One of the positive traits the military is known for distilling in those that serve is discipline. In fact, this is an extremely important trait, not just for those who serve in the military, but for life. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf once commented, "The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it." Discipline, or rather, being disciplined, is the trait that enables you to do the right thing. I think this is what James A. Ray was referring to when he said, "The only competition you will ever have is the competition between your disciplined and undisciplined mind."
Discipline does not only assist you with doing the right thing, it is the trait that gets you up in the morning and keeps you working late to make things happen. We all know the story of Stephen King and how he worked long and hard before becoming the huge success he is today. It was discipline that kept him writing, even when he was struggling. That's why King says, "Talent is cheaper that table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." To succeed, we must be disciplined to work hard. We must keep going when tired. I don't think I can say it better than Dag Hammarskjold, "When the morning's Freshness has been replaced by the weariness of midday, when the leg muscles give under the strain, the climb seems endless, and suddenly nothing will go quite as you wish-it is then that you must not hesitate."
Commit to being disciplined right now. Not later today, right now! Do not wait. Now is the only time there is. We must invest the moment, for that is all we really have, in doing what is important. Once the moment is past, we will never get it back. So right now, determine to be disciplined in all you do. Insist on taking action. Do it now!
Once committed to being disciplined, do it. Sounds simple, and it is on paper. But when you are tired, something looks good on television, a bowl of ice creams sounds better than going to the gym, and so on, being disciplined can fly out the window. Do this once in a while and you can live with the guilty feeling, do this often and your life will pass you by and your dreams and goals will go unfulfilled.
During Basic Training we had drill sergeants who forced us to get up early, make our beds, shine our boots, perform PT every day, and so on. I'm challenging you to be your own drill sergeant. Make yourself do those things you know need doing to reach your goals and live your dreams. If you just can't do it yourself, hire a coach or enlist a friend to keep you on track. Someone to be accountable to can be motivating, and a great way to help your discipline, so find someone if being accountable to yourself is not getting the job done. A mastermind group that you meet with regularly can serve this purpose as well.
The more you do those things you must do to create the life you desire, the better habits you will form. Discipline breeds discipline. It becomes easier the more you do it. The first day you get up early to exercise may be tough, but after doing it for six months it will be a part of your routine that you won't want to miss.
Commit to being disciplined right now. Don't wait another moment. It can be one of the most important ingredients to your future success.