D is for Discipline
Discipline is your commitment to yourself
D is the fourth letter of the English alphabet. Like any other letter of the alphabet, D has many words to it’s credit which trigger our thoughts, feelings and sensations like delicious, desirable, dutiful, deserving, demure, delightful, delicate, dandy, discrete (and discreet), daring, devoted, dexterous, deep and so on.
Some emotions or principles that have an important place in the way I live my life, are Dependability, Determination and Diligence. A lot of contemporary spiritual discourse is about Detachment and Discernment. The corporate world in recent years has taken a fancy for Diversity. The number of words that the letter D has spawned is second to none.
The word that I have chosen to talk about is Discipline. The dictionary has more than one meaning for the word Discipline. One, it is about making people follow a set of laid down rules. Second, it also refers to a branch of knowledge, typically in higher education. But the meaning that I am referring to is a valuable quality to improve one’s life.
Discipline is a commitment to the person who is most important to you in the world – YOU.
When I talk about discipline, I am talking about doing what you have to do, even when you don’t want to do it. There are two types of discipline – internal and external. Internal discipline is your self-restraint and your ability to differentiate right from wrong, and behave in a way that is . External discipline is dependent on societal norms, the laws of the land.
The most successful people in life practice discipline on a daily basis. As someone said, “Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.”
Discipline brings stability and structure into a person’s life. It teaches a person to be responsible and respectful. Discipline is about observance of well-defined rules in a society, to make it an organized, civilized framework for human beings to co-exist.
If there were no discipline, people would do whatever they wanted and make mistakes without putting the consideration of others first and foremost. It is discipline that promotes good human behavior to better society and make it a more enjoyable place for everyone to live.
At an individual level, discipline is the ability for an individual to have self-restraint that allows them to behave in a consistently stringent and controlled manner. A lack of this ability can have disastrous results. An employer will not tolerate an employee who is frequently late to work, or who does not complete their work on time.
When it comes to sports and athletics, discipline is a fundamental basis for all of them. Every player must adhere to the rules of the game. The umpires and referees are there to ensure that this happens. . Whoever does not follow these guidelines will be penalized for violating the rules of the sport. If you look at the consistent performers in the sporting world, what differentiates them from an average player is their discipline which manifests itself in their mental toughness and their superior skill. Jim Rohn put it aptly when he said, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
Discipline also helps to train a person’s mind and character, building a sense of self-control and the practice of obedience. Another way to look at it is, that self-discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from the expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness, fear and doubt. Self-discipline allows a person to feel his individuality, his inner strength, his talent. He is master of, rather than a slave to, his thoughts and emotions."
This ability can be developed or strengthened at any given time if you put your mind to it. Make promises and make sure you deliver. Make the genuine effort to align your actions and behaviours with your thoughts. Exercise regularly to get your mind and body into shape. Resist the urge to give into negative behaviours, instead focus on all of the positive attributes. Take small steps on a daily basis and you’ll be surprised how far it takes you in a matter of no time.
Being an Air Force kid, I got my grounding on discipline from my parents. For my father, simple things like sleeping and waking up at the same time, being well-attired at all times, being respectful and courteous to everyone, were part of who he was, and what he wanted his children to imbibe.
Please take out some time in your day to reflect on how you can bring more discipline into your life, and see it take your dreams to accomplishment. Having a coach or an accountability partner, to help you with this, can work wonders to improve the quality of your life and speed up this process.
I will be happy to hear your thoughts and views about discipline.