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Mondays With Mark : Discipline

Posted on 5/23/2016 by Rosalea Peters, WEO Media Staff
"Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction." - Margaret Thatcher

"With self-discipline most anything is possible." - Theodore Roosevelt

Older Woman lifting weights and showing self-discipline On Saturday my daughter and I had a short conversation about what it means to develop a strong mind and what the word “willpower” means. Most surprising to me was that she didn’t recognize the word. It looks like I still have some work to do!

When we hear the phrase “self-discipline” it is usually part of an explanation as to why we can’t, or didn’t, accomplish something. “I just don’t have the self-discipline to not eat cake when it is served.”

Intellectually it is easy to understand that overcoming difficultly through self-control is very beneficial, but just knowing that information isn’t very helpful. Even knowing the great benefits that await us on the other side of whatever difficulty we face is often not enough to “give” us the willpower to discipline ourselves.

Yet, as the quotes today espouse, the gifts of self-discipline go beyond the various immediate goals you might have. The ability to control yourself creates a whole, creates a self-power that opens your own horizons not just to possible accomplishments, but to a fuller “being” of who you are.

Some people seem to have great self-discipline – terrific for them. What about for us mere mortals? Where do we sign up? How do we get a dose of that good stuff? Where does your willpower come from?

The answer is, of course, is from inside. (Again, not all that helpful.)

Yet, the pattern of behavior that foils us time and again is that we attempt something very difficult and our willpower is not yet strong enough. So we start to believe that we don’t have self-discipline. The fact of the matter is that we all do have self-discipline at some level. But, like a muscle, it is only developed to a certain extent.

Enter Willie Murphy:

Willie Murphy is a champion weight lifter (2015 Lifter of the Year) that can deadlift 215 pounds.

Willie is a she and weighs only 105 pounds (she lifts over 200% of her own weight).

Ms. Murphy is 79 years old.

She started lifting weights at about age 73.

She started with 5 pounds.

Begin with something small. What is the “5 pound” difficulty that you can handle today with the willpower you already have? Start there. Practice and be successful with the self-discipline “muscle” you have. Your willpower will grow and soon you’ll be able to tackle bigger and bigger challenges. Learn more about this amazing woman!

Have a great week!

- Mark
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