Discipline often has negative connotations associated with it. Usually when we think of the term, we think that we are getting in trouble for something. What if we changed the way that we view this “negative” word?

The idea behind having discipline is actually a good one. Think of your favorite sports player. Think of the training that they go through every single day, even when that sport is not in season. When an athlete trains, they are really just disciplining their bodies to be the best that they can be.

This concept is not limited only to the physical body. More importantly, it extends into the mental and even spiritual bodies as well. When someone commits to attending college for four years, they are disciplining their minds for their future career.

They are learning and training for their future goals, much the same way that an athlete trains for future games and championships.

Disciplining the mind and body is like preparing for the “Championship of Life”. If you have been alive for any period of time, you know that life has trials and tribulations. The valleys of life are inevitable. Think of those low moments as a test, or even a championship game. Only the most disciplined will survive those tests.

Every year, instead of choosing a New Year’s Resolution, I choose a word, a Bible verse, or a phrase to hold onto. I started doing this because my NYR’s usually ended up falling flat. I held myself to such a high standard, that when I didn’t meet those standards, I ended up just giving up. Whereas, a word is a tangible thing that I can hold onto for the year. When I fall short, the word encourages me to keep going. It is a mindset, a lifestyle choice that I can shape small, realistic goals around throughout the year.

This year, my word was “Discipline.”

“Michelle, why on EARTH would you chose such a difficult concept?” “Wow, that’s not an easy thing to do.” “Yeesh. Discipline. Good luck with that one.”

These are a few of the responses that I have gotten when I tell people this. They are right, because it’s NOT easy, and it’s not something that most people would choose for themselves. However, this is also something that I knew that I needed in my life. I have always been terrible with my finances, wasting it away on nothing, and not planning for the future. I have always wanted to live a healthier lifestyle, but always let it go after a few weeks. I have wanted to grow deeper in my spiritual life and my relationship with God.

How do I achieve the results that I have always wanted?

Discipline.

It’s the end of March, and even though I have had mess-ups, and moments where I have not been disciplined, I still come back to this word. I am still able to remind myself of what I want to achieve. It may not be perfect, but I know that I am learning and growing. 

Discipline is not a bad thing. It is a good concept, and it is meant for good. It just takes the changing of your mindset and attitude toward the word for it to do what it is meant to do, which is help you grow as a human being.

Some of the benefits that I have found while being more disciplined –

  • I have more confidence in myself, and my self-esteem is higher because I can roll with the punches better and bounce back easier.
  • I feel healthier and stronger mentally, spiritually, and physically
  • I am happier with myself, and I feel more free.
  • I feel more in control of my situation in life
  • My relationships are stronger, because I have been disciplined in making them a priority.
  • My financial future looks brighter, and more secure.
  • I am more secure in myself and who I am, because I am taking the time to pour into myself in crucial ways.

There are many more benefits that I have experienced, but these are the main ones.

Since I listed the benefits, I think it would also be helpful to list some of the consequences that I have experienced without having self-discipline.

  • My self-esteem suffered because I felt like a failure more often when I did not live up to my own expectations and the expectations of others around me.
  • My health suffered, because I didn’t take care of myself properly.
  • My relationships suffered, because I let my busy schedule control me, instead of me controlling my busy schedule to make time for the people who are important to me.
  • I felt more restricted, because my money and time were not managed properly, limiting my ability to what I needed or even wanted to do.

When discipline is applied, opportunities are easier to see and easier to grasp. Often times, discipline is seen as restrictive and oppressive, when in reality, the opposite is true. When you read the articles about what successful people have in common, “discipline” is usually one of the key elements to their success.

Sometimes, you have to live the way that no one else is willing to live, so that you can have the life that no one has the ability to live later on.

I do not pretend to be a successful person by any means. I am just trying to figure out my way in life just like everyone else in this world. However, I have applied this concept to my life over the last several months, and I have seen a drastic difference in my life, just in this short time period. It is not a hard concept to implement, but it’s also not easy, because it requires you to rewire your way of thinking. I am still in the process of this rewiring, and there are moments when it is not very fun at all. Yet, I have seen some great rewards come out of this process that push me to continue my pursuit of self-discipline.

Many people will never apply discipline to their lives, and in 20 years, they won’t be much better off than they are today.

The question is, will you be one of those people? Or are you willing to make this kind of change in your life?

Published by Michelle Newbold

Just a young, ambitious woman marching to the beat of her own drum, and writing her own story.

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