Perseverance, grit, and willpower are essential to success. To improve them, you need to create a more disciplined environment.
And to have such an environment is to have a system ingrained in your brain and this is not an easy one.
Discipline comes from training your brain and body to have a regime that makes you committed to specific learning or practice.
I read 4 self-help books that made me more disciplined in life.
A book that made me consistent in my reading habit.
Another one encouraged me to write (almost) on a daily basis.
And two other books that made me focus on my side hustle.
In this article, I'll talk a bit about each book with some notes I wrote about which might be an appetite for you to read these books. When you read them, you'll realize why discipline is important and how to apply such strategies.
1. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
The Power of Habit is a best seller book for the New York Times, Amazon.com, and USA Today; authored by Charles Duhigg and first released in 2012.
This book explores the science of habit and how you can change your life by creating good habits and reforming your bad ones.
What I like about this book is the incredible research studies mentioned especially in the first part and the large number of stories which make the topic very clear. I also like the end of the book which wraps the theoretical thoughts up because it gives you guidelines on how to apply the ideas.
On a personal level, a big reason that I have a consistent reading habit now is this book.
2. Atomic Habits by James Clear
Atomic Habits is the #1 New York Times best seller. Over 2 million copies already sold. Authored by James Clear and published in 2018.
This book distills so much value into forming new habits and is very practical and to the point when explaining the four laws of behavior change to better understand human behavior.
What I like about this book is its intuitiveness. Most of the ideas and stories are to the point and pretty much make sense. I also like the harmony of the four laws being distributed among the parts of the book to illustrate the whole point of human behavior and how understanding habits can really transform why we're doing what we do on a daily basis.
On a personal level, I'm not saying I started writing content while reading this book but it's a great resource that made me think about writing as a routine I do every day using the habit stacking and temptation bundling formula mentioned in the second part of the book.
3. The ONE Thing by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan
The ONE Thing was published in 2013 and authored by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan and has appeared 500 times on national bestseller lists and more:
- #1 Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today
- Won 12 book awards
- Translated into 35 languages
- Voted Top 100 Business Book of All Time on Goodreads
This book’s value lies in methods on how to help you get distractions out of your life and stick to just one thing at a time to be more productive and get extraordinary results.
On a personal level, I applied this book and found the ONE thing I need to do in my side hustle and finally published my first ebook. The book was a great resource that made me think about writing an ebook that starts with just ONE Thing which is a blog post.
Bearing in mind I had some relevant blog posts already so I had to focus on smaller things that can make me achieve the whole thing and I finally did publish it on Gumroad! What helped me the most in the book was the Pareto Principle mentioned in the second part of the book.
4. Deep Work by Cal Newport
Deep Work was published in 2016 and authored by Cal Newport who is an assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown University. He is the author of So Good They Can't Ignore You and three other books giving advice to students.
The book is currently a best seller in Time Management, Personal Time Management, and Job Hunting & Career Guides.
I like Deep Work especially for the emphasis on quitting social media while doing actual deep work. I found the idea of deep work relevant to many uninterrupted times that I had during study and work. I really wish I had read it during college; it would have changed my mindset a lot and I would have become more focused.
As a whole picture, the book is amazing and it's more like common sense which you need someone to remind you about. It can help you be more focused and able to say no to shallow work like social media and replying to some emails and status meetings.
On a personal level, I have quit Facebook for more than a year, and after reading Deep Work I realized it's one of the best decisions I made in my 20s.
I recommend you to read these books in the order I presented; The Power of Habits has the theoretical foundations for habits and then Atomic Habits builds upon them to provide the practical point of view.
The One Thing helps you get distractions out of your life and this helps when you have habits.
And finally, Deep Work emphasizes having uninterrupted time to have effective work (a deep one).
Reading these 4 books will tremendously make you a more disciplined person.
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