I need Discipline

My husband Tom is annoyingly disciplined. He wakes up at 4.45am to run ten kilometres. He was a Springbok gymnast until the age of 25, representing South Africa in this gruelling sport. He exercises almost every day, reads extensively, has a colour-coded diary that syncs with every device in the world, and he has goals from “100 Things to do before I die” to “Goals for 2012” (of which he has accomplished 6 of the 12 to date). He blogs about productivity, for crying out loud.

I, on the other hand, have somewhat prided myself in “balancing” Tom with my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-free-spirit-never-finish-what-I-start approach to life. Case in point: this is the third blog I’ve started. None of the others still exist.
I’m creative with solutions and ideas, and I’ve got an imagination that helps me think outside the box. I can look ahead, anticipate problems and envision a really exciting outcome. As I like to say, I’m not a manager, I’m a leader. Sounds good, hey?

Well, according to Jim Collins, great organisations (and great leaders) have these three qualities:

1. Empirical Creativity – check.

2. Productive Paranoia – check.

3. Fanatical Discipline – ummm, NOT check?

Enter the conscience pinprick at a staff meeting where we were discussing all this. Annoying. This was on a Tuesday morning, following a Sunday sermon where one of our pastors, Wayne, preached about growth, and how you need discipline for change to cause growth. SO annoying. One can ignore two whispers to the soul but when the next meeting you walk into is unpacking Patrick Lencioni’s talk from the Global Leadership Summit, and specifically his point about four disciplines needed, then it’s REALLY annoying.

And unignorable. That’s not a word, but that’s what it was.

I need Discipline.

It’s not a new concept to me, nor a new conviction. But this whisper was so strong, so repetitive, that I knew it was time to take Discipline seriously. But how? What would I do differently this time? I’ve tried – God and all of those darling people close to me know I’ve tried. But I’ve never managed to get it right. As I like I tell the students I counsel, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve got. Clearly, what I’m doing isn’t working.

My dad, who is an excellent leader and thinker, was playing around with this idea that everyone has a discipline trigger. Something that both motivates and sustains discipline, perseverance and sacrifice.


I need Discipline.

But I also need to find my discipline trigger.
And so begins (another) blogging journey.

“If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve got.”
Do you like what you’ve got? 


7 thoughts on “I need Discipline

  1. When you find the trigger that sets you off and keeps you firing, share! I have spurts of inspiration where I find discipline for short periods of time (usually only for deadlines…) but the difficulty is to find something that that continually motivates. The Spiritual disciplines are the hardest because the goals are much less tangible and the goal of “becoming more like God” can feel too overwhelming to even start!

  2. Last night a read some of your sermon notes, I find your way of thinking and articulating yourself inspiring. Thank you.

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