I’m a work in progress—we all are. That doesn’t mean one day we’ll be able to stop the work, it means that as life progresses, so does the work. It grows as we do, meeting us where we are, consistently calling us to task. However, many of us miss out on new direction due to the lack of discipline within ourselves.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we need to fixate on a problem longer than we need to. For example, we might think we’re doing a service to ourselves by constantly reminding ourselves to wake up early, but we’re completely overlooking the fact that we’ve been going to bed later and later, thus making waking up early ineffective in getting more rest.
I’m discovering that it takes discipline to shift focus and continue moving forward while keeping things I’ve worked on in the past in mind. When I realized that I never eliminate problems—I only learn to master them—it gave me room to be comfortable with being wrong, and being guilty of doing the wrong thing. I don’t know it all, can’t do it all, and have been given my set of gifts for a reason.
Iyanla Vanzant has an incredible chapter on discipline in her inspirational novel, “One Day My Soul Just Opened Up.” She instructs us that discipline is the gift we give ourselves when we place value on our lives and prioritize enhancing it by being disciplined enough to do what needs to be done. She also quoted Oprah, who once said, “Discipline is doing.”
So many times in my life, I’d hope and pray that I could be disciplined enough to do something. By Oprah’s standard, I don’t need to hope and pray, I just need to do. If I want to be disciplined enough to stick to my schedule every day, I need to do that. If I want to be disciplined enough to meditate every day, I am capable of doing that.
The only thing holding us back is ourselves. We don’t have to wait around for discipline to overcome us or pray to receive the gift of discipline. It’s already within us, we just need to master it.
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