The Self-Discipline Recipe

Hari and Gopal are 14 year old twin brothers staying in a posh bungalow at Koramangala, Bengaluru. They belong to an affluent Tamilian family hailing from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Along with their parents, the lads are very close to their younger sister Rohini, four years younger to them.

Both brothers are excellent singers, and have been training in Hindustani Classical music since the age of 7. They come from a family of esteemed musicians, and their parents are very particular that the boys do not miss their classes and daily morning riyaaz.

Since Hari is an extrovert, he is more popular amongst his music teachers, friends and family. On the other hand, Gopal is more timid and takes time to open up with others. Both the brothers are equally talented and gifted singers.

The blokes recently participated in the state level Hindustani classical music competition, and were thrilled with the fact that they were shortlisted for the all India competition to be held in two months’ time. While Hari got the first prize (gold), Gopal got the (third prize) bronze. It was time to celebrate! The proud parents and Rohini threw a big bash for them.

Hari was ecstatic at the praise and recognition he was showered upon by all his fans on television. He started spending a lot of time on the newly created facebook page, whatsapp chats with friends, and reading love letters received from his female fans. Instead of the daily 4 hour riyaaz, he was able to only train only for 2 hours. Due to frequent parties and outings, he was unable to stick to the satvik meal recommendations by his gurus. Gopal on the other hand, used to lock himself in his room and immersed himself in riyaaz. He was very particular about what he ate, and kept sipping on hot water throughout the day.

The week of the much awaited competition finally arrived. Sixty eight participants from India mesmerized the judges and the audience. The results came as a surprise to a lot of people. While Gopal got the All India Silver medal (first runner up), Hari was eliminated in the initial rounds and ended up at  12th spot.

What happened? Why did Hari lose out despite having the initial edge, and being one of the favorites in the competition. The only term that can explain this result is Self-discipline. While Hari got complacent and lost his sense of discipline, Gopal became more determined to be better at his singing.


It is imperative to have a vision for your life and then work towards achieving the same. Self – discipline is about consistency and is the first step toward greatness. It is the biggest stumbling block for most non-champions.

Given below are seven simple points to reach our desired vision:

  1. Write down a vision for every area of your life
  2. Document goals that you must achieve to reach your vision
  3. Commit to a to do list based on these goals
  4. Prepare for challenges and roadblocks that would come your way in the process
  5. Motivate yourself to attain these goals by winning over these challenges to finally achieve your vision
  6. Celebrate the success
  7. Move towards a higher vision (in the same area or another area of your life)

Your vision must be crystal clear. If you are all alone moving towards your vision, so be it. In our daily lives, committing ourselves to sleeping on time, waking up early, meditating, engaging in physical exercise, eating healthy, reading and praying are a few habits essential to move from good to great. By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character – Grenville Kleiser


We must start with baby steps. Just as it takes time to build muscles, so does it take time to develop self-discipline. So, begin by taking the decision to go forward and learning what it takes to get there.

Self-discipline is the ability to control one’s impulses, emotions, desires and behavior. In many cases the barrier to success is people’s lack of self-discipline to commit to a plan that requires consistent and sometimes strenuous actions. In a modern setting, there are many forces competing for our attention and distracting us from doing what is important (mobile phones, internet, socializing, television, social media, instant messaging platforms like Whatsapp, BBM are a few examples). In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first – Harry S Truman


While we are on the journey to success, we must continue until our daily tasks become habits. It takes around 6 weeks for a task to become a habit and get engrained in our subconscious mind. Vision demands self-discipline. No vision is achieved without self-discipline. Jim Rohn puts it so aptly when he said that “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments”. The result is not only the satisfaction from a sense of accomplishment, but the journey itself to get there.  The higher you go in life, the higher self-discipline is required to sustain your achievements.

There is a discipline required for becoming excellent in any profession or area of life. Self-discipline will set you apart from the competition and place you on the pathway to success. We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. – Jesse Owens. It all depends on how much importance we give to our dreams/ visions and how much we strive to achieve them. We must move out of our self-created fear zones, and move forward with courage knowing that the Almighty is with you.


I would like to conclude by giving you the recipe to Self-Discipline! Ingredients – (i) magnificent vision, (ii) unlimited dreams, (iii) achievable goals, (iv) good habits, (v) positive motivation. Mix these ingredients and garnish with a dash of self-control, consistency, courage and commitment. Serve daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner; and get set to treat your taste-buds with the tastiest dish ever. You’ll come back for more – I guarantee!!!


About Karan Gandhi

HR Professional with expertise in learning & development, employee engagement, counseling and training. Likes reading, music, blogging, gadgets and movies. Follows current affairs.
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2 Responses to The Self-Discipline Recipe

  1. vinisha Jayaswal says:

    very interesting story & beautifully explained Karan.

    Liked by 1 person

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