Discipline key to success

Setting clear goals and creating an execution plan help to build self-discipline


Derex Xia, a junior at Clayton Valley Charter High School, says discipline helps him reach his goals.

Do you ever wonder, “Why is it so bothersome to make my bed every morning?” 

Well, you may be lacking in discipline, which is not necessarily bad. As defined by Merriam-Webster, the verb discipline means “to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control.” In simple terms, it means developing a habit through routine.

“Discipline is definitely a major part of the key to success,” said Derex Xia, a junior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. “Sometimes I think I’m disciplined, but in reality I’m really not working as hard as I can and striving for excellence as I should.” 

Through his exemplary skill set of discipline and determination, Xia is an outstanding violinist and role-model student. He’s one of two students who have meaningful advice on how to become more disciplined.

Xia says he keeps pushing himself and has the humility to learn from mentors and peers.

“I don’t give up and whenever I feel like I’m not playing well, I just tell myself that this practice will pay off someday,” he said. “There are always ways for myself to improve.” 

This mindset has enabled him to succeed as the vice president of Clayton Valley’s Music Student Service Club and concertmaster of the school’s advanced orchestra. He also earned the Advanced Certificate of Merit in violin.

Furthermore, when prompted about how he achieved the perfect Math SAT score of 800, Xia said that when he takes the SAT practice tests, which “can be very demanding and discouraging,” he tells himself, “I promise what you’re doing will pay off.” He added, “having a hunger to improve motivates me to keep pushing, so I can remain devoted and fulfill my potential.” 

Senior Ravneet Kahlon is another student who sets a great example for peers. He tackles the issue of discipline and inspires others to be their best selves on his Instagram account called “ravsmotivationmonday.” There, he shares tips on how to become successful and what it takes to achieve your dreams.

It all started on Aug. 24, 2020, or “Mamba Day,” dedicated to the late Kobe Bryant when Kahlon had a random thought. He wanted to send an encouraging message over Snapchat to everyone he knew to help them work hard and have a great day since it was the start of the school year. 

Friends enjoyed the short speech so much, they invigorated him to make a weekly series. Then, Kahlon transitioned to Instagram so the world could see his videos. 

What drove him to start the account was “seeing my friends and other peers become less motivated to work from home when the pandemic started.”  He said he knew fellow students with plummeting grades because of the difficulty of distance learning. Kahlon wanted to instill discipline in peers and motivate them to attain the same things online as they could accomplish in person.

This sparked the first use of his now signature phrase to have that “Mamba mentality,” referring to how hard Kobe Bryant worked. Now Kahlon has an audience of more than 500 who listens to his motivational sentiments. He uses pop culture figures as examples for how to better yourself and always exudes positivity. 

Kahlon’s helpful weekly wisdom differs each time. One week, for instance, he focused on how to combat “senioritis” or the tendency of high school seniors to become lazy. Kahlon said to take advantage of the clean slate of the second semester and to keep in the back of your head that you will be an adult soon, so developing good habits will be beneficial very shortly.

How do you develop this handy trait of discipline such as Xia and Kahlon? Take the advice of a CEO, serial entrepreneur, and investor who dispels myths about discipline, Deep Patel. Writing for Entrepreneur Media, Patel says that knowing your weaknesses will be a strength. Once you are aware of what you’re susceptible to, eliminate those temptations. 

Patel suggests setting clear goals and creating an execution plan. These steps will help to build self-discipline. 

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so you won’t develop discipline overnight. It requires constant thought and effort. If you stay consistent, discipline will be easy to attain.

This article first appeared in The Talon, the student news site for Clayton Valley Charter High School in Concord.