No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline Summary: Key Ideas I learnt.

You don’t need to have been born under a lucky star, or with incredible wealth, or with terrific contacts and connections, or even special skills…but what you do need to succeed in any of your life goals is self-discipline

Welcome to my blog where I talked about What I’m learning and the Books that I’m reading.

I will be sharing the summary of a book that I read recently No Excuse! the power of self-discipline by Brian Tracy.

Recently I thought I needed to do something about my excuses, discipline myself on daily activities, what I should do and shouldn’t. This book has been the answer, though I still try to fight the in-built procrastination born in every human, I can say I had improved to some point where I can make some good moves.

The book has three sections that are divided into various parts (Self-Discipline and Personal Success, Self-Discipline in Business, Sales and Finances & Self-Discipline and the Good life) with various sub-chapters.

I only write for the first chapters summary, Self Discipline and Personal Success.

Why Self Discipline in general?

‘Self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.’”

self-discipline is the key to personal greatness. It is the magic quality that opens all doors for you and makes everything else possible. With self-discipline, the average person can rise as far and as fast as his talents and intelligence can take him. But without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education, and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.

It is self-discipline that enables you to “vote yourself off the island.” It is the key to a great life and, without it, no lasting success is possible.

The 2 Worst Enemies of Success

Perhaps the two biggest enemies of success, happiness and personal fulfillment, are first the Path of Least Resistance and, second, the Expediency Factor.

The Path of Least Resistance is what causes people to take the easy way in almost every situation. They seek shortcuts to everything. They arrive at work at the last minute and leave at the first opportunity. They look for get-rich-quick schemes and easy money. Over time, they develop the habit of always seeking an easier, faster way to get the things they want rather than doing what is hard but necessary to achieve real success.

The Expediency Factor, which is an extension of the law of least resistance, is even worse when leading people to failure and underachievement. This principle says, “People invariably seek the fastest and easiest way to get the things they want, right now, with little or no concern for the long-term consequences of their behaviors.” In other words, most people do what is expedient, what is fun and easy rather than what is necessary for success.


‘Self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.’”

self-discipline is the key to personal greatness. It is the magic quality that opens all doors for you and makes everything else possible. With self-discipline, the average person can rise as far and as fast as his talents and intelligence can take him.

The best news is that all habits are learnable. You can learn any habit you need to learn in order to become the kind of person that you want to become. You can become an excellent person by practicing self-discipline whenever it is called for.

The indispensable requirement for hard work is self-discipline. Success is possible only when you can overcome the natural tendency to cut corners and take the easy way. Lasting success is possible only when you can discipline yourself to work hard for a long, long time.

This law says that if you want to achieve success in any area, you must determine how success is achieved in that area and then practice those skills and activities repeatedly until you achieve the same results.

“There are only three requirements for success. First, decide exactly what it is you want in life. Second, determine the price that you are going to have to pay to get the things you want. And third, and this is most important, resolve to pay that price.”

Achieving success is like achieving physical fitness. It is like bathing, brushing your teeth, and eating. It is something that you need to do continuously, every day. Once you begin, you never stop until your life and career are over and you have achieved all the success you desire.

The practice of self-discipline enables you to change your character, to become a stronger and better person. The exercise of self-discipline has a powerful effect on your mind and emotions, developing you into a different person from the one that you would have been without self-discipline.

The rule is that “to become someone that you have never been before, you must do something that you have never done before.”

Another success principle is that “to achieve something that you have never achieved before, you must learn and practice qualities and skills that you have never had before.”

Self Discipline and Responsiblity

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself and be lenient to everyone else.”

The fastest and most dependable way to eliminate negative emotions is to immediately say, “I am responsible!” Whenever something happens that triggers anger or a negative reaction of any kind, quickly neutralize the feelings of negativity by saying, “I am responsible.”

As long as you are blaming someone else for something in your life that you don’t like, you will remain a “mental child.” You continue to see yourself as small and helpless, like a victim. You continue to lash out. However, when you begin to accept responsibility for everything that happens to you, you transform yourself into a “mental adult.” You will see yourself as being in charge of your own life, and no longer a victim.

The mark of the leader, the truly superior person, is that he or she accepts complete responsibility for the situation. It is not possible to imagine a true leader who whines and complains rather than taking action when problems and difficulties arise.

This sense of “response-ability” is the mark of the highly developed personality: You take responsibility for your life by resolving, in advance, that you will not become upset or angry over something that you cannot affect or change. Just as you do not become angry about the weather, you do not become angry over circumstances and situations over which you have no control.

Self Discipline and Goal

The tragedy is that most people think that they already have goals. But what they really have are hopes and wishes.

Goals that are not written down and developed into plans are like bullets without powder in the cartridge. People with unwritten goals go through life shooting blanks. Because they think they already have goals, they never engage in the hard, disciplined effort of goal-setting—and this is the master skill of success.

The Seven-Step Method to Achieving Your Goals

  • Step 1: Decide Exactly What You Want. Be specific. If you want to increase your income, decide on a specific amount of money rather than to just “make more money”.
  • Step 2: Write It Down. A goal that is not in writing is like cigarette smoke: It drifts away and disappears. It is vague and insubstantial. It has no force, effect, or power. But a written goal becomes something that you can see, touch, read, and modify if necessary.
  • Step 3: Set a Deadline for Your Goal. Pick a reasonable time period and write down the date when you want to achieve it. If it is a big enough goal, set a final deadline and then set sub deadlines or interim steps between where you are today and where you want to be in the future.
  • Step 4: Make a List of Everything You Can Think of That You Could Possibly Do to Achieve Your Goal.
    • Make a list of the obstacles and difficulties that you will have to overcome, both external and internal, in order to achieve your goal.
    • Make a list of the additional knowledge and skills that you will need in order to achieve your goal.
    • Make a list of the people whose cooperation and support you will require to achieve your goal.
    • Make a list of everything that you can think of that you will have to do, and then add to this list as new tasks and responsibilities occur to you. Keep writing until your list is complete.
  • Step 5: Organize Your List by Both Sequence and Priority. A list of activities organized by sequence requires that you decide what you need to do first, what you need to do second, and what you need to do later on.
  • Step 6: Take Action on Your Plan Immediately: Take the first step—and then the second step and the third step. Get going. Get busy. Move quickly. Don’t delay. Remember: Procrastination is not only the thief of time; it is the thief of life.
  • Step 7: Do Something Every Day That Moves You in the Direction of Your Major Goal. This is the key step that will guarantee your success:

The Great Law of Cause and Effect

The most important application of the law of cause and effect is that “thoughts are causes, and conditions are effects.”

Your thoughts create the conditions of your life. When you change your thinking, you change your life. Your outer world becomes a mirror-image reflection of your inner world.

Self-Discipline and Personal Excellence

“We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act but a habit.”—ARISTOTLE

You are your most valuable asset. Your life, your potential, and your possibilities are the most precious things you have. Thus your great goal in life should be to fulfill that potential and become everything you are capable of becoming.

What others have done, you can do as well—if you learn how. Everyone who is at the top was once at the bottom.

“the very best proof that something can be done is that someone else has already done it.”

Many people say that they would like to be happy, healthy, thin, and rich. But wishing and hoping are not enough. You have to make a firm, unequivocal decision that you are going to pay any price and go any distance in order to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. You have to make that decision and then burn your mental bridges behind you. From that minute on, you resolve to continue working on yourself and your craft until you reach the top 20 percent—or beyond.

When you decide to be one of the best people in your field, look around you and identify the people who are already at the top:

  • What characteristics do they have in common?
  • How do they plan and organize their days?
  • How do they dress?
  • How do they walk, talk, and behave with other people?
  • What books do they read?
  • How do they spend their spare time?
  • Who do they associate with?
  • What courses have they taken?
  • What audio programs do they listen to in their cars?

Self-Discipline and Courage

“Courage is not absence of fear; it is control of fear, mastery of fear.”—MARK TWAIN

Aristotle described courage as the “Golden Mean” between the extremes of cowardice and impetuousness. He taught that “to develop a quality that you lack, act as if you already had that quality in every situation where it is called for.” In modern terms, however, we say, “Fake it until you make it.”

You can actually change your behavior by affirming, visualizing, and acting as if you already have the quality you desire. By affirming, by repeating the words, “I can do it!” emphatically whenever you feel afraid for any reason, you can cancel the feeling of “I can’t.”

Every time you repeat the words “I can do it!” with conviction, you override your fear and increase your confidence. By

Visualize Yourself as Unafraid

By visualizing yourself performing with confidence and competence in an area where you are fearful, your visual image will eventually be accepted by your subconscious mind as instructions for your performance. Your self-image, the way you see yourself and think about yourself, is eventually altered by feeding your mind these positive mental pictures of yourself performing at your best.

The fear of rejection, or call reluctance, seems to be bundled together with the fear of public speaking.

Your ability to confront, deal with, and act in spite of your fears is the key to happiness and success. One of the best exercises you can practice is to identify a person or situation in your life of which you are afraid and resolve to deal with that fear situation immediately. Do not allow it to make you unhappy for another minute. Resolve to confront the situation or person and put the fear behind you.

Move Toward the Fear

When you identify a fear and discipline yourself to move toward it, it grows smaller and more manageable. What’s more, as your fears grow smaller, your confidence grows. Soon, your fears lose their control over you.

In contrast, when you back away from a fear-inducing situation or person, your fear grows larger and larger. Soon it dominates your thinking and feeling, preoccupies you during the day, and often keeps you awake at night.

There are two types of courage that you need:

First, you need the courage to launch, to take action, to take a leap of faith. You need the courage to go “all in” without any guarantee of success and with a high possibility of failure, at least in the short term. The major failing that holds most people back is that in spite of all their best intentions, they don’t have the courage to take the first step.

The second type of courage that you need is called “courageous patience.” This is the ability to hang in there and continue working and fighting after you have gone all in and before you have yet seen any results or rewards. Many people can muster up the courage to take action toward a new goal, but when they see no immediate result they quickly lose heart and pull back to safety and security. They don’t have staying power.

Whenever you are worried about something, fill out a “Disaster Report” on the situation. This will destroy your fear and worry almost instantly. This is often called the “worry buster.” The Disaster Report has four parts:

  • First, Define the Worry Situation Clearly.
  • Second, Identify the Worst Possible Thing That Could Possibly Happen
  • Third, Resolve to Accept the Worst Possible Outcome,
  • Fourth, Begin Immediately to Improve on the Worst.

Self-Discipline and Persistence

“Beware of endeavoring to become a great man in a hurry. One such attempt in 10,000 may succeed. These are fearful odds.”


Persistence is self-discipline in action.


I hope you gain some insight of what I learnt.

Please note that this is just a summary of my note on what I learnt from the book, The book comprises many interesting ideas that are not written here

To read or order the full book on Amazon please use my link, I will get a commission if you order with my link.

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