Discipline Defined

I’m leading a book study for guys on Wednesday mornings. We meet at Barriques in Fitchburg and we’re reading Four Pillar of a Man’s Heart. A couple weeks ago we were talking about discipline and one of the guys said he has a negative feeling with the word, with the concept. Of course I went right to a sports analogy to demonstrate that discipline is good. In the Bible discipline is a good thing, but we were discussing it in the context of spiritual disciplines and the difference between legalism and authentically following the commands and laws of the Lord.

Discipline is a fundamental component to my blog: “In pursuit of a healthy and disciplined lifestyle.” I think especially in the church we shy way from “discipline” because we don’t want to be labeled as a legalist. But the world works on discipline. Sports teams are successful when they are disciplined in their practice and their execution. Jim Collins, in his classic business book Good to Great, talks about ruthless discipline as a distinguishing characteristic between business that fail and those that succeed. I think discipline is an essential quality that should be pursued by anyone who whats to make a difference in this world. In business, in your family, or in social services, discipline means having a plan and sticking with it. Sure, you can make changes but that only comes after disciplined thought and planning takes place.

And this is where the rubber meets the road for me right now. I’ve found that is critical for me to leave margin in my week, even in each day, to process my obligations, my contracts, my goals. I need room to work, I can’t jam-pack my schedule and still be agile enough to make these adjustments. I need to constantly challenge the process and reconsider what I’m doing and why. This disciplined thought is the only way for me to operate my family and my work – and I don’t always do this well. This isn’t the best post I’ve ever written but remember, sometimes I write this stuff more for me than for you (wink, wink). I’m writing this today to remind myself that discipline is important, we’re all in different places, but we all are looking for ways to move the ball down the field. I’m trying to simplify my week and only schedule the things I want to get done. And it’s been a successful exercise. I’ve thought of three other posts that can work off this one, and the whole thing has cleared my mind and empowered me to start the week off right.
How about you? Are you disciplined? If you became more disciplined in one area of life, how could you move the ball down the field?

Those are my thoughts. What are yours?

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