Being genuinely disciplined requires that you develop the ability to take action. You don’t need to be too hasty, but you also don’t want to lose much time. The time to act is when the idea strikes us—when it is hot and the emotion is strong, before the feeling passes and the idea dims. If you don’t, you’ll fall prey to the law of diminishing intent. A month from now, the passion will be cold—a year from now, it won’t be found.
So take action. Set up discipline when the excitement is high and your idea is clear and powerful. You’ve got to take action—otherwise the wisdom is wasted. The enthusiasm will soon pass, unless you apply it to a disciplined activity. Discipline enables you to capture the emotion and wisdom and translate them into action. The key is to increase your motivation.
The greatest value of discipline is self-worth, also known as self-esteem. Many people who are teaching self-esteem these days don’t connect it to discipline. But once we sense the lack of discipline within ourselves, it starts to erode our psyche. One of the greatest temptations is to just ease up a little bit. Instead of doing your best, you allow yourself to do just a little less than your best. Sure enough, you’ve started in the slightest way to decrease your sense of self-worth.
There is a problem with even a little bit of neglect—neglect starts as an infection. If you don’t take care of it, it becomes a disease—and one neglect leads to another. Once this has happened, how can you regain your self-respect? All you have to do is act now. Start with the smallest discipline that corresponds to your own philosophy. Make the commitment: I will discipline myself to achieve my goals so that in the years ahead I can celebrate my successes.
Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn