by A.C. Green
Sort of sounds like a bad thing doesn’t it.
“Mom said I had to get a job this summer to learn self-discipline.”
“I got disciplined for being out late.”
Let’s take a look at discipline, and find out how important it really is to success. We talk more about discipline on another part of ClubAC, and it says there that Webster defines discipline as training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character. It is restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires.
Basically, discipline means that you are master over yourself. It means that you have your thoughts and actions under control.
Think about NBA player Karl Malone for a moment. When I was playing – he was my opponent. I knew I had to come ready to work hard when we played the Jazz because Karl was master over his body. He had disciplined and trained his muscles and you could see (and feel!) the results of that. I needed to bring an equal amount of self-discipline to the court. In particular, I had to discipline my reaction to some of those elbows he threw around!
This is the point – it takes effort and commitment to instill discipline in yourself. Self-discipline does not go half-way and it doesn’t take shortcuts. It stays late after practice. It wakes up early and reviews the chapter one more time before the test.
Self-discipline starts when you know what you want to achieve, and you commit yourself to taking the necessary steps to get there. From that point forward, it is a simple matter of following the path.
Here’s an example:
GOAL: To graduate high school (on time!).
Pass my classes.
Don’t do anything to get suspended/expelled.
Pretty straightforward, isn’t it?
Now this is when discipline kicks into gear: Big test tomorrow. Big party tonight. If you need to do well on the test to pass, it might mean passing on the party. Keep your eye on the goal.
Good news is, it often isn’t even that difficult…
If you have been attending class and doing your homework, chances are you know most of the material. The teacher probably announces the test a week in advance – study during the week! Then maybe you can stop by the party, get home in time for a good night of sleep, and wake up early to review your notes…here’s your diploma!
Get the point? Discipline is ongoing – it doesn’t mean last-minute cramming, it means consistency. Consistently good decisions builds self-discipline, it builds habits that are easy to maintain.
Here’s the really good news…
Self-discipline breeds success. You must have discipline to reach a championship level in life. Discipline will preserve you. Accept discipline from others and develop self-discipline. One step at a time – those good patterns of thinking will become attitudes. Those attitudes will become your character. Your character will guide your decisions. Strong decisions will build a strong foundation for your life.