Everything of value requires care, attention, and discipline. Our thoughts require discipline. We must consistently determine our inner boundaries and our codes of conduct, or
our thoughts will be confused.
For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards. That’s one of
life’s great arrangements. In fact, it’s an extension of the biblical law that
says that if you sow well, you will reap well.
Here’s a unique part of the Law of Sowing and Reaping. Not
only does it suggest that we’ll all reap what we’ve sown, it also suggests that
we’ll reap much more. Life is full of laws that both govern
and explain behaviors, but this may well be the major law we need to
understand: For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards.
What a concept! If you render unique service, your reward will be
multiplied. If you’re fair and honest and patient with others, your reward will
be multiplied. If you give more than you expect to receive, your reward is more
than you expect. But remember: the key word here, as you might well imagine, is
Everything of value requires care, attention, and discipline. Our thoughts
require discipline. We must consistently determine our inner boundaries and our
codes of conduct, or our thoughts will be confused. And if our thoughts are
confused, we will become hopelessly lost in the maze of life. Confused thoughts
produce confused results.
Remember the law: “For every disciplined effort, there are
multiple rewards.” Learn the discipline of writing a card or a
letter to a friend. Learn the discipline of paying your bills on time, arriving
to appointments on time, or using your time more effectively. Learn the
discipline of paying attention, or paying your taxes or paying yourself. Learn
the discipline of having regular meetings with your associates, or your spouse,
or your child, or your parent. Learn the discipline of learning all you can
learn, of teaching all you can teach, of reading all you can read.
For each discipline, multiple rewards. For each book, new knowledge. For
each success, new ambition. For each challenge, new understanding. For each
failure, new determination. Life is like that. Even the bad experiences of life
provide their own special contribution. But a word of caution here for those
who neglect the need for care and attention to life’s disciplines: Everything
has its price. Everything affects everything else. Neglect discipline,
and there will be a price to pay. All things of value can be taken for granted
with the passing of time.
That’s what we call the Law of Familiarity. Without the
discipline of paying constant, daily attention, we take things for granted. Be
serious. Life’s not a practice session.
If you’re often inclined to toss your clothes onto the chair rather than
hanging them in the closet, be careful. It could suggest a lack of discipline.
And remember, a lack of discipline in the small areas of life can cost you
heavily in the more important areas of life. You cannot clean up your company
until you learn the discipline of cleaning your own garage. You cannot be
impatient with your children and be patient with your distributors or your
employees. You cannot inspire others to sell more when that goal is
inconsistent with your own conduct. You cannot admonish others to read good
books when you don’t have a library card.
Think about your life at this moment. What areas need attention
right now? Perhaps you’ve had a disagreement with someone you love or
someone who loves you, and your anger won’t allow you to speak to that person.
Wouldn’t this be an ideal time to examine your need for a new discipline?
Perhaps you’re on the brink of giving up, or starting over, or starting out.
And the only missing ingredient to your incredible success story in the future
is a new and self-imposed discipline that will make you try harder and work
more intensely than you ever thought you could.
The most valuable form of discipline is the one that you impose upon
yourself. Don’t wait for things to deteriorate so drastically that
someone else must impose discipline in your life. Wouldn’t that be tragic? How
could you possibly explain the fact that someone else thought more of you than
you thought of yourself? That they forced you to get up early and get out into
the marketplace when you would have been content to let success go to someone
else who cared more about themselves.
Your life, my life, the life of each one of us is going to serve as either a warning or an example. A warning of
the consequences of neglect, self-pity, lack of direction and ambition… or an
example of talent put to use, of discipline self-imposed, and of objectives
clearly perceived and intensely pursued.
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