I thought of something today when I was working out for the first time in a month (a workout which continued my streak of working out once a month for the past few months. #winning).
I, in my natural state, without intention (or vision), a plan, or discipline, will naturally gravitate towards death and decay.
And I believe many people struggle with the same thing.
Let me explain.
To get the most out of life, we need intention and vision. What do we want to accomplish with the short time we have here on earth? Do we just want to let fate decide for us, and be deeply regretful at the end of our lives that we missed out on living a full life of purpose?
To get the most out of life, we also need a plan. On a practical level, what do we need to do now to get to where we want to be later? Sometimes people get lucky and find themselves living according to their vision and intention for their lives, but most people don’t. The majority of us need to sit down and actually think through what we need to do now to get to where we want to be later.
Finally, and probably the hardest of the three, we need discipline. How do we discipline ourselves to follow our plan on a daily basis now in order to make the most out of the rest of our lives?
In my most natural state, I am lazy. I am unmotivated. I am gluttonous. I am selfish. I am jealous. I am unloving. I am prideful. Some might call this my sinful nature.
Don’t get me wrong, I often have great intentions of waking up early before work to workout, and might even have a plan to do so. But then in the morning, I lack the discipline to do so because I would rather sleep.
I have great intentions of eating healthy and even have MyFitnessPal downloaded onto my iPhone to keep a food diary, but then I see pizza and want to eat and eat and keep eating until I am way past full.
I have great intentions of loving my husband, but you know, I had a hard day and it really pissed me off when he said “such and such,” so I have a right to give him attitude.
I have great intentions of being the humblest of all the humble people…but let’s face it, I think I’m #awesome and I think that others need to know it too. (#narcissism)
I have great intentions and great vision for my life. Sometimes I have a plan.
But most of the time, my problem is discipline.
And discipline makes all the difference between living a meaningless, purposeless life that ends up wherever it ends up, or living a meaningful, full, and rich life, doing what I believe God has called me to do and doing what He has gifted me to do well.
Case in point, exercise. Left to my natural state, I would never exercise, never care for my body. I’m not overweight, but I’m not healthy either. I get winded easily, my body can’t take on everyday physical activity like it used to, and my metabolism has slowed down significantly since turning 30. My health is decaying. And if I continue down this path of being undisciplined in exercise, I won’t be able to run around with my kids like I want to in the future. I won’t be the best parent I can be and I won’t be the best wife I can be.
You and I will probably battle the natural gravitation towards death, meaninglessness, and decay for the rest of our lives. While the small voice of discipline might say, “Hey, maybe you should get up and follow the plan to move you towards your vision,” the even louder and more comfortable and familiar voice of my natural state says, “Nah, you can wait another day,” and before I know it, I’ve wasted my life on doing absolutely nothing I wanted to do with my life.
Discipline sucks. It hurts. It’s costly. But wasting my life sucks more and is far more costly of a price.
Undiscipline, you sneaky little bastard.
What is your vision for your life? Do you have a plan? And are you struggling with lack of discipline? If so or if not, what has helped you to stay disciplined?