Sometimes I feel like a failure when it comes to discipline? Everyday I shoot for this goal of getting up between 5-6 am to start my day. Every night I go to bed telling myself, I am going to get up early; read, write, study, and then go for a run. My alarm goes of between 5-6 am and I lay there thinking today will be the day. I will launch out of bed with a smile and a Redbull! Then I lay there paralyzed in tiredness for a few minutes thinking, I will just rest my eyes for a few. The next thing I know I am passed out and snuggling with my wife. An hour later I wake up, look at the clock and start getting ready with my tail between my legs. Discipline was failed for the day. The great thing, tomorrow is another day!
My dad use to tell me, “discipline is doing the things you do not want to do to get to a place you want to be.” He was one of those burly hardworking construction dudes that had to get up at 5 am to work construction in the freezing cold weather. Something he never loved, but he had to take care of our family. I remember watching him as a kid come home from work with thirty seven layers on and a red nose. I use to think, there is no way I am ever going to do that. The funny thing, as I grew older I was working right alongside him for awhile. Never say never I guess.
I am one of those structured and discipline type people that get upset when they fail at their disciplines. You know what I am talking about? Do you set disciplines for yourself to run everyday, or wake up at certain times, maybe eat a particular way, and when you fail at these things you get upset with yourself. I say yourself because you are the one in control. You make the choices, no one can make them for you.
I think having these disciplines in our lives help us to learn more about ourselves.
Think of a samurai drinking tea. Sitting at a very low table, he moves deliberately, singularly focused on his tea. He contemplates it. He pours it. Sipps it, tastes it, and, finally, swallows it. This is one discipline samurai. Do you agree?
Pretty impressive and a true demonstration of strength and discipline. The other interesting thing is what can come from true discipline. Things like patience, precision, attention to subtlety, concentration, and reverence for the moment.
The power of discipline can sometimes be under-appreciated. We all talk about it, yet forget to practice it. How many people do you hear talking about working out or losing weight? The next time you see them they have some lousy excuse. You hear things like who has the time? Who can afford it? I do not have anyone to do it with. All excuses and choices we make daily.
Then think of people, athletes, and even religions that understand and leverage the power of discipline. Look at some the greatest athletes in the world. They did not get to where they are at without some kind of structure or discipline. How about leaders, writers, pastors, or even pool sharks. They acquired their skills through some kind of regular discipline.
Now comes the question. What disciplines do you have in your life? What disciplines are you failing at? Take the time, just as the samurai did, to put in place your daily disciplines.