Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks Day 2: Discipline

I’m sure you’re looking at the title of my post right now and wondering, “Has she lost her mind? Why in the world should she be thankful for discipline?”

Someone who is older and wiser than I am pointed out recently that having discipline isn’t fun and anybody who thinks it is, well, they’re just strange. I would have to agree. In fact, just last week when I was at the store and decided not to buy something because “it’s not in the budget” I was thinking how it wasn’t fun at all to have discipline, but it is necessary, and I understand that.

The reason I’m grateful for it (even though I may not like it) is because I’ve seen some wonderful changes in my life because I not only discovered that I have it, but have chosen to exercise it. Even when it was hard. And, even when it wasn’t very fun. It’s a powerful thing to learn mastery of oneself, especially over bad habits that have been in place for more years than I’d care to admit.

But the good news is that learning discipline (even if I still slip up sometimes since having discipline doesn’t mean I’m perfect) has helped me make some changes I’ve wanted to do for a very long time like losing weight and taking charge of my finances. If you recall (and if you don’t it’s okay because it was a very long time ago) two of my goals at the beginning of the year were these two things. It seemed impossible then to have reached the point I’m at now. . . and, yet, here I am. I haven’t arrived completely, but I’m on my way. I’m making steady progress, and I’m proud of myself.

Just today I had not one, but two opportunities to cheat on my no sugar goal for this month. I may have already cheated a little bit, which I refuse to feel bad about, but in this case I held firm. I think it’s because the end is in sight, i.e., Thanksgiving is on Thursday, and that’s when I gave myself leave to have sugar again, so I feel good about that. And it is helping me to reach my end goal, even if it’s not as quick as I’d like.

So, while having discipline isn’t fun and often means you need the strength to do something different than everyone around you, it can be done. And it feels good to know that you can. That’s why I’m grateful to know that I have it.

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