The Power of Discipline & Habits

What can I do as a mentor to make you successful and win in life?

  • I can share the mistakes I did.
  • I can motivate you.
  • I can inspire you.
  • I can guide you on the right path.
  • I can connect you with the right people.

However, I cannot make you do it.

Can I?

That's the biggest challenge of a mentor. If a student doesn't want to do something, there is nothing that the mentor can do to make the student want it.

A lot of people think that if you have to succeed in life, you have to be motivated all the time. To be honest, motivation comes here and there. It is hard to sustain motivation. Within 24 hours it wears off and for the next day, sometimes you won't find motivation.

Motivation is BS.

Instead, believe in discipline.

Discipline is about having the mind-control to continue working, even when you are bored, unmotivated, and dull.

Succeeding in entrepreneurship takes a lot of mind-control. Control of your own mind, because you can't control others' minds anyway. You can control your mind through habits. Once you start doing a little bit of mind control, it becomes easier over time.

  • A friend is calling you to see a movie? Say No.
  • There is a family get-together? Say No.
  • Feel like eating something sweet? Say No.
  • Feel like drinking or smoking? Say No.

No, no, no, no.

If it doesn't serve to take you towards your goal, then you have to say No to it.

You can say Yes if you want to, but remember that if you do not sacrifice for your goal, your goal will become the sacrifice.

If you do not sacrifice for your goal, your goal will become the sacrifice.

You can have anything that you want in life if you are ready to pay the price for it. If you want fun right now, you are paying for it with your ideal future. Because your ideal future will not happen without working today, in a focused way.

It's a long life. The present moment will go away and the future will be here. When the future is here, it will be the present moment. And if you are not building your future using the present moment, you are building your present moment with your future sacrifices.

Every time that you indulge yourself in something pleasurable today, you are paying it with a possible consequence of it in the future.

Every action has its consequences and you will not be able to escape it. Even Gods cannot escape consequences. For every action, there will be a reaction.

You don't mind spending some time to please yourself, mostly because you are not aware of the cost that you are paying for it with your future. Once you start thinking about it, you will change.

Who knows, your cigarette may be costing you Rs.1000 or Rs.10,000 in the future. If you are a smoker, would you smoke a cigarette by paying Rs.10,000 for it?

But what if that's the money you wouldn't have in the future because you are one impulsive smoker and it is impacting your mental focus and energy today, to build the future tomorrow?

Just be aware of the cost that you are paying for every moment you try to enjoy today.

However, it doesn't mean that you have to suffer today to have a better tomorrow. You can take your weekends off. You can spend your Sunday with your family. You can have a dessert once in a while. But it has to be an event, not a day-to-day routine.

Remember, I can't keep motivating you. If you feel a sense of motivation today, use that to build your discipline. If you can be a bit better today than yesterday, you will be able to make your tomorrow even better.

1% better every day. That should be your mantra. Within 1 year, you will be 37x better than what you are today. That's the power of compounding.

Deepak Kanakaraju

P.S. This was originally sent as an email newsletter to my students. But this post is more of a reminder to myself than anything else.