Discipline is remembering what you want.
—David Campbell, founder, Saks Fifth Avenue
The myth, which almost everyone believes, is that we have self-discipline. It’s something in us, like a genetic gift, that we either have or we don’t.
The truth is that we don’t have self-discipline; we use self-discipline.
Here’s another way to put it: self-discipline is like a language. Any child can learn a language. (All children do learn a language, actually.) Any 90-year-old can also learn a language. If you are 9 or 90 and you’re lost in the rain in Mexico City, it works when you use some Spanish to find your way to warmth and safety. It works.
In this case, Spanish is like self-discipline. You were not born with it. But you can ...