Discipline. We humans need it, believe in it, and faithfully incorporate it into our everyday lives. Whether it’s through work, religion, spirituality, diet or exercise, we practice discipline in one form or another.

It’s discipline, this stubborn and audacious force, that brings out the best in us. Discipline is what makes an athlete get up in the wee hours each morning to do her daily exercise; it’s what wakes a teacher who has worked in the same school for over three decades, never miss a day of work; it’s what makes an aspiring actor wait tables all night so he can pay for his acting classes; it’s what makes a devoted Christian never miss the church on Sundays and it’s what makes a dieter ban all her favorite ‘junk’ foods, even though they give her physical and emotional comfort.

Some say that it’s love, not discipline, that brings the best out of us. That may be true, sometimes. But love could be whimsical and moody. And love, even true love, often needs discipline to last. In other words, love, as beautiful and bold as it is, cannot be as dependent as discipline.

If we analyze our lives honestly and fairly, we realize that success and happiness are linked to discipline more than anything else. More than good decision making, good planning and luck. And what is great about discipline is that it does not require any especial talent or wisdom. Nor is it dependent on chance. The only requirement to have this virtue is....well....to be disciplined.

So I stand for discipline because it makes us do the things we have to do, but not necessarily want to do. Because it makes us demolish bad habits and stick to good ones. Because it proves to us we really don’t have limits. But most of all, I stand for discipline because it may not always feel magnificent, but it makes us magnificent.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to My Story: Standing Up .

Comment on this Post


Ah, discipline, I can totally relate to what you are saying. This is a great essay, you write well. I would love to read a story about a time your discipline enabled you to stand up to someone or something. I am sure you have had that kind of experience!

aloha, Beverly