I’ve always loved the quote “Commitment is staying true to what you said you would do long after the mood that you said it in has left” by Inky Johnson. I strive to live by this …
I’ve always loved the quote “Commitment is staying true to what you said you would do long after the mood that you said it in has left” by Inky Johnson. I strive to live by this rule each and every day and let me tell you, it is not easy.
It’s easy to follow through on our commitments when everything is going well, but that changes quickly as soon as an obstacle is thrown in our path. I believe it’s our willingness to keep moving forward and generating wins when life is tough, rather than when life is good, that will determine our success.
One of the greatest habits we can develop in order to stay true to our commitments when life is challenging is discipline. There are always going to be things we need to do in order to reach our goals that we either don’t want to do or don’t like doing. Although discipline has been demonized lately, it is the habit that will allow us to keep our commitments and accomplish our goals.
Opponents believe being disciplined means to be ruthless with ourselves, beat ourselves up, give up, and constantly start over. I don’t view discipline in this way, and I don’t think we can be successful without building this skill.
There are a few definitions of discipline I especially like and are as follows from Merriam-Webster: control gained by enforcing obedience or order, an orderly or prescribed pattern of behavior, and to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control.
I particularly like these definitions because I believe setting boundaries and having appropriate punishments when we step out of line in regards to our goals is an important part of being the best version of ourselves, and we must show up every day and practice our self-control skills if we want to improve them.
In practicing discipline, I like to split myself into two people, both working together to achieve my goal. One part is truly me, the person seeking the achievement and who needs to follow the instructions and practice self-control. The other part of me is my coach, the one who is assisting me toward the best path to keep my commitments, even when I don’t feel like it.
I am responsible for coming up with my goal, the required tasks to achieve it, and for showing up to practice willing and able to move forward each day. My coach is responsible for motivating me when I am feeling frustrated, for enforcing the rules and boundaries I’ve set in regards to the tasks I must complete, and for helping me get back on track in the event that I mess up.
Boundaries are crucial when it comes to building discipline because they define what our prescribed pattern of behavior should look like and what exactly we’re showing up to practice each day. They are created when we can see our goal and the path to get there clearly, they help keep us on the right path when it becomes difficult to see and easy to second guess ourselves, and also help us move forward before we have any wins to fuel us.
It’s up to you to show up each day and practice your self-control in relation to your goals. The more we can do this, even with seemingly simple tasks, the more momentum we will generate to help us use our skill and habit of discipline when we need it most. Discipline is the key to keeping our promises to ourselves, long after the mood we made them in has left us.
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