What then shall we say? Shall we continue to live purposelessly because days seem inevitable? Of course not!
Is goal setting and discipline bad? Nay!
We had not known tasks involved in living healthy and spiritual lifestyles, personal and career development, starting-up and managing successful businesses etc., until the law of discipline and consistency told us.
For we had not known that every time we eat or drink, we are either feeding disease or fighting it, except the law of discipline had said, “thou shalt not eat fufu or eba (morsels) in the morning nor eat late at night”.
For we had not known that we can apply the 21/90 rule (commit to a personal or professional goal for 21 straight days and it becomes a habit, continuing for 90 days and it becomes a permanent lifestyle) until discipline challenged us.
However, our indiscipline arouses all kinds of covetous desires within us. So, the issue is not with discipline, for it is good. The issue is with us, for we are all too human, and prone to indiscipline. We don’t really understand ourselves because some of us have lofty and well-thought-out and written plans but lack the will to execute them. While others have the ‘I gat’ the situation under control mentality,’ and at the end of the day, do record meaningful achievement.
We want to do what is right, pen down our 2021 goals and beyond; obey traffic rules and higher authorities, be good husbands or wives, achieve good governance, diversify our income portfolio, start a business, practice healthy relationship, quit smoking and other obnoxious behaviours, but we don’t do them. Instead, we do what we hate.
If we know that what we are doing is wrong, this shows that we agree that discipline is a virtue. Hence, we are not wilfully doing wrong, but the indiscipline in us that does it, such as stopping the alarm for early morning exercise, indiscriminate waste disposal, bad parenting, procrastination, laziness, unnecessary delays, unhealthy association etc.
I have discovered this principle of life – that when we want to do what is right, we sometimes do the opposite. We love God’s law with all our hearts; we’ll want to start our day with the devotionals, have a scheduled time for evangelism, fasting and prayers, attend church services and connect group meetings, love our neighbours as we love ourselves, join a service unit, obey instructions of the church workers (volunteers), help the needy, join online prayer meetings, partner with the Church to achieve God’s purpose on earth, worship God with our body, soul, might and resources etc. But there is another power within us that is at war with our noble intentions.
Oh, what a world we are in! Who can free us from this life that is dominated by indiscipline? How can we be disciplined to stay consistent in achieving our goals and living a godly lifestyle? Kindly consider the following:
- Develop a Disciplined Mindset
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve – Napoleon Hill. First, believe you can develop a disciplined mindset. Discipline is a bending and training of our wills and desires through doing things that aren’t already second nature.
Believe you can pass your next ICAN or scholarship exams, create a reading timetable and employ discipline to abide by it. Believe you can lose weight, then watch what you eat and exercise regularly. The little steps taken towards our goals matter the most.
- Ask the Holy Spirit for Help
Being disciplined in our ever turbulent and unpredictable world is tough. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to maintain our sanity where indiscipline is almost a norm. However, first develop a disciplined mindset and the Holy Spirit will take it enable you sustain it.
Asides the Holy Spirit, spend time with the right company, talk to someone about Jesus, join a service unit or partner with the Church to be a blessing to humanity. Remember this verse of the scripture, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase”. 1 Corinthians 3:6.
- Be Accountable
Accountability propels us to do the right thing always, hence, we need accountability partners to ensure we are living according to our set standards and correcting deviations.
This will allow us to ignore distractions and focus our attention towards set goals and objectives. Distracting activities and other unproductive behaviour will be eliminated once we have the feeling of being watched and the desire to be role models.
Conclusion: Discipline helps us focus on the right behaviours and goals. By repeatedly doing these, ensures consistency. Ask David how he killed Goliath asides the God factor; the answer is simple; David was consistent in developing his skills. 1 Samuel 17;34-36.
We must employ discipline and change our nonchalant attitude to public office and public trust. We must change our unruly behaviours in schools, hospitals, marketplaces, church, motor parks, on the roads, in homes and offices (being faithful in little things).
For Nigeria, Africa and the world at large to get better, we must be disciplined and consistent in well-doing.
Written by Richard Agu3