The highly disciplined individual does not have to point a gun at anyone to take what he wants; people “sense” his power and cheerfully give him everything they’ve got. – Dan Kennedy
We have come a long way since score that goal! debuted on Inspire World. We have grown from the intro Why You’re Not Hitting Your Goals and How To Change That, to The Power of Belief, The Place of Strategy, FOCUS and now finally, we touchdown with self discipline.
The day I got a more than superficial knowledge of the word discipline and more aptly put self discipline was some sixteen years ago at a conference when the speaker, Pastor Tom Deuschle asked this question, ‘is discipline sweet?’ One after another, I heard leaders give a ‘Yes’ to the question, while others went as far as romanticising on how sweet discipline is. It was thus a big shock and a rude awakening to my mind when Pastor Tom Deuschle took the microphone and announced that ‘No, discipline is not sweet, it is the result of discipline that is sweet’.
Some statements may seem very ordinary to everyone but they will be ‘words on marble’ to the mind that they illuminate. That statement by Pastor Tom Deuschle falls into that category as it was immediately placed on the marble of my mind, because all of a sudden I could relate with what was being said. I could begin to understand why it’s not usually a sweet experience for me when I begin a process to develop a habit that will be useful to my future.
*Truth is, it is not supposed to be sweet. Its the result of the habit that should be sweet, not the process to the habit*
It is like the story of a man with a big tummy but wants a flatter tummy and maybe a six pack and then decides to go on an exercise regimen, he would not find it sweet when he disciplines himself to do sit-ups, he will actually find it difficult, hard and would more often than not, be discouraged and stop. However, if the same man would only just continue, then and only then will he discover the sweetness of discipline, which in this case would be a flatter tummy.
To score that goal, we need to discipline ourselves and this is a continuous practise, because it is discipline that will make you stick to the schedule on your strategy table -it is even discipline that will make you have a strategy table.
*Do you have a strategy table for your 2014 goals yet? You can drop your answers in the comments section and also drop insights on how you developed yours*
I like the words of Jim Whittaker in the quote, ‘You can never conquer the mountain, you can only conquer yourself’. However in our wisdom, we always try to conquer the mountain, when we would have saved all that energy and focus rather on conquering ourselves by being disciplined.
Self discipline is the ability to draw out energy from deep inside to choose what is needed over our momentary wants. These choices are the everyday little choices that we don’t care about, like taking a decision to read your daily portion of your book of the month over watching your favourite TV program. It may not seem like much but an aggregation of such decisions is what forms destiny.
Discipline builds character and character is the cornerstone for greatness
If you’re wondering by this time how you can be self-disciplined, I would insist you start with your next decision, no matter how small. It’s just like prayer, where the best way to learn to pray is by praying. As you make your choices, you strengthen your will power and build self discipline. This is corroborated by Roy F. Baumeister, PhD, author of the book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, where he tells us, “willpower is not a personality trait, a skill or a virtue. Instead, it operates like a muscle. And as such, it can be strengthened.”
Self discipline is that last piece of the puzzle that’s makes sure we score that goal and pushes us from being just good to great.
The one quality which sets one man apart from another, the key which lifts one to every aspiration while others are mired in mediocrity, is not talent, formal education nor intellectual brightness, it is self-discipline. With self discipline all things are possible. Without it, even the smallest goal can seem like the impossible dream – Theodore Roosevelt.
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