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The skill of the skills…

"If you wait 15 minutes until I come back and you don't eat it, when I come back I'll give you another" he tells the child, and the camera records the wait. Some change with lust at the sight of the candy, they pretend to bite it, talk to it, kiss it. Others dip their fingers in, one child bites it from all sides and then puts it back on the plate. A kid slaps his head comically as if he's in a state of candy addiction.

Walter Mitchell, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, conducted the candy* experiment in the 1960s, involving five-year-old children. The professor would enter the room with a child and offer him his favorite treat, a candy. Then she would tell him he could eat it right away, but if he waited 15 minutes he would reward him with another one. The teacher went out of the room and waited for the child's reaction. In the end very few children waited until he came back and gave them their prize…

The purpose of this experiment* was to find out at what age the ability to resist pleasure and impulses develops. And while as an experiment it was simple, combined with subsequent research, its results caused an earthquake in the scientific community.

To confirm the conclusions of the research, Mitchell followed the course of the children over the years. What he noticed was that children who did not show self-control and ate the candy straight up grew into adults without self-confidence and without particular success in school and work. Conversely, children who resisted temptation turned into more mature and sociable adults with a higher level of education and were less prone to addictions. Mitchell through a simple experiment made an important conclusion, being able to control yourself brings you one step closer to success.

But is it enough that someone can stay with the dessert in hand for 15 minutes?

Finally, the attitude towards self-discipline proved itself best predictor of a person's success in life by his IQ and school performance.

Self-Discipline: The Key to Success

According to Brian Tracy, self-discipline is doing what you know you should be doing, when you should be doing it, whether you feel like doing it or not. It is the ability to discipline yourself and delay immediate gratification for the sake of a better, future reward. It is the way to use to your advantage the fundamental law of pain-pleasure on the basis of which every human's decisions are made.

Some people take self-discipline as oppression, as a framework which creates anxiety, deprivation, limitations. They find that they cannot be spontaneous, they experience a loss of enjoyment and pleasure. Some others take it as liberation from obsessions, from harmful habits and desires, as purification. They feel balanced. People of the first category experience their self-confidence diminishing whenever some temptation, be it a candy bar or something more serious, proves to be much stronger than them. The people of the second class, increase their self-confidence, strength and self-esteem.

How each person experiences self-discipline depends on what meaning he has given to it. If it is perceived as uncritical submission to external rules or stereotypes, then it is logically perceived as oppression. If he perceives it as an internal need for self-restraint, self-control, to observe some personal rules that are structured on the basis of his own system of values and beliefs, then it is more a sense of self-realization and fulfillment.

I deeply believe that if you have self-discipline you can achieve your goals and therefore to succeed anywhere. Think that if you could put the brakes on impulses and temptations, on easy rewards and quick fixes, you would already be where you wanted to be, no matter what obstacles life or others throw at you.

If you feel that you lack self-discipline, you can start with small daily actions to build it. Life is a game and if we see self-discipline as a game, then we will build it simply, pleasantly and gradually... playing! I have called it one of my own self-discipline games "only for today". I do what I know I need to do and I have agreed with myself that I will only do it for today. This is how most people have learned to brush their teeth daily or exercise. Until this "just for today" from simple daily behavior becomes the new habit and takes root!

2 years ago when the game Quizdom started I really liked it and played in the evenings for a while for the joy of the game and to practice my knowledge. When at some point there was a frenzy with this game I stopped playing until this past summer. Opening my old iPad that I had passed on, I found it there waiting for me and was tempted to play again. Users had grown to over 2 million now and I was pretty low in the rankings after my absence. Playing the first few games I saw that every day I logged in I was rewarded with some extra points. Each consecutive day the reward grew. After a while I left for a business trip and didn't log in for 2-3 days to play, the reward was reset and… it started all over again… I told myself this is a great opportunity to practice a little more, in a different way my self-discipline muscles! As the days went by the reward points increased and my deal with myself is that no matter what happens I will play one game every night to get the daily bonus. The amazing thing is that with each passing day the daily bonus increases and eventually the reward points are far more than the points one collects from the actual game. So 80 days later, just by being self-disciplined and spending just 2-3 minutes daily and non-stop, I've reached 1% of the game's top scorers…

Self-discipline is also a muscle in a way. And it works just like the rest of the muscles in your body. Even if it's not your strong point, the more you practice it, the more it gets stronger and develops. A simple and effective technique to strengthen your willpower and self-discipline is to do things that you would rather avoid doing because of laziness, procrastination, shyness, or other similar reasons. If you decide to enter the process of doing them, despite your inner resistance and reluctance, you will become stronger each time. Because, just as muscles are strengthened by the resistance of weight in the gym, so these skills are strengthened by overcoming internal resistance.

Most people know what they need to do to achieve their goals or achieve a desired change. However, if he has not built in himself the will and the persistence he needs, he will not succeed.

ApofasiZO has created the Kalogirou method which enables you, with special techniques and exercises, to experience your amazing powers through personal experiences. In this innovative way, you get the experience together with the knowledge, in an excellent combination. It is an innovative, dynamic way of teaching, which achieves direct and visible results, easily and quickly.

Knowledge is experienced immediately. Power is exercised effortlessly. Through her act and its construction self-discipline through the Academies, with weekly meetings and daily activities, the Kalogirou method has brings immediate and permanent results to thousands of people, in whatever area of their lives they applied it.

Alexios Vandoros


The article was published on epixeiro.gr in the Coaching & Training | column Personal Coaching: www.epixeiro.gr/article/73670


* This experiment (source: www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/05/18/dont-2) it has been repeated many times since and 2 of them are recorded on YouTube: