I recline, on this rainy spring day in central Florida, in the comfort of my bed (a place where some of my best writing bubbles up), and ponder the after-effects of Covid-19. It is late May 2020 so we are NO WHERE near the “after-effects”! What can I possibly be pondering? Well, for one thing, I’m wondering if I’ve gained the 19 lbs that seems to be happening to some of us during Covid-19. Now I do understand that the “19” stands for the year that this strain of Covid began to affect the human population but still…19 is a whole lot of poundage to acquire.

This brings me to the massive amount of work I am facing, gratefully, to get my new ministry up and running.  I have been somewhat dismayed with my lack of progress. I am an absolutely wonderful, stellar really, list-maker, idea-generator, chart-checker-off-er-er. Yet here I am, with plenty of time to create great content still miles from my self-generated “goals”. And when I look closely, I believe, once again, that a lack of discipline is the culprit for these high and lofty dreams to float into the ethers unattained…by me anyway. 

And really, I must throw in an honest disclaimer here – – – I am actually working hard on creating good talks, good meditations, good blog posts (or at least readable blog posts). Nearly everything I am working on, Covid or no Covid, must be virtual, i.e. online stuff and this is the stuff in which I lack knowledge. Still, I know old doggies can learn new tricks. So I’m learning, little by little. And what has this got to do with discipline, you ask? It means I have to set aside time, apparently frequently, to “like” someone who “likes” what I’ve said or ask to guest blog on someone else’s site, or post very often on Instagram…YIKES…all that takes alot of time AND discipline. It’s not natural in my DNA so I have to plan to do it.  big sigh

I’ve written about discipline previously, and the ironic thing is – I’ve always thought myself completely disciplined. Looking more closely I think I am one of those “great under pressure” kinda gals. I can knock out nearly anything when I absolutely have to. Heads up – this is not discipline! This is controlled panic!

Problem is the panic-style model is one in which I think a tiger is chasing me and I get all “Type A” on anyone standing nearby and my cortisol levels go through the roof and that’s why I have a thick middle. Or that’s what I tell myself…easier than swallowing the lack of discipline pill in the eating and exercise area. This before Covid-19.

I’ve also spent YEARS believing I have a “time-management” problem and have invested many dollars in workshops and seminars that teach how to manage said time. Even if the systems were actually good ones, one still must have discipline to implement said systems, right? And I’ve already established I have little to none of that. 

A gentleman I’ve talked to recently rises every morning at 3:45 am! This amazes me and is something I have done in my younger days. So many more quiet hours to get things done. It FEELS nearly impossible now but why is that? Lack of discipline? Also I now live alone so “quiet, alone” hours are not necessary to carve out of my day. Yet getting up early does give one more working hours.

This is what the good ole Bible tells us:

Hebrews 12:11 – For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

So yeah, there it is in black and white…discipline SEEMS painful rather than pleasant. But still…the promise is, well, promising – right? 

Here are a few more famous quotes on discipline. Hang on!

What lies in our power to do, lies in our power not to do.

Aristotle (YIKES)

If we do not discipline ourselves the world will do it for us.

William Feather 

If you once turn on your side after the hour at which you ought to rise, it is all over. Bolt up at once.

Walter Scott (My friend must have read this one…and acted on it!)

So now that I have “fessed up” in regard to my struggles with discipline, I am actively putting into place actions to help, gently, and in some cases not so very gently, move me toward greater discipline. And greater productivity. I have experienced the total joy of discipline. This would be reaping the rewards of a job or two well done and not put off until tomorrow.

We’re in this Covid thing together – we might as well get disciplined together, too!

The Discipline of Discipline