Self-discipline means living your life the hard way: resisting temptations and instant gratification, in order to receive bigger and better rewards in the future. It’s certainly easier to avoid all kinds of discomfort and indulge yourself whenever you want, but in the end, all that you get from that approach is fleeting pleasure now at the expense of your future, which otherwise could have been much better.
Consider a weak-willed person who, when faced with a challenge, immediately opts out. How likely is this person to achieve anything substantial in life if their primary value is to feel comfortable? How is this person going to manage a crisis that they must face? Even a relatively insignificant problem can become an insurmountable obstacle for a person who’s been living a sheltered life and always avoided what’s difficult or disagreeable.
Now contrast that with a person who voluntarily makes his or her life harder. They seek out and welcome challenges as opportunities to grow. Each self-imposed affliction strengthens them, so that fewer and fewer difficulties in life overwhelm them. Day by day, they immunize themselves against problems, precisely because they seek them out. When life deals them an unexpected blow, they’re ready to handle it because — thanks to living their lives the hard way — they’re always ready for hardships.
– 365 Days With Self-Discipline, Martin Meadows