This post is Part 3 in a 3-part blog series on discipline. (If you missed the first post, you can find it here.)
I was listening to a speaker the other day talk about discipline, and one of the most interesting points he made was this: You have discipline in your life… you just need to apply it where you need it.
We all have a certain amount of discipline, commitment, and focus that we apply to various areas of our lives. However, we may not be applying our discipline in the areas where we need it most. He shared the story of a child, who could sit still for hours trying to figure out how to win at a video game. That actually takes a great deal of discipline. The trick, however, was getting the child to apply those skills to other areas of his life, such as completing his homework.
I connected with this idea in my own life. I remember when I was growing up; I was very disciplined in some areas. For example, I was disciplined in my schoolwork, and made it a priority to complete my homework before going outside to play. I could focus for long periods of time on a computer game, or a book I was reading. I had the ability to apply discipline, commitment, and focus in certain areas of my life.
One area in which I wasn’t very disciplined was my health. I had a tendency to overeat. I didn’t make healthy food choices, and I ate a lot of junk food. Also, I wasn’t very committed to exercise—it was difficult, and I was overweight, so it wasn’t very enjoyable.
So I had a disconnect. I was disciplined in certain areas of my life, but not in others. Maybe you can relate? What things in your life are you disciplined about? It could be something silly—maybe you absolutely make it a priority to watch the Bachelor each week on television. Or it could be something more meaningful—perhaps you have a strong commitment to have a sit-down dinner with your kids on Wednesday nights, or read the Bible for 15 minutes each morning. Spend some time thinking, reflecting, and journaling about how you apply discipline in this area of your life. What steps do you take to make this a priority in your life?
Next, think about an area of your life in which you aren’t very disciplined. Maybe it’s your health, relationships, work, or spiritual life. What practical steps could you make to apply the discipline you already have to this new area of life where you really need it? Spend some time thinking, reflecting, and journaling about this question.
Discussion: In what areas of your life are you already applying discipline, commitment, and focus? How could you transfer these skills to an area of your life where you are struggling with your discipline?