With discipline, you are in control. Without discipline, things control you.
Discipline is training yourself to make intentional choices and do skillful things that produce the results you want. More discipline means more control of your choices and actions, not less. Contrary to popular opinion, without discipline you become more rigid and less in control, which is a bad combo.
Without discipline, the world controls your actions through obedience and compliance. An undisciplined person can’t think for themselves, has to follow the crowd, and never strays from the average.
With discipline, you are in control of your choices and actions, regardless of the obedience and compliance pushed on you from the outside. A disciplined person chooses to follow rules and do what they’re told, when it is the right thing to do and leads to the result they want. Challenging outdated rules and rejecting unfit orders is a form of more discipline, not less.
Without discipline, temporary emotions control your actions through impulse and autopilot. An undisciplined person can’t see beyond the feeling in the moment, has to obey every emotion, and never strays from what is comfortable.
With discipline, emotions are only one form of input among many. A disciplined person understands emotions can lie as easily as they can tell the truth, which makes emotions unreliable. Acknowledging a feeling, but not obeying it, is a form of more discipline, not less.
Disciplined actions based on clarity and confidence are superior to default actions based on comfort and compliance. I’m like you and I can’t control anything but myself. I just want you to have the discipline you need to get the things you want.
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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.