“If you don’t discipline yourself the world will do it for you”. - William Feather
Have you ever felt that the world may be against you, especially when you’re trying to accomplish something great? Well, it is. As amazing as this world is and the blessing it is to experience it everyday, it will throw many challenges our way-holding us back from reaching our full potential.
Our best strategy in overcoming these challenges is to be familiar with the different forms they may come in. Knowing what to prepare for will not only give us the edge we need to not succumb to these common trappings, but will also help us to learn and grow when and if we do. Almost all of these traps will fall into one of these three categories.
1) Distractions. This is one is pretty obvious. Anything that doesn’t directly or indirectly support our mission is a distraction. Television, video games, Netflix, YouTube and social media. Sure, we can say that some of these may help us achieve what we’re trying to accomplish but we must ask ourselves: Is this the best use of my time right now? Am I postponing what I need to be doing for this instant gratification? Will this help me become the drummer I desire to be?
2) Disappointments: Sometimes life will throw a big ol’ stop sign right in front of us. This is life. We don’t always have a choice as to what happens to us. We do, however, choose how we respond to it. Celebrated pastor, Chuck Swindoll once said “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.”
We too are capable of creating our own stop signs of disappointment when we consistently compare ourselves to others. YouTube and Instagram has create an insecurity epidemic in our society. This is completely unnecessary-especially when we realize that all of us has something completely unique unto ourselves which no one else can offer. This is why we should all strive to be the best versions of ourselves. Kobe Bryant exemplifies this perfectly when he was constantly compared to Michael Jordan. Watch HERE.
3) Debilitating Actions: Toxic thoughts and destructive behaviors can be our worst enemy. Poisoning our minds with selfish, entitled thoughts and destroying our bodies with foreign substances will only lead to further pain and frustration. Sometimes these substances are used to sooth the pain. However, that is temporary-and it will only compound the prolonged problem. To win, we must take ownership our mind, body and spirit.
As you can see, the adversary comes in many ways. Some are obvious, however, others are a bit more subtle-like the grossly large SNOOZE button as the default mode of our iPhone alarm!
Thankfully, the antidote is simple-but, not easy. Developing self-discipline is hard. Being disciplined in all areas of your life will give you the ability to face these “deadly D’s” and overcome them. Sure, we will fall-that’s life. More importantly, it is the lessons we learn from them that will strengthen us for the next battle.
My challenge to you is to identify one area of weakness in your life (gaming, mindlessly surfing YouTube, eating junk food etc.) and abstain for one week. Experience the feeling of choosing your life rather than the world choosing it for you. If you succeed for one week, why not make it two and so on? At this point you’ve already proven to yourself you are capable of controlling your life.
You can do this. You may say “but I don’t have discipline”. You do. You just haven’t chosen to be disciplined…yet. Choose and become the best version of you possible.
Stay Focused and Practice with Purpose