The Only Discipline That Matters

Freedom is born of self-discipline. The undisciplined man is a slave to his own weaknesses.

–Alan Valentine

Internal discipline

As we mature, we realize the importance of self-imposed discipline or internal discipline. For example, eating well and exercising usually maintains our health. Building a successful career demands discipline of our time. Financial success requires the discipline to save and invest regularly. In our culture, certain holidays and rituals inspire us to become more disciplined. Birthdays, our annual reminder of the passing of time, can be an opportunity to acknowledge what we have accomplished, as well as what we have not. Without a doubt, the most popular time of the year for assessing our lives and vowing change is January 1st. The beginning of a new year gives us a fresh slate for new resolutions, and millions of people participate in this annual ritual. But well over 90% of us give up on our sincere and heartfelt visions within months. This confirms the need for commitment, follow-through and good old  fashioned self-discipline.

Continuous action

Start investing the time and energy needed to design the life you desire in great detail. Then take continuous action on that design, never stopping until you reach your goals. If you are thinking that this seems really hard, you are right. However, everything in life is hard. Being poor, sick or uneducated is difficult as well. You have a choice: Take control of your life, making it satisfying and rewarding, or allow circumstances and outside forces to determine your future, and ultimately, your life.


Sensei Matt Thurman, Shudokan Black Belt Academy – Aikido Nottingham

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