If there was ever a skill that could help someone achieve all of their dreams it would be the practice of self-discipline. Each person is capable of discipline, their limitations are mostly within the mind. Ever hear of the term “mind over matter?” Well, there is some truth to that. There are countless stories of how people have far exceeded either human capabilities or how people achieved things they are unsure how they could have even made it that far. The skill of discipline was their wise ace-in-the-hole even though they may not have realized they were using it to help them.
What is discipline in the sense of self-discipline? Google defines it as, “the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.” Another action verb using control that is utilized by practice, meaning it doesn’t always help if a person gives up easily or decides “tomorrow is another day.” It is a practice that should be implemented in all areas of life.
An article from Success Consciousness explains how self-discipline can come in a variety of ways and is a key to success. The variety can be seen as:
The article also lists some examples of the benefits of self-discipline:
- The ability not to give up, despite failure and setbacks.
- The ability to resist distractions or temptations.
- Trying over and again, until you accomplish what you set out to do.
Those were only a few examples of how self-discipline in anyone’s life can be extremely positive. There are many other reasons that self-discipline can help with success in any area of life because it helps anyone stay focused and determined, it helps a person build their personal and professional relationships, and can assist a person in their self-confidence as well as staying happy.
- Avoid acting rashly and on impulse.
- Fulfill promises you make to yourself and to others.
- Overcome laziness and procrastination.
- Continue working on a project, even after the initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away.
- Go to the gym, walk or swim, even if your mind tells you to stay at home and watch TV.
- Continue working on your diet, and resisting the temptation of eating fattening foods.
- Wake up early in the morning.
- Overcome the habit of watching too much TV.
- Start reading a book, and read it to the last page.
- Meditate regularly.
Biblically, it is a special key of wisdom, although how? Discipline, in the form of reproof and correction, can prove to help refine a person if they push through it with their own acknowledgement and self-discipline. Proverbs 3 states:
1My son, do not forget my law and let your heart keep my commandments 2Because the length of days and the years of life they will add to you. 3And let not peace, favor and truth forsake you; bind them on your neck and write them upon the tablet of your heart 4That you may find mercies and grace and intelligence in the presence of God and in the presence of the children of men. 5Hope in Lord Jehovah from your whole heart and do not trust upon the wisdom of your soul. 6Know him in all your ways and he straightens your paths. 7Do not be wise in your own eyes but be in awe of Lord Jehovah and depart from evil 8That there may be healing to your flesh and fatness to your bones. 9Honor Lord Jehovah from your possessions and from the best of all your increase 10And your barns will be filled with fullness and your wine presses will pour forth wine. 11My son, do not reject the discipline of Lord Jehovah and do not neglect his admonition to you 12Because the one whom Lord Jehovah loves, he disciplines, as a father disciplines his son. 13Blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the son of man who finds understanding 14Because its merchandise is better than the merchandise of silver, and the excellencies of its increase than refined gold, 15For it is more valuable than precious stones and nothing is comparable to it. 16The length of days is in her right hand; wealth and honor in her left. 17Her ways are the ways of sweetness and all her paths are peace. 18She is a tree of life to those who hold her fast and blessed are those who look for her. 19Lord Jehovah in his wisdom laid the foundations of the Earth and the Heavens were established by his understanding; 20And in his knowledge the depths were broken up and the clouds sprinkle dew. 21My son, let not your eyes depart from keeping my teaching and my counsels. 22And it shall be Life to your soul and Grace to your neck. 23And then you will walk your ways in hope and you will not stumble by your foot. 24And you will sleep and be unafraid, and you will lie down, and sleep will be sweet to you. 25And you will not be afraid of trouble that comes suddenly, or from the rush of sinners when it comes. 26Because Lord Jehovah shall be with you and will keep your foot from being caught. 27Do not refrain from doing what is excellent as long as you are able. 28And when you have possessions, do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again tomorrow, and I shall give to you.” 29Do not devise evil against your neighbor who sits with you in the quiet. 30Do not judge with a man by deceit, 31And do not envy an evil man, neither desire any of his ways; 32Because an evil one is defiled before Lord Jehovah and the discourses of Lord Jehovah are with the upright. 33The curse of Lord Jehovah is in the houses of the evil and he will bless the dwellings of the righteous. 34And he will overthrow mockers, and he will hover over the wise. 35The wise will inherit honor and fools will receive disgrace.The reason this whole scripture is here is due to the fact that it has so many facets that can help teach everyone the importance of not only self-discipline, but it gives the full picture. On the topic of discipline the scripture in verse 11 and 12 states, “do not reject the discipline of Lord Jehovah and do not neglect his admonition to you.” That verse in itself is giving a command to utilize self-discipline since the Almighty gives each person correction due to His loves for each individual. Just as a parent who loves their child will discipline the child in order to protect and guide the child in a direction that is not of destruction. If the child chooses to adhere to the parent, they will use self-discipline to correct their path.
Through all of these verses, there are ways to act and practice self-discipline. Through the Almighty’s wisdom, and not from man’s, one is able to achieve the Almighty’s will for their life. Using His correction of discipline and applying it with self-discipline will help a person be successful physically, mentally, and spiritually. By staying in the path of His ultimate wisdom there are only benefits and not just from His blessings, but from the benefits of staying disciplined. In this way, you are able to uphold His commandment of loving Him and others since you will be obedient to Him and when you begin to love yourself in a healthy manner, it is then you can have more respect and love others as well. Discipline, in any form, begins from within.
Weekly Challenge:Reflect and see what areas of your life you are disciplined in, and ask yourself if there are areas where you are not disciplined as much in. There is always room for improvement. There are other facets of the entire chapter quoted above, so it would be wise to apply that knowledge to action. It will not always come overnight, but with persistence, it will help in all areas of life. Take the discipline from the Lord as a token of His love for you. As William Arthur Ward once said:
The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.