I love this story from Anthony D’Mello as told in his book ‘Awareness‘:

Last year on Spanish television I heard a story about this gentleman who knocks on his son’s door.

“Jaime”, he says, “wake up”!

Jaime answers, “I don’t want to get up. Papa”.

The father shouts, “Get up, you have to go to school”.

Jaime says, “I don’t want to go to school”.

“Why not”? asks the father.

“Three reasons”, says Jaime. “First, because it’s so dull; second, the kids tease me; and third, I hate school”. And the father says, “Well, I am going to give you three reasons why you must go to school. First, because it is your duty; second, because you are forty-five years old, and third, because you are the headmaster”.

Some days I feel like Jaime. I don’t want to do difficult things. And with certain things (like exercising), I don’t want to do them any day!

Self leadership calls for discipline. But what if we didn’t see discipline as something difficult?

Jim Rohn says: “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.”

In yesterday’s post on courage, I discussed regrets. We certainly don’t want to have them, do we?

I’ve realized through my ongoing struggle to be fit and to write regularly, that I do two things wrong:

1. I overstretch. I say, for example, ‘I will walk every day’ rather than saying, ‘I’ll walk today’.

2. I don’t applaud myself enough for what I achieve. If I manage to walk one day, rather than be happy about it, I start pressuring myself by saying, ‘Now you must do this every day’.

I’ve realized that guilt is not a way to discipline. Neither is fear. We have to see the value of what we’re doing to stay disciplined.

And plenty of self respect. I’m not sure how I feel about Clint Eastwood (okay, I’m baised because of ‘the chair’ incident!), but he said something remarkable.

“Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self respect leads to self discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power” – Clint Eastwood

Action steps:

  • Choose something that you need to be disciplined about. It could be…something you react to, something you say, something you do or don’t, or something you eat or drink.
  • Just do that/ don’t do that today.
  • Just one day.
  • Then tomorrow. Don’t think about forever.
  • One day at a time. Slowly does it.
  • Keep recording your ‘victory’. Don’t record your ‘failure’.

Soon you might have enough of days together to have a pattern. To form a new habit. A lifelong one.


True discipline is really just self-remembering…

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Today, choose  finding value over guilt. Self respect over self harm. Today, choose discipline over regret.

Today I’m on ‘D’ of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. My theme is the A to Z of Self Leadership. I’m also undertaking the NaBloPoMo for April – the theme is ‘grow’ and the Ultimate Blog Challenge