The power is all yours as long as you maintain healthy habits, according to “The Power of Discipline: How to Use Self Control and Mental Toughness to Achieve Your Goals” by Daniel Walter.
Walter’s book first explores the biology of self-control. He discusses the structure of the brain, mainly the prefrontal cortex, and how it plays a huge part in higher-order thinking, such as logic and reasoning. Your brain chemistry is more likely to change the more often you make a decision that negatively influences your wellbeing (both physical and mental), and this can be caused by a lack of self-discipline, which can look like outlandish, impulsive, or improper behavior. If, due to poor self-discipline, you train yourself to snack on unhealthy food, Walter says in an example, then it stands to reason that you can also train yourself to say no to a snack — even if that means you’ll be hungry.
Next, Walter discusses the status quo bias. This is a situation in which individuals remain amongst familiar circumstances because they operate under the assumption that they will not be protected if they endure change. They may be afraid of taking risks or resistant to shifting their lives around. Walter adds that specifically, the three most prominent reasons why someone is entrenched in the status quo bias are that they want to avoid loss, they have a fear of regret, or they have simply been exposed to something for so long that they do not want to change.
Lastly, Walter discusses overcoming these “discipline disruptors” and building healthy habits. By surrounding themselves with people who do not enable healthy change or procrastinate, people find it harder to break away from the things disrupting their attempts at discipline. It’s important to be unafraid of discomfort and to continually analyze one’s processes and systems, Walter says. This includes assessing habits to remove negative choices and invest in positive ones.