Desire and Discipline

"In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity."

~Albert Einstein


"The will to win...the will to achieve...goes dry without continuous reinforcement."

~Vince Lombardi


I have been reflecting a little on what stops me from being as successful at sport today as I (like to think I was) 30 years ago. It all comes down to desire and self-dsicipline. Sure life priorities and old age come into it. Priorities is just an excuse though. I could hit the hay earlier, get up earlier and do the ten k thing again - if it was my priority, it I could re-summon the self-discipline. Old age is just an excuse too. Sure the reflexes are a little slower, but that's where experience and an old head can compensate - anticipation compensating for reaction speed.


Brian Tracy is one of America's leading authors on the development of human potential. He said this..."If I had to pick the #1 key to success, it would be...self-discipline. It is the difference in winning or losing; between greatness and mediocrity.


Self-discipline is the key to personal greatness. It is the magic quality that opens all doors for you, and makes everything else possible. With self-discipline, the average person can rise as far and as fast as his talents and intelligence can take him. But without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.


My question is how much are we encouraging our children and supporting our children to be self-disciplined? It's so easy to do things for them, to make excuses for them, to offer them the 'easy option'. I'm not advocating child cruelty, boot-camps, or bully tactics to live vicariously through my child's success at something I'd wished I could do, or could do better.


No, I mean expecting kids to make a bit of an effort, a genuine commitment to seeing things through. How many kids give up stuff without even giving it a good go?


The most important success principle of all was stated by Thomas Huxley many years ago. He said, "Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not."


That's self-discipline. That's what I need to work on, that's what I am going to encourage in my son as supportively but persistently as I think is right.


"No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined."

~Harry E. Fosdick



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