At times we all use discipline to produce some specific outcome. You wake up early to study, workout, or meditate. You remove distractions to focus on a critical task in order to meet a deadline. You resist an impulsive reaction in favor of an intentional one.
The pursuit of a disciplined lifestyle is different though. It's not a means to an end. It’s not something you do to get something you want. It’s not dependent on the outcome at hand.
In the pursuit of a disciplined lifestyle, every act of discipline is its own reward regardless of the external results. The value is in the intention, the decision, and the action.
The main purpose is not to get the best things, but to be the best person. The aim is not to use discipline, but to live disciplined. This is what is described in other contexts as the way or the path.
As life often reveals and painfully reminds us, in its divinely mysterious ways, when the aim of our pursuit is not on what we gain but on who we are and how we live, the eventual reward is greater than anything we would have aimed at ourselves.
This is the pursuit of a disciplined lifestyle. This is the way.
Everything is training for something. Do the work.
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Brian Kight is a multi-industry leader on the topics of leadership, culture, and behavior. He provides simple systems that produce exceptional results for organizations, teams, and people.