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  • Meredith Edmonston


Updated: Jan 10

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.

Derek Xia, a 12th grader at Clayton Valley Charter High School, states, “Discipline is definitely a major part of the key to success. 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 determination and discipline, Xia is an outstanding violinist and role-model student. Derek 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. 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 answered, “As a student, sometimes the scores can fluctuate when taking SAT practice tests or studying for school, and even though it can be very demanding and discouraging, saying ‘I promise what you’re doing will pay off’ and having a hunger to improve motivates me to keep pushing, so I can remain devoted and fulfill my potential.”

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

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