Understanding Discipline

Discipline: 1) a system of rules of conduct or method of practice. 2) the trait of being well behaved. 3) training to improve strength or self-control.
WordNet 3.0

Synonyms: self-control, self-restraint, restraint, control, regulation, strictness, mastery, continence.
MSN Encarta

  • Discipline is orderliness — free of chaos.
  • Discipline is clarity — without confusion and disorder.
  • Discipline is willpower — strong determination and limitation of desire.
  • Discipline is preparation — practice and readiness.
  • Discipline is self-control — restraint and strictness.

Benefits of Discipline

  • Discipline provides administration — through controlled management.
  • Discipline provides regularity — arranged and regimented.
  • Discipline provides moderation — proportionate, without excess.
  • Discipline provides structure — order and routine.
  • Discipline provides self-mastery — victory over hindrances and obstacles.

Acts of Discipline in Everyday Life

  • The Bible — All devotion and practice of religion as followed by all religions of the world require devotion and discipline.
  • Sentinels of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier — Few words can describe the site of the guards with their precision and disciplined commitment to service for what their country stands for. The tomb has been guarded for every minute of every day since 1937.
  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi — his philosophy of non-violent civil disobedience and his own life served as examples of discipline, dedication and commitment to a cause for all the world to see.
  • Alcoholic Anonymous — One of the only methods of sustained abstinence based on the submission of one's will to a power greater than themselves in order to gain the faith and hope needed to remain "cured" from addiction.
  • Positive Parenting — Teach and consistently provide consequences for giving into impulses in advance for children. Make it a trial by error, mind over matter lesson.

Methods for Achieving Discipline

  • Always Work with Positive Self-Talk — Fully believe that the outcome will result in success. It takes a solid, firm belief to maintain continued self-control.
  • Keep a Narrow Focus — Work only one item at a time. Keep it simple and devote all your efforts to one area.
  • Develop Patience and Diligence — Positive results of self-discipline and self-control take time to occur. Keep doing the next right thing, even when you may not feel like it.
  • Clearly Identify your Temptations — In order to overcome them, clearly face the things that tend to distract you from your goals. Understand the emotions and irrational beliefs that may occur, triggering giving into the temptations.
  • Understand Where and Why you Already Practice Discipline — Figure out what makes some things easier for you to discipline and control yourself with. Self-knowledge is power.

Golden Mean

Pedantry, Unimaginativeness

Quotes for Discipline

Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.
- George Washington -
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
- Jim Rohn -
Success isn't measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.
- Mike Ditka -
Self-respect is the root of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.
- Abraham J. Heschel -

Recommended Reading

Disciplines of a Godly Man — by R. Kent Hughes

Hughes works with a variety of areas that involve our lives and our way of living them. He deals with human relationships in the areas of purity, marriage, fatherhood and friendship. He devotes an area of the book to character, involving dignity, what we say to each other, our work and our perseverance. And also an area to ministry and man's discipline to God.

Self-Discipline in 10 Days: How to Go from Thinking to Doing — by Theodore Bryant

This book is more like a workbook than a reading book, but it is very well-organized and filled with lots of thought-provoking and insightful exercises that gets you thinking and writing about things that get to the root of the obstacles of self-discipline.

Discipline : Training The Mind To Manage Your Life — by Harris Kern

Mr. Kern puts here, in this book, some of the most wonderful motivational tools to help readers first see the value of living a life filled with accomplishments and achieving goals that we set out with. This book is filled with the kinds of things you will repeat to yourself over and over to keep you going.

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

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. Jim Rohn