What were your first thoughts as you read the title? You may have been thinking, of course discipline, we’ve all heard, “spare the rod spoil the child.” Or you maybe you thought it depends on how severe the transgression was.  You may be from the school of thought that discipline hurts a child’s psyche so we need to let most things slide. Many people confuse discipline and punishment. Below is a table from an article on the website “Focus on the Family,” it reviews the difference between discipline and punishment.

PURPOSE To inflict penalty To train for correction and maturity
FOCUS Past misdeeds Future correct acts
ATTITUDE Hostility & frustration on part of parent Love & concern on part of parent

That being said, this article has nothing to do with disciplining children or even other adults, it’s about disciplining yourself. If someone asked me to choose the most important tool for success I would have to say discipline. There are many factors that go into being successful but I believe discipline has the greatest overall effect. Stephen Covey said, “Discipline isn’t something we do to ourselves it’s something we do for ourselves.” Discipline is a habit, therefore, like all your other habits, you have a choice to develop or ignore discipline.

A brilliant man said, “Life is just a series of moments when you take control of each moment, you take control of your entire life.” – Guy Burns

Feel free to repost and Tweet that amazing quote! 🙂

If you know you need to reach out to five new customers today and you only reach out to four it may not seem like a big deal, it’s only one customer. If that happens once a month or maybe even twice a month it may not have a major effect on your business. If it happens frequently, it can ruin your career.

While losing the opportunity to talk to one new customer can have a small negative effect, creating the habit of not keeping your commitments will have a massive negative effect. The opposite is also true, if you reach out to one extra client everyday imagine how that will affect your bottom line and you will be known by others as a person that can be trusted. Since discipline is a habit, when you develop discipline in one area of your life, it affects all areas of your life. When you develop good discipline in your exercise life and your eating habits, it carries over to your work habits and your relationship habits, and of course, the opposite is true.

Maybe even more important than the results of good or poor discipline is how you think and feel about yourself. When you do a good job in any area of your life it raises your self-esteem, conversely, when you know you’re not doing your best and keeping your commitments it diminishes the way you see yourself and makes you feel like a loser, which makes you do less, which makes you feel like a loserer! Do you see the pattern here?

What are your thoughts about discipline now? Are you still looking for the rod? Do you still believe you should let most things slide?

Create an action plan to take control of your habit of discipline today. Will you just read this blog like so many others you’ve read or will you do something with the information? To discipline or not to discipline, that is the question!  Do you have the discipline to take control of this moment so you can, in turn, take control of your entire life?

I would love to hear what you do with this information in the comments section.