How to discipline your daily life

By Younas Chaudhary

If anyone tells you that you can achieve success without discipline, let me assure you: That is a lie! Discipline is essential for us to get things done and move ahead in life.

I learned many of my values later in life for example, I learned the value of time, courtesy, discipline and punctuality at a young age and while in the Army.

Here are some key factors that contribute to discipline:

  1. Sacrifice, hard work and failure

A disciplined life grows out of sacrifice, hard work and failure. There’s an old saying that if you ask someone on the street for ten dollars, his response is likely to be, “Why do you need it and what have you done for me?” Other than charitable giving, earning through hard work and sacrifice is the only way in life to acquire what you want. In other words, everything in life has a price.  And if you are willing to pay the price of a disciplined life, you will accomplish big things.

You also have to be prepared to persevere in the face of failure. In my career, I have failed numerous times. And you will too. But every time I failed to get the outcome I wanted, I disciplined myself to try again and again to do a better job each time. For example, in the early 2000s, I invested significant time, effort, and money into drilling a gas well in Louisiana, but despite our best efforts, the well came up a dry hole. My team and I were bitterly disappointed because we had spent an inordinate amount of time and money working to achieve a hoped-for success. But when failure arrived instead, rather than retreating completely I told my team to persevere, and we started drilling another well at a different location in Texas, and this time we experienced success.

In the face of failure, you need to be street smart, not just book smart, to intelligently and timely shift directions, take bold, calculated risks and thereby build discipline.

2. A mindset that values others

Over the years, I have been blessed with a God-given mindset that enables me to think differently. Specifically, I am always thinking of improving myself and the surroundings around me that are not working well. As others may spend their time thinking about how to satisfy their immediate desires and needs, I have made a conscious discipline of thinking outside the box about how to make continuous improvements. [YC1] [PS2] I try harder to think about how to improve others’ lives.

3. Be punctual always!

I learned punctuality early, and my training in the Army drove home the value of being on time. As an early riser, I get most of my important daily work organized before  6 am to 7 am. I then exercise, eat on time, and go to bed at around 10 pm. I believe the Creator made the night time so that people could take rest, not watch too much TV, or surf their phones and computers at the middle of the night. 

4. Be organized and resourceful

If you are not organized, one part of your life will spill over into the next, and it will be evident from the way you dress, the way you spend time at work, the way you eat, the time you go to bed, and so forth. I make it a point to create a “to do” list and update it at least once a week. This keeps me organized, and at work I also encourage my team to use the “task” and other tools in Microsoft to stay organized.

5. Stay healthy & sharp

Your physical health and mental health are both important aspects of creating a disciplined life. Make sure you eat healthy meals three times a day, take daily exercise, take adequate daily rest, and go to bed at around the same time every night.

Remember, your mental health is as important as your physical health. When you are frustrated, learn to let go.

6. Acknowledge your weaknesses and work on them

You must acknowledge your weaknesses and work on self-improvement to achieve discipline at all phases of life. One of my weaknesses is that I am a perfectionist, and I think of my own “perfect” way of doing things, sometimes not taking into account other people’s thoughts or feelings. I am working on that every day, realizing that we are all human beings, and we all think differently, we all make mistakes, and I should learn to accept that.  It has been a hard road, but I am trying every day.

7. Self-discipline is the key to growth

In business and in life, the key to growth is self-discipline. It can help you transform your life, prevent you from harboring negative thoughts, and keep you moving in a positive direction. However, self-discipline comes with a lot of sacrifices, demands consistency,  hard work, and requires that you resist the temptation to take the easy route, rather than the best route, to solving daily issues and problems.

You can read more by purchasing my best-selling memoir “From Dirt Roads to Black Gold.” Note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of this book will help people in need through my foundation, the YBC Foundation.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated.  Further, I make no warranty regarding the accuracy or effectiveness of my recommendations, and readers are advised to consult other advisors as well as their own judgments in making business decisions.