“It’s easier to activate yourself into good thinking than it is to think yourself into good action.”
— Bill Gove —
In some areas of my life discipline comes easy. For example, brushing my teeth every morning after the bowl of reasonably healthy cereal and 2% milk. Daily talks with the Lord throughout the day. Daily reading the Word. Telling my wife every day that I love her. Well, you get the picture. We all have things that we do every day that we believe are good for us. And, we probably have things that we are sure not to do each day that we feel would not be good for us. Anyway, those things we do each day, do they really represent discipline? Or, have we been doing them long enough that they are now habits?
Let’s be real, these things that we do easily because we’ve been doing them a while, they are habits. They are good things but they are habits. So let’s be careful that we don’t throw out a shoulder patting ourselves on the back for doing them.
Shifting gears, so, quite often I determine in my thinking that I am going to get back to a regular exercise. Then, when I do finally get on the elliptical or treadmill, I am quickly reminded why I hadn’t started doing that yet. The truth is, I am having a hard time converting desire into action. I know I need to. I know it’s good for me. And I really want to do it. The simple reality is that I have not been “disciplined” enough to push through the pain and suffering to the point that it becomes a habit again. They say that if you do something for 21 days it becomes a habit. Well, even if it took a little longer, it’s worth it.
Let’s face it, if it’s easy, it doesn’t take discipline. But if it’s tough and it does take discipline, it’s bound to be worth the effort.
Now, the same thoughts can be applied to anything in life that should be done but is tough to do. It will take discipline to start and keep it going long enough to become a habit. But that’s what it takes to keep moving forward; to keep learning and growing; to become a champion. If all you do are the things that are already habits, you are just maintaining at best. So what could you be doing different to learn and grow in areas that will benefit you and the people you lead? What could you start doing that would be difficult at first, but with some discipline, could be a habit that would make you a more effective leader?