D is for ‘Discipline’

8:58:00 pm

Today’s letter for the AtoZ Blogging Challenge is ‘D’ for my theme ‘A to Z of Effectiveness’. You can read more about my theme here.

Discipline is a word that has quite a bit of a negative connotation, thanks to our school teachers! For the longest time, discipline for me meant restriction and oppression; not being able to talk or move as I wished. It was only in adulthood that I realized how essential it was to achieve any goal – big or small!

In ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen Covey likens the successful development of a habit to the gravity pull that astronauts have to break out of to float freely in space. Like he says, that initial effort of overcoming the gravity pull is the difficult part, once you get the hang of it, it becomes effortless.

As anyone who’s tried to begin an exercise or diet regimen knows, overcoming that gravity pull is no mean feat! And what is the operative word that comes into the picture here? You’re right, it’s discipline!

Mr. Covey says that for real effectiveness, one needs to be not just independent, but interdependent; but the first step starts with coming out of dependence. Of the seven habits in the book, the first three help a person on the path from dependence to independence through a series of private victories. I think this is where discipline plays its biggest role - in assuring our private victories. Being disciplined is something that has to be done by oneself, and being able to achieve that is certainly a victory worth celebrating, at least in my book!!

Have you ever struggled with discipline? How big a role does it play in your private victories?

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