Are you a disciplined person?
There are many shades of discipline that can identify a person's character, his or her values and of course one's way of viewing the world.
When you speak about the word discipline, I think most people have formed a negative connotation towards it and therefore, try to dissociate with it entirely.
The military discipline its troops, a teacher disciplines its students and some parents believe in disciplining their children. All of those examples use the word as a training tool to set rules in motion and often instill fear. Some people associate the word with a form of punishment inflicted; they therefore, have spent a great deal of their time attempting to move in the opposite direction.
I, however, have been taught by my father from early childhood to be a disciplined person; his use of that word was not to punish or inflict pain on my siblings and me; he, himself, was an ambitious and disciplined man. He wanted to teach us to grow in life in such a way as to be self-sufficient, strong and determined women who could and would succeed in whatever we put our hearts and minds towards. He instilled in us the attributes of what self-discipline can bring forth. We learned how perseverance, dedication, tenacity and thinking before acting aligned us to attain long-lasting results. We were not allowed to start another task until we finished what we were working on and he frequently reminded us to use common sense when forming a thought or opinion. You can say he shaped and molded our thought process in a disciplined way so that as we matured and competed in the world, we were prepared to carry out difficult tasks and plans because we understand where to place our focus.
That definition is the meaning that I am speaking to in the hopes that you, too, might see value in the process. I have never looked at self-discipline as a hardship or painful encounter but rather as an exercise in strength building and reward seeking. I guess you can say that self-discipline requires self-control and concentration, both of which enhances ones personality.
Another way of looking at the word is by looking at its opposite - chaos. Just look around you chaos is rampant in the world. We expect much and give little, a perfect ingredient for confusion and disorder. Yet if we can join consistency and responsibility with discipline we just might come up with an antidote that will improve our state of being.
When we consciously discipline our thoughts and take disciplined action steps that will foster positive behavior in a consistent manner, we will, I believe, have a working formula for experiencing success. I want to leave a legacy behind that will attest to my philosophy of life much of who we are and what we have become can be attested to how we value discipline and those attributes that bolster it. Discipline doesn't happen over night; it requires endurance and structured behavior that drives the machine and produces lasting results.
Joan Marie Ambrose
Author, Creative Writer, Motivational Speaker