Many of the problems we have with discipline are caused by failing to realize the rewards that discipline can bring. We focus on the fact that discipline often means doing boring things that we don't want to do and fail to notice that eventually discipline empowers us to do what we do want to do. This article takes a look at some of the rewards of discipline.
Julie Andrews, the film actress and singer, is one person who realized the rewards that discipline can bring:
"Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly. "
For many people singing 'doh, ray, me" and other scales is a chore but it is a chore which will eventually bring the beauty of tuneful singing into their lives. This is something I have never achieved as my friends tell me!
Discipline also sets us free to be our own bosses. Mike Litman, as usual, has great advice on this which he found in a pre 1930 success book.
He came across the mind grabbing sentence: "Whatever cannot obey itself is commanded."
The author went on to explain the meaning of this cryptic sentence:
"The failures in life are the people who could not or would not obey themselves; they then became commanded by others. They could not hold to the course; they lost their grip. They did not do as they promised their own hearts they would do."
One of the major laws of success is to do what we plan to do i.e. to do whatever we command ourselves to do. If we cannot do this, we will end up in jobs and lives where we spend our time doing what other people tell us to do.
Another reward of discipline is being able to do what you could not do before. In some martial arts the ability to kick high is highly prized. It looks powerful and even beautiful and is a large part of the art in martial arts.
However, to be able to kick high, you need to have the discipline to spend time stretching. I find stretching a chore and although I have now reached as high as 5th dan in one martial art and 3rd dan in another, I still can't kick high. My ability in this has in fact decreased.
On the other hand one of my fellow students in Taekwondo, Steve Graham, faced up to this chore. When I arrived at a class, he would already be there sitting on the floor and stretching. As a result his kicks were lightning quick and as high as he wanted them to go. This must have given him immense pleasure over the years. In 1982, he was the British Taekwondo heavyweight champion.
Facing the chores of discipline can help you succeed and fly or at least kick high!