How To Enforce Self-Discipline

From Napoleon Hill’s book ” Keys To Success – The 17 Principles For Personal Achievement” these are the key points I took from Chapter 9 -Enforce Self-Discipline.

For the full list of the 17 principles for personal achievement summarized you can go here.

9. Enforce Self-Discipline

Controlling your emotions – The big 4:

  1. The power of self discipline
  2. The structure of your mind
  3. The things you cannot discipline
  4. The power of the will –
  • self-discipline is the channel for which all your personal power must flow
  • requires self- knowledge and accurate assessment of current abilities
  • most people act first then think about consequences later – self-discipline will reverse that – you will think before you act

14 major emotions:


  • love
  • sex
  • hope
  • faith
  • desire
  • enthusiasm
  • loyalty


  • fear
  • jealousy
  • hatred
  • revenge
  • greed
  • anger
  • superstition
  • states of mind are subject to your control – they must be mastered
  • positive must be released with conscience control
  • discipline yourself so that your drive is always under control and directed to the proper channels
  • self discipline calls for balancing your emotions with your reasoning
  • emotions provide driving power activating force to put your plans into action
  • if you destroyed hope and faith what would there will to live for
  • you must control and direct your emotions, not destroy them
  • will teach you to throw willpower behind reason or emotions and amplify their expression
  • heart and mind need a master and that master can be found in your ego
  • ego will only fill this role if you use self-discipline

Not only will self-discipline control your emotions and balance reason but is incredibly useful in 4 critical areas:

The big 4 :

Appetite – too much food drink to outside influences can sap energy distract from work at hand

Positive Mental Attitude – only through PMA can you attract infinite intelligence and have a definite major purpose

Time – most precious asset if used correctly is like money in the bank – must schedule with self-discipline schedule the next 24 hours – do it once and it will become easier

Definiteness of purpose – beginning of all achievements when tied to strong compelling motive

What is your objective in life and what are your plans for attaining it? Infinite intelligence can only help you if you crystallize your objective.

The power of self-discipline – best example is Mahatma Gandhi – he had the strongest definite purpose backed by faith and a burning desire to achieve that end.

5 sources to his power:

  • definiteness of purpose
  • going the extra mile
  • applied faith
  • no doubt
  • mastermind alliance
  • self-discipline

The structure of your mind is divided into 6 departments – subject to your conscience control:

1. Ego – source of will power – supreme court reverse, modify or change to eliminate everything -most valuable thing your body possesses – must control and discipline this priceless part of yourself – don’t let a weak ego hold you back – get ego boosters -treat your ego as most precious possession protect it as if it were a diamond – do not let negative thoughts in -don’t let others know your secret thoughts and don’t let them put their negatively on your ego

You must build 3 walls around your ego:

Outer most wall – just high enough to keep out time wasters, several doors

Middle wall – much taller – one door you watch closely – only a few people that have something you want or can help you

Inner most wall- so tall nobody can get it in – protects your ego

Build these walls to keep yourself grounded and not allow any negative thoughts to enter

2. Emotions- driving force which sets your thoughts, plans and purposes into action

Begins with the recognition that there are only 2 kinds of problems – those you can solve and those you can’t.

Problems you can solve are immediately to be dealt with by the most practical means available.

Problems that can’t be solved are to be put out of your mind and forgotten. Close the door and lock it securley; visualize some symbol of the unsolvable problem floating deep in space deep then imagine a giant envelope next to that symbol, then the symbol sliding into that envelope and closing then floating off into space.

Closing the door on fear and worry allows you to open the doors to hope and faith.

3. Reason – weigh, eliminate and properly evaluate the products of your imagination and emotions – reason functions as superior court modifies the expression of the emotions – observation study and analysis of truth.

4. Imagination- create ideas, plans and ways of attaining your ends – must allow reason to control it activities carefully make it related to major definite purpose.

5. Conscience – test the moral justice of your thoughts plans and purposes – always consult it and head its advice it will help in every way

6. Memory-  keeper of records of all you experiences and as the store house for all sense perceptions and inspiration from infinite intelligence – will allow you to keep unpleasant memoirs away.


Things you cannot discipline –

  1. Infinite Intelligence – discipline yourself to be ready to receive it and act on its wisdom
  2. Subconscious- only acts to stimulus from emotions -can’t distinguish between positive and negative
  3. Telepathy – connecting with others and
  4. Senses – may deceive you only can perceive the obvious

The power of the will – will trained by discipline is powerful force.

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