“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
Some translations, and probably the most common version of that verse ends with “a sound mind” instead of self-discipline. In my case, I prefer self-discipline. It is easy to become discouraged. It is easy to give up and relax and not fully commit to all that needs to be done. But hard work is all about discipline. It is about discipling yourself to stay on track, to have grit, to persevere.
Take my school work for example. If I was disciplined, I’d have that Philosophy course done by now – it’s not like I’m busy doing much else – but I haven’t even finished the first unit yet. I ran into a small roadblock and set it aside.
Too often I run into small problems and just quit. I don’t persevere. The sad thing is, I have leaked my lack of self-discipline into my girls. At times I see the smallest roadblock stopping them and their external dialogue begins to sound a lot like my internal dialogue.
It becomes a struggle to lead them through their hard times, because it is difficult to do without being hypocritical.
In a recent episode of Michael Hyatt’s podcast, he discusses the one essential quality you must have to meet your goals. This quality, he claims, is perseverance. He shares 5 proven techniques to meet your goals and the first is to “find your why.” I’ve wondered about what my why is in the past. Your “why” is your intrinsic motivation, the internal reason. On the other hand, we all have extrinsic motivators. I am very good at dealing with extrinsic motivators, at pleasing people, at getting my job done as expected. It is the internal driver that has always been off.
In the case of school, my extrinsic motivator when I started back to school was that it was a requirement for work and my annual bonus and future was tied to completing it. I wasn’t doing it for me, I was doing it because my boss expected me too and it was a condition of my employment. Well I left that job over 10 years ago and guess what, I’m still not done.
Back to my girls – these three lives that I’ve been blessed to be a father to, they are my why. Why do I have to have more self-discipline – so that I do not fall into the trap I did. Why is it a bad idea when discussing types of jobs and saying, “I’m not smart enough to do that?” Because they hear that and then feel it is an acceptable reason.
So as I consider my “why” I want you to consider yours as well.
I recently took the LifeScore Assessment and surprisingly, I scored a 77, or in the Success zone. I really didn’t look at my life as a success, considering a couple of my key areas were scored fairly low.
If you want to see how you’re doing, I encourage you to take 10 minutes and take the Assessment. Find your LifeScore, and discover the areas in your life where you are having the greatest amount of success. It may surprise you.
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