November 25

The word discipline is polarizing. To some, it implies the grind. It means sweat, grit, blood, and sacrifice. To others, it sounds like obligation. It’s something I ought to do, but probably don’t want to. It’s guilt-inducing.

I’d like to simplify the word for all of us. Discipline simply means to make an agreement with yourself, then keep it.

If you agree that you’re going to run for two minutes, and you do it, you are disciplined. You did what you said you would. You don’t have to run a 5k, you just do what you say.

If you say you’re going to write fifty words a day, or two hundred, or a thousand, and you do it, you are disciplined.

We get into problems when we make promises that we can’t or don’t intend to keep. We say “I’m going to write 2,500 words on Tuesday”, then something comes up and we only write a few hundred and we feel terrible and undisciplined. The reality is that we set unrealistic expectations.

To be disciplined, set realistic expectations of yourself, then do it. Always do what you say.

Discipline simply means to make an agreement with yourself, then keep it. Don’t make agreements you don’t intend to do everything you can to keep.

Question: What agreements do you have with yourself right now? What does discipline look like in your life?

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