of the successful people I know is that they are more disciplined than their less-successful peers. This may not be in every part of their lives — Marc Andreessen talks on the Tim Ferriss show about how he shows up to work at 9 and filled full of coffee for the rest of the day. But he is surely more disciplined when it comes to investing and to building a tech company than most people who try.

If you want to develop that sense of discipline that unites the successful, start small. Decide you’ll write once a day (recommendation from my friend Isaac), go to the gym once a day, wake up an hour earlier, or change your eating habits. You’ll find that as you do these little things more often, doing things that require more discipline become easier.

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Work Out Your Discipline Like a Muscle