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No one has become successful and maintained it without discipline. Talent, opportunity, passion, ambition, hard work and perseverance all have their contribution to make to success. But without discipline it is highly likely that a genius too will end up as a failure.
So what is discipline? “Discipline is one’s ability to adjust oneself to the given situation.” That was the thought the Principal at my school had driven home into our hearts at each school assembly. That means we are not to blame circumstances but instead rise above them by making necessary changes in our attitudes and actions.
Discipline primarily begins with a desire to make best use of resources God has gifted to us. It starts with the understanding that time that we have at our disposal is short; and we cannot waste it. So to make best use of time, we should plan well. As far as students are concerned, this demands creating time tables and sticking to them.
The next step in discipline is to make priorities. As far as students are concerned, their first priority is not studies. You might be shocked and surprised by that statement, I am sure! But then what is your highest priority. It is to obey your parents and teachers!
Now why do I say this? This is because disobedience and disrespect are so fashionable with today’s young generation. But let me tell you; a disobedient child is an undisciplined child. And even if such a child becomes successful the traits of disobedience he or she carries in the mind will someday prove to be his or her downfall.
Let me add one more important thought to this. Many of you aspire to be leaders; don’t you? It is a good thing provided your attitude is to serve others in your leadership role—to be a true minister unto men. The Bible portrays this as servant leadership which Jesus showed when he took off his outer clothing, wrapped a towel around his waist, took water in a basin, washed the feet of his disciples and dried them with the towel the night he was betrayed.
Now if you want to be a leader, obedience is the key. Make a note of the saying, “He who cannot obey cannot command.” Just imagine what chaos will result if there is disobedience in the armed forces? Therefore obedience is the key as far as discipline is concerned.
After desire, and priorities and obedience, the next step as far discipline is concerned is to strengthen your resolve and commitment. Just making decisions are not good enough to lead a disciplined life. You have to increase your efforts to stick to commitments. Otherwise you will become bored and lazy with routines.
The key is to create good and healthy habits. Once those are formed; it is difficult to break them. Just imagine, the simple act of brushing your teeth every morning. This discipline became part of your life because your parents helped you to form that habit early in life; isn’t it?
Let me conclude with one last thought about a disciplined life. It is a very important thought as well. If you wish to maintain a disciplined and successful life, you have to avoid distractions. As far as youngsters are concerned, let me point out one way in which you are distracted is time you spent with your gadgets. If you do not learn to discipline yourself and limit time you spent on them; you will regret that later in life. For the quality and vigour of time in youth will never return. Therefore, invest the best of your time in life in the best things of life.
So my dear friends learn to adjust yourself to the given situations in life. Discipline yourself and leave behind an inspiring legacy of success!