Begin With The End In Mind.  Be disciplined.  

My continuing series of how I am getting through COVID-19.  I had a friend encourage me, “head on out Paul and tell us how it goes.”  And I thought to myself, that is a great idea:  Go out and tell folks how it goes.  

And, then I thought, “Paul, when you head on out, your friend is correct.  You put yourself in jeopardy of getting COVID-19 and possibly … die.”  So, what I did was go to my Stephen Covey “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”  He has a great habit:  HABIT TWO – Begin With The End In Mind.  

So, my philosophy of life is:  respect, responsibility, discipline and faith.  

We are going to focus on:  Discipline.  So, if I was going to die because – IN PART – I chose to – “head on out Paul, and tell us how it goes” let’s leave something for people to hold on to.  

Here is my current mind-set.  I think knowing my mind-set while I write about “discipline” is important!  It is 1:46pm.  Pentecost Sunday.  I am watching coverage of the RIOTS.  Not protests… going in the SunRay Drugs store in Philadelphia and robbing it is NOT a protest.  It is illegal.  This (going into SunRay Drugs store) has turned into something that is not a protest of the “alleged” murder of George Floyd by a police officer.  Yes.  There are protests and that is a “right.”  Going into stores and ROBBING them – illegal.  Starting fires is arson – illegal.   So, there is a growing lack of discipline as I write about the need for discipline.  

What is discipline?  It is important to understand what discipline is.  Go to the basic definition:  the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.  Wow!  No wonder few people want to have discipline / be disciplined.  The basic definition is so negative!  

Let’s “soften” the definition”  

Discipline comes from the word “disciple.” And a disciple is a follower or student of a teacher, leader, or philosopher.  

I like that better.  I like the idea that I am going to be a disciple and by accepting that role of a disciple, I need to be disciplined.  

Here are quotes about discipline:  

  • “Discipline is freedom.”  – Jocko Willink 
    “The more disciplined you become, the easier life gets.” – Unknown 
  • “Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most.”  Abraham Lincoln
  • “Suffer the pain of discipline, or suffer the pain of regret.” – Unknown 
  • “Great leaders always have self-discipline without exception.” – John C. Maxwell 
  • “Discipline without freedom is tyranny. Freedom without discipline is chaos.” – Unknown
  • “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”  – Jim Rohn 

When I read these quotes, for us to achieve greatness / goals, we need discipline.  WE NEED DISCIPLINE!

It takes discipline to have respect.  To show respect.  Doesn’t it.  Being disrespectful seems to be lazy or easy.  

It takes discipline to be responsible.  If I want folks to trust me, then I must be responsible for every choice I make.  I heard something today about, I am responsible for the people I lead and my people are responsible for the work they produce.  I like that.  Again, it is lazy or easy to be irresponsible.  

And then, to have faith or integrity (my faith is my core; for those who are atheists, I would like to suggest “integrity” be your core) IS discipline.  Like we need oxygen / water / food to physically live day-to-day, we need integrity.  We want to be “true” to ourselves.   We want our words and actions to match.  I know when I have lied, I never felt good.  Because, our words and action did not match.  When I break a commitment to myself and to others, I do not feel good.  

I struggle with discipline.  I SIN!!  I am fat.  My smoking a cigar once a month may have increased my chance of being asthmatic.  I have to work extra hard to stay focused to finish projects / books! 

One thing about COVID-19 LOCKDOWN,  to defend myself from COVID-19, is that I have really made a strong move to be more disciplined.  

No more smoking cigars.  Eating healthier food and when I want something “special,” smaller portions of that “special.”  I want folks to see a healthier me.  Schedule to finish books.  Bible study every day!!  EVERY DAY!!  Stick to a damn schedule.  Attract people who I want to be.  

Bottom line… 
What would my life / your life look like without discipline?  Great question.  At your funeral, what would be said about you if you did not have discipline?  

I will tell you this… think about all the good that being disciplined leads to. 

In my case, discipline has given me (so far; as of May 31, 2020):  strong marriage with many more happier days than not; successful career; kick ass father / grandfather / father-in-law; strong teacher; loyal friend, and on and on and on!!

Now, from time-to-time, I will fall short.  But, when I do… it will be because of me and my lack of … say it with me … DISCIPLINE.