This morning it was all I could do to stay in that chair to type those entries on my paper. Suddenly, doing the laundry looked more appealing, oh, and sucking the lint off the coils in back of my fridge--a must-do, right?
Discipline has never been a strength of mine. How about you? No, anytime I've been disciplined, it had a little sweat on it. I guess that's what discipline is, something you work at until it becomes a part of you.
Someone I know who seems to have been disciplined all her life talked about what got her there. She said, "You just do it. Don't think about it, or you'll talk yourself out of it. Just get moving. Just do it."
I've been in "just do it mode" before. My legs would swing over the side of the bed, ignoring the pleas to sleep just five more minutes. Sometimes I remind myself what shape I'm in and it motivates me to go walking. I am not in that mode with exercise right now. I want to get back to that place in that part of my life. What about you? Where do you want to build a habit? Your prayer life? Exercise? Making time for relationships instead of always putting them off?
What part do you believe God plays in forming a habit? Do you think He leaves that part of our lives up to us?
I think we can always ask Him to help us have the mindset we need to get disciplined. We can get so bogged in the trying that we forget the why. There has to be a why or it's just tedious and boring! Am I right?
Ok, so think now of your area that's in need of discipline. Got it? Now answer the why question. In other words, what is the point? What benefits will you get if you discipline yourself?
Here is the clincher: how badly do you want the result? This colors every aspect of it. What you are aiming to accomplish has to mean more to you than all you have to go through to get it.
I have a quote on my wall that says it in a nutshell. Muhammad Ali said, " I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'"
Could it be we need to go ahead and admit that some things just aren't worth what it takes to get them? No shame, just getting honest with ourselves. A muffin top is not so bad if it means giving up sweating and grunting and "all like-o'-that" as my mom-in-law says.
Some things don't mean what they should to us. For those, we call on God to change our perspective. Do you believe He will? It beats all the squirming in guilt, I think.
One last thing on this topic. I think the biggest enemy of discipline is perfectionism. We set out with the goal of licking a problem definitively and for all time, amen.
We defeat ourselves from the get-go. Oh, we say nobody is perfect, but in our minds we aim for it anyway. Then, we get discouraged because the exquisite portrait we painted in our heads is poorly reflected in the lopsided- stick-man, colored-outside-the lines that is our reality. God has been saying to me for quite sometime, "Don't look at Me. That portrait in your head is one of YOUR making. I called you to something better than perfection. I called you to walk in step with Me--even with your stumbling and missteps. I said to take up my yoke and LEARN of Me. I don't need your perfection and you don't either. "
Chew on that, my friends, and share with me your thoughts.