I finally realized what I am missing in my life, self-discipline. I have patience and I have perseverance, but I do lack self-discipline. You only have to go as far as to look how I post in this blog. I’ll go on a streak of writing a post every day or every couple of days, and then I don’t write anything for months.
Right now I am probably actively reading four books, not including those I haven’t picked up for months. When I look at my various storage places, hard drive, cloud, etc. I have maybe ten different writing projects that I am “working on” and then there is the whole diet and exercise thing, you know walking at lunch, riding my bike to and from work, you know those things.
I said I have learned to be patient and I am perseverant, why aren’t I disciplined? Let’s look at what I consider to be the difference between the three.
- Patience: I would say patience is the act of waiting for something. Whether it is through prayer or something else, you need to give things time to happen. Things happen in their own time. For example in my life when I was drowning in debt, I knew I would get out of it but I also knew it would take time and I would have to be patient.
- Perseverance: I define this as not giving up, to keep trying. Using my money problems, I knew I had to keep at it and my debt would be eliminated.
- Self-Discipline: I look at self-discipline as continuing to do the same things as long as it takes to get the results you are looking for. Again using my financial situation I needed the discipline to make the changes I needed to make and keep doing them. Like the whole exercise thing, you need to do it more than three times if you want results. You need to have the self-discipline to keep doing it.
Right now I have to go but I’ll be back later
Okay, it’s two days later and I’m back. Patience, perseverance, and discipline are like a three legged stool with the top being whatever your goal is. Whether it is getting out of debt, losing weight, or even dealing with our faith, we need each of the three legs in order for the stool to stand. If one leg is broken or missing the stool will fall.
I have always wondered when I am going to have that big revelation, that moment when it all becomes clear or as I like to call it the “God moment”. That would be the top of the stool, the goal. I have the patience to wait for God.I have the perseverance to keep trying to reach that point. I lack the self-discipline to make it happen. I tell myself I need to say the Rosary every day and that will do it but I give it up after a few days. I’ll decide I need to read the daily readings or other Scripture every day to find the answers and that will last a week. Whether these or something else is the path to the answer I don’t know but I will never know if I don’t have the discipline, no matter how much I persevere or how patient I am it isn’t going to happen. The stool will not stand.