How My Discipline Has Changed Over The Years

I remember reading somewhere that a good way to find well connected people is to ask random people who is the most well connected person they know.

Many of my friends say that I am the most disciplined person they know.

One pattern I noticed is that there were things that most people knew they should do but still didn't do.

The earliest example I remember was reading. When I was very young I remember adults saying reading is good for you, everyone should read more, but most people don't read. And I remember thinking to myself: I will read a lot. And I did read a lot. And it didn’t take a lot of discipline, it quickly got very easy, because I quickly started liking it.

Analogous for waking up early, eating healthy, exercising, saving, investing, etc. Those are all things that most people say they should do, yet most people don't do.

I always tried to consistently do those things, until they got easy.

See below how my discipline has changed over time.

Sleep

AgeSleep > Wake up timeSleep > Sleep time
6 to 12
12 to 18Consistently woke up early to go to school.Stayed awake until late, watching TV.
18 to 24Consistently woke up early to go to university.Consistently slept early (no TV and no internet). At some point I tried to do polyphasic sleep and sleep only 2 hours per day, 30 minutes for every 6 hours. I did it for a few days, but it ended when I accidentally put the alarm for 12h30min later instead of just 30min later.
24 to 30Consistently woke up early to go to work.Consistently slept early (no TV and no internet).
30 to …Consistently wake up early.Less consistent about sleeping early due to our young child.

Nutrition

AgeNutrition
6 to 12Saved unhealthy food like chocolate for later instead of eating everything at once.
12 to 18Never bought unhealthy food/drinks. Ate/drunk when it was free.
18 to 24Never bought unhealthy food/drinks. Ate/drunk when it was free.
24 to 30Never bought unhealthy food/drinks. Ate when it was free. But there was free unhealthy food at the office all the time. It took a while to be able to resist and never eat it. I remember struggling the whole week to not eat any of the unhealthy food, and then at the end of the week giving in and eating one of the chocolate bars.
30 to …Never buy unhealthy food/drinks. Eat when it is free, except at the office.

Exercise

AgeExercise
6 to 12Wanted to exercise, but didn’t know how.
12 to 18Wanted to exercise, but didn’t know how. I remember one day I tried to go running, and ran too fast, and got tired quickly.
18 to 24Learned a workout plan on the internet and did it consistently. Ran a marathon.
24 to 30Consistent workouts. Learned more over time. Ran another marathon.
30 to …Consistent workouts. Learning more over time.

Career

AgeCareer
6 to 12Studied and worked as little as possible to get the best grades. Learned for fun on my free time.
12 to 18Studied and worked as little as possible to get the best grades. Learned for fun on my free time.
18 to 24Studied and worked as little as possible to get the best grades. Learned for fun on my free time.
24 to 30Worked as hard as possible to grow faster. Learned for fun on my free time.
30 to …Work as hard as possible to grow faster. Learn for fun on my free time.

Saving

AgeSaving
6 to 12
12 to 18Didn’t buy almost anything.
18 to 24Didn’t buy almost anything.
24 to 30Didn’t buy almost anything.
30 to …Don’t buy almost anything.

Investing

AgeInvesting
6 to 12Money box.
12 to 18Savings account.
18 to 24Savings account.
24 to 30Stock market.
30 to …Stock market.

Partner

AgePartner
6 to 12
12 to 18Didn’t know how to talk to potential partners.
18 to 24Talked to potential partners at parties.
24 to 30Learned to talk to potential partners. It took many hours of deliberate practice.
30 to …Got married.

Friends

AgeFriends
6 to 12
12 to 18Friends with the misfits.
18 to 24Friends with the people that wanted to improve. At some point I temporarily decided that having lunch with my friends was wasting too much time, and started having lunch alone. They were not happy about it.
24 to 30Friends with the people that wanted to improve.
30 to …Friends with the people that want to improve.

Parents

AgeParents
6 to 12Lived with both parents.
12 to 18Lived with my mother. We used to fight a lot.
18 to 24Lived alone and near. No more fighting.
24 to 30Lived alone and far away. No more fighting.
30 to …Live far away. No more fighting.

Awareness

AgeAwareness
6 to 12Played too much video games.
12 to 18Played less video games.
18 to 24Played less video games.
24 to 30Did a 10 day meditation retreat. Played less video games.
30 to …Play less video games.

Fun

AgeFun
6 to 12Learned to play the acoustic guitar.
12 to 18Also learned to play the electric guitar and the piano. Played difficult songs that I liked, and that most people didn’t like.
18 to 24Also learned to play and sing songs that most people like, which are usually easier to play.
24 to 30Kept playing the 3 musical instruments.
30 to …Keep playing the 3 musical instruments.

Good

AgeGood
6 to 12Helped people learn at school.
12 to 18Gave private lessons to help people pass their school exams.
18 to 24Helped people learn at university.
24 to 30Started this site to try to help people.
30 to …Continue working on this site to try to help people.

Who is the most disciplined person you know?

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Updated on 2020 Jun 16.
DISCLAIMER: This is not professional advice. The ideas and opinions presented here are my own, not necessarily those of my employer.