Self-Discipline, Your Key to Success

With self-discipline, most anything is possible. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

One of my favorite quotes is a line from A.A. Milne. Christopher Robin tells Pooh, Promise me you’ll always remember:  You’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” It’s a gentle reminder that we have more control over our lives than we realize.

How do we exercise that control?

How do we find our best pathway to success?

Is there a trick or a magic word that can trigger the results we want?

Perhaps there is some special process that can set the wheels of abundance in motion?

Maybe wishful thinking or hopeful expectancy can automatically pull miracles out of the Universe!

Of course, we all know there’s no magic potion or miracle pill. Instead, we must look inside, to the valuable habit of discipline or self-control. Discipline means practicing right thoughts, words and actions until they become good habits. It is the key to success.

If we want something, no matter what that ‘something’ is, there is a way to get it. But it won’t show up just by wishing. Discipline says NO to something now so we can say YES to something better later on.

Have you ever known a successful athlete who didn’t spend hours and hours perfecting his skills? Or a world-class musician who didn’t spend years practicing the same pieces over and over and over. Talent and luck are wonderful, but they will never create our ideal lifestyle without self-discipline.

For most of us, discipline is a bad word. We don’t want to. We make excuses. We find reasons not to. We say things like, “I can’t help it. I’ve always been this way.” Or, “I’m just like my momma (or papa).” Or, “They made me do it (or won’t let me do it)!” I’m sure you can add others that worked well for you.

Bottom line – they’re just that, excuses. Ways to rationalize our way out of unpleasant situations and pass responsibility on to someone else. Then we wonder why things never work out for us. Why someone else is more blessed, more prosperous, happier or healthier than we are.  And we sigh, “It’s not fair!”

I have friends who envy my yard. It is beautiful, full of lush shrubs and perennials, bright annuals and rose bushes. They tell me, “I wish my yard looked like that.” And I tell them, “You won’t spend the amount of time, effort and money that we have to get it this way.” Discipline. Dedication. Determination. If I get lazy and don’t pull weeds or water plants, it won’t take long for my yard to look like theirs.

Lack of discipline is sneaky. We tell ourselves, “It won’t matter this time.” But all those times add up to a result we didn’t want. Now it takes even more discipline to undo the mess. The reason is clear. We reap what we sow. And we reap in greater quantity than we sow.  So if we sow wrong or irresponsible words or actions, we’re going to reap a multiplied mess!

For instance, there’s that few ‘extra pounds’ that snuck onto my scale when I wasn’t looking. I could tell you that it “just happened”, but in my heart, I know better. A glass of wine here, a dessert there, an extra helping of mashed potatoes and the candy jar in the kitchen. “They’re only minis, so one or two (or more) can’t hurt, they’re so little!” (And – dare I admit it – the perpetual bag of potato chips in the pantry …) I’ve got no one to blame but myself.

I can have a pity party because hubby has uber-metabolism and can eat anything he wants without gaining an ounce (It’s not fair, Lord!). Or, I can practice some self-discipline – ditch the sweets and add more activity (translate: exercise).

And then, there’s my closet …!

If we desire more from Life, we need to practice the Law of Increase. As we sow discipline and responsibility for those things and situations entrusted to our care, we will reap a multiplied return on our efforts. If we sow sparingly, doing as little as possible, letting the clutter accumulate in our minds, emotions and surroundings, we will reap chaos, confusion and a growing sense of dissatisfaction.

Yet, if we will take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, and practice some self-control, we can experience success in every area of our lives – better health, greater happiness, financial increase, and abundant peace of mind. 

 You  choose.

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