Self-Discipline: Emotions Make You Human, But Feelings Are Temporary

Emotions are what make us human, so of course, they matter.

I would never tell you to ignore your emotions. But if you always listen to your feelings, you will end up not doing what you know you ought to do.

I don’t feel like waking up today.

I don’t feel like eating right today.

I don’t feel like exercising today.

I don’t feel like working today

I don’t feel like being nice today.

We’ve all had these feelings. But the important thing is that we fight against negative emotions. And the only way to fight against them is to understand our purpose—the reason behind living the best life we are capable of. When we live our lives with purpose at the forefront, our negative feelings pale in comparison to knowing who we are meant to be and working toward our goals. This is why willpower and self-discipline are so important.

Psychological scientists define willpower as the ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals. Research shows that it’s even more important than IQ; that’s why the point isn’t to become smarter, but to become more self-disciplined.

Ultimately, to implement more self-discipline in your life, do what you say you are going to do. To be self-disciplined you must be honest with yourself about where you currently are and where you want to be. And when you finally see that feelings are temporary, but actions last much longer, your actions will more often than not match up with what you truly want from life.

Adam Smith
Adam Smith


Adam Kirk Smith is the author of the new book, The Bravest You. He is an entrepreneur, consultant, and public speaker. You can find out more about Adam at


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