February 17

Today's quotation:

Discipline in its highest notion is not punishment or self-punishment.  It is rather something seminal to the self.  It is our foundation.  It is our architecture.  It gives us structure.  It allows us to steer our energies and pull our wagon.

Noah Benshea

Today's Meditation:

So many of us look at "discipline" as a dirty word, when the fact is that it can be one of the most important traits that we can develop in our time here on this planet.  Discipline doesn't have to be something that we take to extremes--in its most useful form, it's simply our ability to devote ourselves to tasks and jobs and finish them completely, without allowing ourselves to be distracted or to give up due to frustration or anger.

Strong discipline definitely allows us to have a bit of structure in our lives--if we're disciplined, we can decide just how much structure is good for us, and when it starts to become too much.  Without discipline, we can't make that choice, because our lives aren't structured, unless that structure comes from someone or something else, like our jobs.

Sometimes discipline involves continuing with the thing we're doing, even when something else looks better.  Keeping up with a training or exercise program, even when we're tired and we feel we don't want to go on.  Continuing with studies because we know we're not quite there yet, and we need to gain that extra edge.  Finishing the race even though you're tired and worn out.  Not saying something that you want to say because you know that it's going to hurt someone else.  Walking away from conflict because you know it will serve no real purpose, even though others are insulting you for walking away from it.

Discipline is one of the most important parts of our lives that we can develop, and we should do so in order to make our lives healthier and happier.  As Jim says below, adding discipline to our lives--or just improving it--we definitely add to our sense of self-worth.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many of us look at discipline as a negative element of life?

How might you go about improving your discipline?  Why would you want to do so?

Why do so many people look for discipline outside of themselves, imposed upon them by others?

For further thought:

Here is the greatest value of discipline:  self-worth, also known as self-esteem.  Many people who are teaching self-esteem these days don't connect it to discipline.  But once we sense the least lack of discipline within ourselves, it starts to erode our psyche.  One of the greatest temptations is to just ease up a little bit.  Instead of doing your best, you allow yourself to do just a little less than your best.  Sure enough, you've started in the slightest way to decrease your sense of self-worth.

Jim Rohn

more on discipline



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