To be able to progress through the difficulties of life and live the best life possible we need not look to politicians for solutions. In living the continual spiraling upwards journey of living a more than ok life we need to grow in self-discipline. Speaker and author Brian Tracy says this of self-discipline, “With self-discipline, the average person can rise as far and as fast as his talents and intelligence can take him. But without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.”
Merriam Webster defines self-discipline as “correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement”. It is not playing the victim instead it is understanding that life is difficult but also has many possibilities for good. With self-discipline we each learn that with personal effort we can learn and grow to reach the best life for ourselves. Before going further I would like you to watch this short video from Simple Truths about some ideas by Brian Tracy:
The Power of Discipline (click on the title to view the article and think over what he is stating about self-discipline).
I just want to touch on a couple of the areas he mentions in the video. I want to mention the last area he mentions first. That is self-discipline helps with our sense of responsibility in life. To be resilient in the hard times of life we need to understand we are responsible for what ultimately happens to us in our life journey. Otherwise we see ourselves as victims waiting for someone to blame or bail us out. Sad to say too many today are hoping for the government to bail them out. There is a lack of personal responsibility in the populace in these times. It does not help that in the highest levels of government no one takes responsibility for the problems we face as a nation. For example the Benghazi attack that killed four honorable men with one being an Ambassador was just covered up with a lie about a silly, poorly produced video. Any thinking person knowing that the killings took place on 9-11 and with the Libyan leadership openly saying it was terrorists knew the rightful blame should have pointed to the current administration. But with an election going on responsibility went out the window and cover-up lies worked better for their re-election purpose. Months later the out-going Secretary’s response to the video lie was “What does it matter!”. How can we promote responsibility for a better life when national leadership is not responsible instead blames and makes excuses!
Do we then just give up and let the culture and people facing difficulties crash and burn? No, we need to hold forth the power of self-discipline and encourage people to be responsible to change their course in life with wise choices. I have always liked how Scott Peck’s famous book, The Road Less Traveled, starts out with “Life is difficult”. That is the truth but life is also filled with joy and beauty and great opportunities if we work hard and make wise choices.
The other area Tracy brings up that I feel is of utmost importance is item number one in the video which is the importance of goals. Without clear concrete goals of what we want to accomplish in life and a thought out strategy to reach them we just meander through life aimlessly. This often leads to a victim blame first mentality. Writing down our goals gives us direction for the success we want to reach. Self-discipline comes in and energizes us to take the effort to think through what we want to accomplish. We need to write down the future goals we visualize in our minds. I mention writing out a strategy or plan to reach the goal because if we do not have a plan of practical steps in reaching our goals they are nothing more than a wish. Goal plan steps will help in staying focused on reaching the goals we truly want to accomplish.
The choice is up to each of us as to how our life will be played out. Granted uncontrolled circumstances do intervene that is one way life is difficult. Even in those times we are then responsible to adjust and adapt our goal strategies to the circumstances. We can’t just play victim and point fingers of blame as our national leaders often do. Keep going back to your vision of what you want for your life. Keep pushing resiliently forward with self-discipline holding firmly to your personal faith and values to have your best life possible.
Reflection: What was the most important point to you in the Brian Tracy video – The Power of Discipline? Where are you at on the spectrum line between that of self-discipline or being a victim? Write down 3 goals you want to accomplish this year and write 3 commitment steps for each goal, you plan to follow to help reach the goals. If you want more information on the Brian Tracy video you can order his book, The Power Of Discipline at www. simpletruths.com