WHAT DISCIPLINE IS
So many years ago, a conversation ensued between Mischa Elman, one of the greatest violinists of the twentieth century, who was walking through the streets of New York City one sunny afternoon when a tourist approached him saying “Excuse me, sir, could you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” Elman exhaled deeply and responded, “Practice, practice, practice.”
Similarly, Gary Player, a very successful international golfers lost count of how many times someone said to him, “I’d give anything if I could hit a golf ball like you.” A particular day came and he replied “No, you wouldn’t. You’d give anything to hit a golf ball like me, if it were easy.” Player then listed the things one would have to do in order to achieve his level of play: “You’ve got to get up at five o’clock in the morning, go out and hit a thousand golf balls, walk up to the club house to put a bandage on your hand where it started bleeding, then go and hit another thousand golf balls. That’s what it takes to hit a golf ball like me.”
My dear, the literal translation of what these successful professionals told people is that DISCIPLINE is the key to success. Be it in the music studio, the football field or the classroom, discipline is vital for maximizing your potential. It is a sine qua non to live a spiritual life according to God’s standard. Also, through appropriate preparation, we develop correct routines without which we won’t travel far in life. These routines are built through discipline.
Discipline can be described as being the conscious physical and mental control over lifestyle. It is used in directing or changing behavior, learning something, or training for something. Discipline is when you can successfully tell yourself what to do and nothing else interferes. It means when you have a goal, you accomplish it without distraction. It means you master your body and never allow circumstances to dictate to you. John Stevenson said it the way I like it, he said:
’many people have the ambition to succeed; they may even have a special aptitude for their job. And yet they do not move ahead. Why? Perhaps they think that since they can master the job, there is no need to master themselves’.
At this point, I like you to take a pause and place your life vis-a-vis this definition, my dear, have you been successful in telling yourself what to do without something else interfering?
As a student when you say you will wake up to read and study at night, do you not stifle the alarm clock when it wakes you up? Can you be said to be disciplined in that regard?
As an employee, do you concentrate on your job without distraction? Oh, how I wish my Nigerian brothers and sisters will grab this meaning of discipline and allow it dictate their dispositions towards personal and national duties.
How many Nigerian politicians remain in control of their lives after winning an election and focus on that which they were elected for?
I remember something about politicians now and I like to share with you. Over the years, when elections are approaching, you get to see politicians going round every nook and cranny of the societies, promising the electorate heaven and earth, but no sooner do they win the elections that they change their phone numbers and residences and renege on all the promises they made earlier. Can that be said to be discipline?
Yet that has been the scenario in the political landscape of Nigeria for years and we complain of underdevelopment. How shall we develop?
It is quite painful to me that when we consider the above definition of discipline against what obtains in the life of many people today and in societies around the world, it is obvious that discipline is missing. There seem to be no self-control in the way people dress, talk, act and behave towards given tasks and assignments. Contractors abandon projects shortly after been mobilized, leaving the masses to the mercy of risks and deaths.
So many Nigerians and citizens of other nations cannot endure hard work and will quickly throw in the towel when they face difficulties (which are bound to come anyway).
This sadly explains why there are so many corporate beggars around, layabouts, school drop outs, failures, abandoned projects and inefficiency in work places. It is because not many people are willing to give whatever it takes to finish a difficult task. In fact, people want things to be delivered to them on the platter of gold when the scriptures said in John 5:17,
‘But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.’ (KJV)
How many Nigerian graduates have successfully utilized the knowledge they got in school to birth an innovation and idea that will create jobs for other teeming youths?
How many individuals are disciplined enough to think and act like the Nigerian man referred to as ‘Otunba Gadafi? I read his story and cannot but commend how discipline helped this man to bring such a unique innovation to Nigeria. He created the Dignified Mobile Toilets (DMT). The First of its kind in Nigeria.
To be continued Tomorrow, don’t miss it.
Excerpts from the Book “THE POWER AND FORCE OF DISCIPLINE FOR TRANSFORMING LIVES AND NATIONS”. #DSABOOKS
This book can be found on dsabooksplanet.com and Amazon.com
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By Pastor Sunday Adelaja.