When someone says the word ‘discipline’ there are a myriad of thoughts that can come to mind. Some may think about children and consequences and punishments, others may get a knot in their stomach about military boot camp, and still others (of the golden age of 80’s movies go) may think of the line from the Karate Kid…”strike first, strike hard, no mercy sir.” I tend to think of discipline as a means to remove what I don’t want in my life. It is a reminder that, above everything else, there is a rhyme and a reason to life. Discipline is a mindset that keeps one’s focus sharp, and their actions consistent. Getting there, takes some skill.   

The Skill of Resource

When it comes to resource and discipline, looking straight at the example of working out will show us how this works. To achieve certain physical body results we have to be consistent, with nutrition, exercise, and mindset. Discipline is the action of that consistency. Utilizing a resource, say a personal trainer or a tracking app on the phone will help with that discipline. Having someone or something tracking your progress, holding you accountable to reach certain goals is priceless.

Perhaps we should back up just a moment and look at a few definitions of discipline to get the full picture. One of the original definitions of discipline is that of punishment and suffering. Over the years it has been defined as referring to a field of study or training such as to obey rules or codes, Still there remains an element of punishment assigned to those definitions. Looking at the exercise analogy, the ‘punishment’ would be pain that comes with exercising. So then, there must be a way out of discipline as a punishment, especially if we are looking at it as a skill.

The Skill of Communication

When talking to someone about discipline setting ground rules would be a great help. Discipline in communication often looks like boundaries that help move along the relationship (we’ll get to that in a bit). The boundaries that communication uses help create a path to walk down with another person. Being able to communicate what a goal is and what action steps are required to achieve that goal, the discipline to complete it has been spoken. Now that it has been spoken into the world, others can connect to it.

The Skill of Connection

Whatever discipline you are actively taking part of in your life, others will connect to it. In the gym setting, the discipline of working out connects you to others with similar goals. If the discipline you are referring to is one of punishment, like a teenager getting grounded, other teenagers can relate to that. Discipline is one of those skills that someone else in the world (your world) can connect to.

The Skill of Relationships

Others that connect with you can become partners with you. This ultimately creates a relationship. Having a likeminded partner for an endeavor will also help create the discipline of action. When others are on board with what you are trying to accomplish, achieving those goals become easier.

Discipline comes down to taking action on something. Whether studying a subject, making more health-conscious decisions, or walking through growing a business, the skill of discipline will take you far. The more discipline you have, the quicker you will reach your goals.