By: Kimberly Roberto
- training to act in accordance with rules; drill: activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training:
The word discipline, from the greek word paideia, appears in the bible abundantly. It means “instruction which aims at the increase of virtue.” 2 Timothy 3:15
Most Americans have a very negative connotation of discipline. It is associated it with laws, military, pain, sacrifice and suffering. In reality, sacrifice often means giving up something less meaningful (low level) to get something much more meaningful (high level). Example: giving up an hour of TV to read something educational. Therefore, it is important to reprogram how we think about discipline.
It is your actions, not your thoughts (although your thoughts are what get the ball rolling) that determine your outcomes. Your actions are largely determined by your habits. You can only establish a habit through repetition (i.e. discipline). If you want to have lasting change, you must have discipline. If you want to reach your goals, you must be disciplined. Just look at the successful people you know and observe what they DO.
In the book Outliers, Malcom Gladwell explains how the magic number when it comes to becoming successful is 10,000 hours. He describes how Bill Gates put in 10,000 hours, how the Beatles put in 10,000 hours, how even with inborn talent, it takes effort for it to become manifested. It has been rumored that Jimi Hendrix used to carry his guitar everywhere, even to the bathroom! The point is, that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
You may say to yourself that you are just not disciplined or that you’re not like other people. Guess what? Successful, disciplined people don’t like to do the very same things you don’t like to do, but they do them anyway. That is the real definition of discipline.
There is no doubt, discipline is hard. We have become a society where we think things should just come easy and that hard work is not necessary. However, little acts of discipline (even if they seem insignificant), consistently, over time are what makes the massive changes and elicits the greatest degree of success.
“Our lives change when our habits change. Think about all the heroes, leaders, champions and saints. What set them apart from their peers? They just had better habits… Their habits were helping them to become the best version of themselves, and they were acquired intentionally through the effort of discipline.” Matthew Kelley
“If you give your body a choice, it will always take the easy way out. Your body lies. It tells you it cannot when it can.” ― Matthew Kelly, The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose
You have to have a plan to become disciplined. Discipline isn’t just given to you and it is not really instinctive. It is a learned behavior.
“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.” ~ Brian Tracy
So how do you start?
- Identify your big why. If your big why is big enough, you can endure any how.
- Start scheduling your day(s). Get – in ink – what you need to do each day to work toward your goals.
- Visualize the goal already being met.
“Through discipline comes freedom.” Aristotle