The Secret to Having Discipline in your Life

Most of us hate discipline. We don’t like being told no or having to say no to things that we want. If I feel like ice cream after dinner, I want to be able to have ice cream after dinner. If I want to sleep in, I’m want to be able to sleep in.

We look at disciplined people and we think to ourselves, “It must be easier for them, they are just naturally a more disciplined person than me.”

While that’s a nice thought, it simply isn’t true. At least it’s not true in my life.

Most of my life I have not been a very disciplined person. I have always liked my freedom. I like to choose what I want when I want it. Discipline means I have to say “No” to myself. I don’t like anyone telling me no, even if its me!  But that all changed last June. I decided I was tired of being overweight. I decided I was tired of looking at my fat belly in the mirror every day. I was on a website looking at the before and after pictures of scores of people who had transformed their bodies and I decided I wanted to look like that too. I stood in the full length mirror and sucked in my belly. I decided I wanted to get rid of my gut more than anything else in my life right now. And once I decided that was what I wanted, the rest was easy.

“Discipline is choosing what you want most over what you want now.”

Pastor Craig Groschel

Discipline then came into my life, not as a hammer, forcing me to say “no” to a bunch of stuff like ice cream and sleeping in, but rather as a tool to help me say “yes” to something I wanted much more, a good looking body.

What I wanted most was to be in shape. I wanted to feel good about the way I looked. I determined that this is what I wanted most. It then became much easier to say “no” to other things. When I wanted ice cream, I would think to myself, “What I want now, is this bowl of ice cream. What I want most is to lose this belly.” And I would choose a small bowl of frozen blueberries instead.  Saying “yes” to what I wanted most, was in effect telling everything else “no.” I guess this is what Discipline is, but in my mind I wasn’t saying “no” to stuff… I was saying “yes” to a preferred future.

I am starting a new weight lifting program tomorrow. I have a vision of what I will look like 90 days from now. I am saying “yes” to that future.

So whether its saving money for college or to go on once in a lifetime trip to Disneyland with the kids. Or maybe you to want to reshape your body, or learn a new skill. Determining what it is that you want most, is the secret to having the discipline you need to get to where you want to be.

Ask yourself the question “What do I want most?”


p.s. Now that I’ve decided what I want… I love knowing that the only thing that stands between here and my future is hard work! I know how to do that!



About markmoder

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