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How Being a Rapper Taught Me the Value of Self-Discipline

When you think of rappers, what comes to mind? Maybe fast cars, lots of money, late-night parties and performances, etc. But what about self-discipline? If you’re like most people, that’s probably the last thing on your mind when you hear the word ‘rapper’.

However, as a rapper myself, I can’t tell you how this art form has completely transformed my life by helping me to become more disciplined. In fact, if it wasn’t for my experiences as an emcee — believe it or not — I would not be the person I am today.

To give you some context, I used to be quite lazy, lethargic, and unmotivated in life. My high school experience consisted of me smoking weed every day, getting drunk with friends, skipping school, bad-mouthing my teachers, etc. I was kind of a lost cause.

But then how did it happen? How did rap music help me to gain self-discipline, ambition, and motivation when I never possessed those qualities before?

Well, to fully understand this, we have to take a little trip down memory lane. This is…

My Story…

July. 2008, 16 years old.

As I already mentioned, I’ve always been passionate about rap music. Putting words together in unique and creative ways was extremely compelling to me.

Moreover, using the power of my voice to influence others was an incredible superpower that I wanted to have.

In high school, I released 3 CDs (or demos as we referred to them back then). I began performing for my peers at school as well as at the parties that I frequented at the time.

However, even though I was passionate about music, I didn’t have the motivation or drive to go all-in on it.

Or maybe it was a lack of confidence in myself…

Either way, the allure of playing it safe was very appealing. The comfort of just lazing around, smoking weed, and watching TV kept me stagnant.

I never saw myself as a disciplined person, and that was certainly echoed in the way I chose to live.

But I knew — deep down — if I was ever going to make something of myself and accomplish my goal of becoming a respected rapper, that I had to change. By the time I reach my early 20s, I had a few performances under my belt. I had racked up some stage time and built a little confidence as a result.

However, on the whole, I was still getting ignored by DJs, club owners, and event planners. My emails, phone calls, and drop-ins were all ignored or blown off.

So I decided to take a different approach…

A Change in Strategy

Rather than continuing to chase the decision-makers, I turned inward. I focused on myself and my craft. I wanted to be the best rapper possible, so I made a commitment to myself to practice the art of freestyle rap for a minimum of one hour a day. No matter what.

And I did…

Every day, I got that practice time in; sick as a dog? I practiced. Got laid off from work? I practiced. My girl left me? I practiced.

And it wasn’t long before I began noticing some shifts. In fact, about 6 months into this regime, I began getting more performance opportunities. Furthermore, I realized I could hold my audience’s attention in a way I could never do before.

This was encouraging…

And so I kept at it; one hour a day, every day — no matter what. I remained committed to this self-discipline regime. There was such a strong connection to this goal, that I felt privileged to adhere to it.

And after two years of consistent practice, steady improvement, and unwavering self-discipline, my life had exploded into change!

The Undeniable Results of Self-Discipline

May. 2015, 23 years old

All of a sudden, my newly developed freestyle skills began to attract attention.

I would perform at local bars and nightclubs, and people would come up to me afterward; telling me how much they enjoyed the performance.

I was honored…

Soon after, I would have promotors, event planners, DJs, etc, reaching out via social media asking me to perform at their events.

The tables had turned.

Now, the same people who were ignoring me and blowing me off wanted me on their stages. While things began to pick up, I continued with my one-hour-a-day routine; continually making progress and improving even more on my craft.

And in as little as three years, my life had completely transformed. It took on a whole new look, feel, and texture. I couldn’t believe the results myself…

I had developed a reputation in Calgary’s Hip Hop scene as the premiere freestyle emcee. A title I was very proud to hold. This experience of going from an unknown rapper struggling to get gigs, to performing everywhere from birthday parties to charity events changed me.

It made me realize the true power we have over our lives. And it all rests in the actions that we take every single day.

Self-Discipline is Your Superpower

There is nothing special about me. I’m a regular guy just like anybody else.

Yet I still made these drastic leaps, met some of the most incredible people, and had amazing experiences along the way that I’ll never forget! And it all stemmed from just one hour a day; every day.

And the best part? You can do it too!

You have the same ability to transform your life into whatever it is you want! And it all begins with what you do every day.

But this then begs the question: How can you apply the one-hour rule to your life? Simple…

1. Decide What You Want

Do you want to paint, draw, be an athlete, learn to code, or play the guitar? Whatever it is that you desire, it’s time to make the decision that today is the day you begin making progress toward it!

Get that end goal firmly fixed in your mind.

It’s okay if you doubt whether you can do it or not. Feel it and embrace it. Hell, enjoy it even. Because trust me when I say, it won’t last for long.

2. Make Room in Your Schedule

Nothing gets done if it’s not scheduled. Put a place in your daily calendar where you will commit to practicing your skills for one hour a day — no matter what!

This must become non-negotiable with you. Think of it as block-out time. Nothing or no one is allowed to have access to this precious time you’ve allocated to building and securing your future. With that kind of gravity attached to it, you will vigorously protect that allotted time!

Don’t let ANYONE or ANYTHING intrude on it. This is YOUR time.

3. Stay Consistent

Your self-discipline must be unwavering. Every day you owe it to yourself to show up. It doesn’t matter if you’re tired, sick, got fired, or your spouse has left you. You show up and put in that one hour, every day.

You won’t always feel like it — trust me.

But don’t give in to feelings of laziness or apathy. It’s the days you don’t want to do it that matter the most. And you will most likely have more of those days than days when you do feel like doing it. This is where your self-discipline will truly be forged.

Consequently, it’s also when your skills will experience the most growth and development.

It will take months before you notice the difference, and most likely years before anyone else does. However, if you stay consistent and remain steadfast to the one-hour-a-day rule — I promise you — you’ll arrive at the other side!

Start Building Your Self-Discipline Today

Just like anything else in life, the more you do something, the better you’ll get at it! And so it is with self-discipline. My life changed after two to three years of consistent practice every day. You may arrive at that place sooner, or it may take you longer.

It all depends on your level of effort.

But that’s not the point. Because what you get is not nearly as important as who you will become.

The things that matter most during this process are the changes, improvements, and enhancement to your character, personality, and self-esteem as you make progress.

And that in and of itself makes it all worth it!

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