At first it’s nothing. So say at first, you have no discipline. And you are told you need to be disciplined in a certain area to achieve a certain aim. But you are not a disciplined person so to speak…you have none. Like I said, at first it’s nothing. It means nothing. Hollow words.
Then comes a thought like, “I want to be a serious writer…I want to write books.” The thought is great but action then needs to be taken. Go to the desk, sit down and write. Now again…that’s nothing…that is not discipline.
The next day comes…go to the desk, sit down and write. Still it’s not much…you’re not a writer…you’re not disciplined. Do it again the next day. Do it again on the day that you’d rather do anything but write. Keep doing it day after day, even when some days you write absolute shit.
Keep doing. Keep going. Six days a week at 4:00pm you go to your desk, sit down and write. After some weeks, you’ve become consistent and most days you look forward to it, but it’s the days you don’t feel like writing that are most important to see it through…just write something…anything!
Now something has changed…when friends call and want to go out at 4:00pm, you say, “No, I’m busy at that time, maybe later?”
Months have gone by, they turn into years, you’ve written hundreds to thousands of pages. You are now a writer. You now have discipline. You are disciplined. You have experienced what it takes…how it works, and now you can do it again and again in any area of your life.
Discipline is not something that you start with…not a gift that some have and some don’t…it’s something we create and built by our choices made. Discipline is a patient and persistent process, like strengthening a muscle by lifting weight. It is also developing the strength of saying no to the things we like, so that we can focus intently on what we love.