A life without discipline is a life without joy.
— Muriel B.
Wait a minute. Isn’t joy a matter of doing what we want? Isn’t freedom the state of never having to do what we don’t want to do? And isn’t discipline – which we learned from our parents – the burden of having to do what we don’t want to do?
Actually, joy is the freedom to do what needs to be done. And gaining that freedom takes discipline. Why? Without discipline, we usually end up doing what is familiar to us. And our experience clearly tells us that old thinking and old behaviors bring us anything but joy.
It takes discipline to say no when we need to – when every fiber of our being may be urging us to give in again. It takes discipline to stand up and be counted when our pattern has been to fade into the wallpaper and blend in with any situation.
Discipline isn’t easy or fun, but it’s the best friend we can have. To practice self-discipline is to move through our days with a sure sense that we’ll get where we’re going.
Today I will remember that self-discipline is in myself.
You are reading from the book:
Days of Healing, Days of Joy by Earnie Larsen and Carol Larsen Hegarty. Copyright 1987, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the Hazelden.