Self-Discipline: The Cornerstone of Meaningful Action…
In a society catering to reality T.V., where every whim is acted upon and a “do what you want, whenever you want” attitude pervades, the concept of self-discipline seems to be fading into the twilight.
Like charity, self-discipline starts at home, and like charity, self-discipline is a fundamental ingredient to life. Without it, life becomes a string of meaningless happenings tied together by nothing more than the odds of probability. In other words, when self-discipline is sparse, we let things happen to us as opposed to us making things happen.
The late American President, Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) understood this when he said, “In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline came first with all of them.”
Self-discipline is the cornerstone of meaningful action, and meaningful action is the recipe for a successful life (see Take Action and Achieve Happiness…). We cannot expect to amount to anything, if we are not willing to expend the time and effort required to achieve the results we desire in whatever it is we’re pursuing. And the natural precursor to expending time and effort is having the self-discipline to do so.
Do we want to be fit? Then we must have the self-discipline to eat right and exercise. Do we want a successful relationship/marriage and family? Then we must have the self-discipline to become caring partners and/or parents. Do we want a successful business or career? Then we must have the self-discipline to become better at whatever it is we do, whether by way of reading (see Odds Are You Won’t Read This…), attending courses, making sales calls, or whatever it is, we must garner the self-discipline to do it.
We live in a time when “getting by” is easier than ever. Thanks to extraordinary technological advances during the last hundred years, the world has never experienced such an era of abundance. Although many parts of the planet are still challenged, we in the West are blessed with the vast amenities of life that we’ve become accustomed to, but therein also lay an Achilles heel.
From our comfort, stems our lack of self-discipline. It’s easy to forego exercise and eating right, when the alternative is popping pills from the doctor. It’s easy to neglect friends and family, when there’s the internet to keep us occupied. It’s easy to lose sight of our careers or businesses, when things are going well. Comfort breeds complacency and complacency is the death knell of self-discipline, and once self-discipline is buried, a meaningful, purpose-driven life is buried with it.
“With self-discipline most anything is possible,” said U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt (1858-1919). And just the same, he might have added that without self-discipline most anything isn’t possible.
It’s time to take meaningful action; it’s time to make self-discipline the cornerstone of our lives…
For more, check out The C.A.T. Principle: Change, Action, Trust – Words to Live By, a Global Ebook Awards GOLD Winner for Best Self-Help Non-Fiction Ebook of 2014, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. See the latest Amazon reviews here. Now revised and expanded, and a Nominee for the Best Self-Help Non-Fiction Ebook of the 2015 Global Ebook Awards.
Sign up above and receive this blog once every two weeks to your inbox. Comments and thoughts welcome.
2015 Global Ebook Awards Nominee for Best Non-Fiction Self-Help Ebook