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Discipline - The Controversial Topic

I’ve talked about this before, and it always splits opinions. For some, the word discipline feels harsh whereas for others it feels to the point. What’s your view and I’ll be interested to know if reading this changes your opinion? I’m in the latter camp. I like the word discipline. In our office, however, I’m heavily outnumbered by those for whom the word does not resonate. But I don’t believe that many people have truly considered the different definitions of the word and the different contexts in which is can be used.

Discipline when used as a verb; “To punish or penalize for the sake of enforcing obedience and perfecting moral character”. This clearly feels like a negative use. But when you change the context and use it as a noun; “The ability to maintain an orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behaviour” the word softens significantly. When I talk about being disciplined or having discipline, I’m talking about having the self-drive to stick to the actions required to achieve set goals, especially at challenging times when there are temptations to deviate. And in my view, every challenging goal whether that be; fitness, business, relationships or other, will require a level of discipline when things get tough. Does it take discipline to get out of bed at 5:30am to go to the gym before the kids wake up? Yeah, of course it does! Does it take discipline to leave that Ice cream in the freezer, even though you can hear it calling? Err… yeah! Does it take discipline to miss a social event because you’ve got an important work deadline? Absolutely. Many times, you can rely on routine and good habits, but to form those will likely have required some, you guessed it, discipline. This is particularly important right now, as the New Year’s excitement (doesn’t that feel like a lifetime away!) starts to wear off. So now I’ve covered that, I have a free pass to tell people that they MUST be disciplined!


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