What Are the Five Pillars of Self Discipline?

Article last updated on January 16, 2022

The five pillars of self-discipline are the most important things you need to develop in order to achieve success in life.

Are you busy or effective?
If your revenue is growing at a snail's pace it's time for a reality check.
Are you busy or effective?
If your revenue is growing at a snail's pace it's time for a reality check.

If you want to become successful in life, you must first learn how to control yourself. This means being disciplined enough to follow through on what you say you are going to do.

Five pillars of self discipline

The five pillars of self-discipline include:

  1. Acceptance
  2. Willpower
  3. Hard Work
  4. Industry
  5. Persistence

Working as a growth strategist, I can tell you that these are the keys to unlocking your potential and achieving great things in life.

One thing is certain, and that is that if you don’t have any of those 5 pillars, then you will never be able to succeed at anything.

For example, let’s look at the word “acceptance.” If you don’t accept who you are right now, then it’s impossible for you to grow or change.

You see, we all come into this world with our own set of beliefs about ourselves. We believe that we are smart, funny, attractive, etc.

However, deep down inside, we know that there is something wrong with us. We may not be aware of it, but we know it’s true. 

You have to accept responsibility for your actions and decisions before you can move forward.

If you don’t believe that you can succeed at something, then it is very unlikely that you will ever try hard enough to make it happen.

You also have to decide to work harder than everyone else if you want to win. There is no way around this fact.

Let’s explain each of these five pillars in more detail.


Acceptance means that you understand that you can not change anything until you fully accept it.

First pillar - Acceptance

If you think about it, there is nothing that you can really change about yourself or your situation.

This is why you should always take full responsibility for everything that happens in your life.

It doesn’t matter whether you like it or not; it just is. It is up to you to find out what you can do about it.

When you accept reality, you stop complaining about it and start working towards making changes.

When you accept reality, you begin to see opportunities where others only see problems.

Once you have accepted reality, you can begin to make changes in your life.

It’s easy to point fingers at others when things don’t go according to plan.

However, successful people realize that they are not perfect and that they have failed before. They learn from these experiences and move forward.

For example, if you feel like you are too fat, you may choose to eat healthier foods instead of junk food.

Or you might choose to exercise regularly so that you lose weight.

You could even join a gym so that you can look better.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that you have complete control over your own destiny.


Willpower is the ability to overcome obstacles and resist temptations.

Second pillar - Willpower

Without willpower, you would never be able to accomplish anything in life. In other words, you would never be successful.

Lack of strength isn’t the problem. Lack of willpower is the problem.

Your willpower determines how much effort you put into any task. So when you lack willpower, you end up doing less than you could because you don’t want to exert extra energy.

As a result, you fail to achieve your goals.

In order to improve your willpower, you need to practice using it every day.

One thing you can do is to set small goals for yourself. For example, if you want to quit smoking, you can set a goal such as quitting smoking by the end of the month.

Another thing you can do is remind yourself of your goals throughout the day.

By reminding yourself of your goals, you increase your chances of accomplishing them.

Hard Work

Hard work is simply putting forth a consistent effort toward a specific goal.

Third pillar - Hard Work

There is no magic formula for success. The key is to consistently apply yourself to whatever you want to achieve.

The reason most people fail to achieve their dreams is because they aren’t willing to put forth consistent effort. They give up easily and settle for mediocrity.

If you are emotionally immature, you will struggle with self-control. You won’t know how to deal with your feelings appropriately. That’s why emotional development and hard work are related.

When you have emotional skills, you’ll be able to handle all kinds of situations without getting upset and still work hard.

If you want to be successful in life, you need to develop the habit of putting forth consistent effort.

Consistency is the key to success. You must stay focused on your goal and keep going until you get there.

You need to focus on your goal 100% of the time. This requires discipline. Discipline is the skill of being able to follow through with your actions.

So if you want to be disciplined, you need to learn how to control your emotions. Emotions cause us to act impulsively.

If you let your emotions rule you, then you will never succeed at anything.


Industry is the willingness to invest money, time, and energy into something for a long period of time.

Forth pillar - Industry

Most people think that industry is synonymous with wealth. But this isn’t true.

A lot of wealthy individuals didn’t become rich overnight. Instead, they invested years of hard work before becoming successful.

This basically means being industrious. Self-discipline requires that you develop the skills necessary to accomplish your goals.

Unproductive non-work activities such as watching YouTube videos reduce your productivity.

When you spend more time engaged in unproductive activities than productive ones, you’re not building your future.

Imagine just how much this reduces your industriousness.

But the industry also requires patience. If you try to rush things, you won’t succeed.

Patience is another important part of self-discipline. Patience allows you to wait for results.

It’s not enough just to know what you want. You also need to be patient while waiting for those results.


Persistence is the ability to continue working towards a goal despite setbacks or failures.

Fifth pillar - Persistence

People often say that persistence doesn’t matter. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you persistently pursue your goals, you are more likely to succeed. Why? Because you are always trying new strategies.

And if you keep failing, you will eventually figure out which strategy works best for you.

For example, if you want a better job, you should keep applying for jobs. And if you keep getting rejected, then you’ll find out that you don’t have the right qualifications.

Once you discover the problem, you can change your strategy. Persistence is essential for achieving any goal.

Sufficient self-discipline is needed when pursuing any goal. Without it, you won’t be able to reach your full potential. You can think of it in 10-year goal terms.

In order to reach your 10-year goal, you need to start now. You need to set short term goals first. Once these goals are accomplished, you can move onto bigger goals.

Self-discipline is like a muscle that includes continuous improvement, positive habits, and willpower.

Without sufficient self-discipline, you won’t be capable of reaching your goals. So if you want to be successful, you need to build up your self-discipline muscles.


All in all, the five pillars of self discipline are:

  1. Acceptance – Accepting yourself as you are today.
  2. Willpower – Developing willpower so that you can overcome temptations and distractions.
  3. Hard Work – the willingness to put forth consistent effort toward a goal
  4. Industry – Investing money, time, and resources into your goals.
  5. Persistence – Staying determined and persevering through obstacles.

I think that these 5 pillars of self-discipline are very important.

Especially the first three pillars. Because without them, it would be impossible to achieve our goals.

I hope these tips help you improve your self-discipline.

Marko Matijasevic

Marko is performance-based growth strategist, focusing on business growth while maintaining a strong emphasis on authenticity in every individual he works with.