I think one of the hardest things for me to face and deal with is self-discipline! In some areas of my life, I have very little problem with this, but in others, I find it more than difficult. For example: It is easy for me to practice spiritual self-discipline, which motivates me to read scripture and spend time in prayer daily, but it is a continual challenge to practice physical discipline, which motivates me to eat right and exercise on a regular basis. I know the value and benefits of both, but for me, one is easy and the other is tough! I have a friend who says that it is reversed for her! She finds the physical easy and the spiritual hard!
We often know what we need to do, but find it difficult to grow the motivation and resolve to do it! Why is it that we find self-discipline easy in some situations and difficult in others? I guess if we ever figure out the answer to that question, then we will really have something!
Self Discipline is getting yourself to do the things you need to do, when you need to do them, whether you feel like it or not! It’s pushing yourself to do what needs to be done, because it needs to be done! There are many days in my life when I find something I know I need to do, but I don’t really want to do. The thing that helps me to face the tough stuff and get the difficult things done is an exercise I like to call “Weighing The Pain!”
Someone once said: “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces, while regret weighs tons.” When I actually take the time to “Weigh The Pain”, I usually find that one little spark of motivation that will carry me forward and help me to do what I don’t really want to do!
Do you know how to get really good at something? Practice! Here are a few ideas to help you begin to practice the art of self-discipline:
1.) Figure out the result that you are looking for! What is your goal? Goals have amazing power to pull you forward toward results that really make a difference! Figure out what you are shooting for and you are halfway there!
2.) Weigh the difference between the pain of regret and the pain of discipline! The discipline may hurt a little now, but it is much better than a lot of hurt from the pain of regret later! Be honest with yourself and this will move you, when nothing else can!
3.) Divide And Conquer! Figure out what you need to do and break it down into manageable tasks. Create a check list (1,2,3) of what you need to do and start checking things off of the list as soon as possible. When you come up on one of the difficult things, grin, put your head down and plow forward!
The Bible puts it this way: “24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
You can do this and when you take the time to actually put it into practice, you will be amazed at the results and you will be glad you did!