Zayn Malik learned to be "incredibly disciplined" in One Direction.
The 22-year-old singer - who quit the chart-topping group last March - is able to grin and bear it when it comes to having to do things he doesn't really want to.
He said: "I'm incredibly disciplined. I realised I can push myself through situations I might not necessarily want to do, but can overcome by being in the moment.
"No matter what, I can smile and do whatever I got to do."
Zayn is currently working on his own solo material and often records several tracks every day because he is so enthusiastic about what he is writing.
He told Billboard magazine: "I'll come down here and record maybe seven songs a night.
"That's because I'm enjoying what I'm doing. I'm not censoring myself anymore, so I'm not tired. I love it."
Though Zayn's old teachers have previously described him as "a model student", the British singer - who almost missed his 2010 audition for 'The X Factor' because he wanted a lie-in - doesn't remember his school days quite that way.
He said: "I was a different person then. I was 17 and like, 'F**k the world!' I thought I was 2Pac and I'm really not."