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Clarifying Discipline And Habit

Discipline: The Child Of Habit
In essence that’s exactly what discipline is. Earlier this month I wrote a post called Differentiate Between Discipline And Habit, and it was short and inspirational post. To my surprise it was also very popular! There were some requests on writing more posts on the subject since it was the most helpful and useful. There were other requests for clarification on the subject since it appeared to be confusing too. I’ll try make it as simple as possible.

Discipline: a system of rules of conduct or method of practice. It comes from a Latin word meaning instruction, knowledge.

To discipline yourself to do something is to train or teach yourself to practice that activity as often as possible until it becomes natural. The point at which it is natural, it is a habit. Discipline is the child of habit in that it is the process that leads to habit. No one can have the habit of reading without discipling (continually practicing, training, teaching) themselves to read as often as possible. Once it is so easy to just pick up a book or electronic device and read, that’s it. They have formed the habit of reading.

Habit: The Final Stage Of Discipline

Habit: A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behaviour that is acquired through frequent repetition (discipline).


Often times the word discipline is used to mean habit. For example when someone is said to have been disciplined in an area, they are being referred to as having formed a habit for that activity. We are often encouraged to develop habits because they represent the natural part of our lives. They also translate into personality. People perceive who you are by your habit. If you never make your bed and it remains untidy all day, then you are (perceived to be) the kind of person who is either lazy, messy or both. On the other hand, make your bed everyday as something natural in you, without thinking about it, then you’ll be seen as neat and organized.

So here is the three-stage process:
Disciplines form habits, habits translate into personality. Discipline. Habit. Personality.

12 Ways To Change Who You Are

1) Decide who you want to be
2) Act as if you are already that person
3) Continually affirm (positively refer to) yourself as that person
4) Practice being that person as often as possible
5) Try doing that at the same time everyday
6) Train yourself (to practice the activity) a minimum of three times a day!
7) Give yourself enough credit to at least attempt the activity
8) If you are afraid, do it afraid!
9) Always practice the activity with a champion mentality
10) Set a goal, set a deadline, prepare/plan a reward
11) Begin with end in mind
12) Make a record of all your successes, from least to great.

That, essentially, is how you form a habit. It’s important to understand that your habit reflects who you are. Think more of the person you want to be as opposed to what habit you would like to have. It’s easier to form a habit when you decide who you want to be, then simply focus on that target until you reach it.
People talk so much about finding themselves and that process is simply done by gradually forming good habits. Why and How would you have lost yourself? What part of you would have been taken away or separated? The truth of the matter is the question really being asked is: what good habit have I forsaken and replaced with a bad habit?

Is the soul not the place where your mind, will and emotions exist? Do good habits not make you feel great, healthier, happier and comfortable? The root where you (your personality and nature of all you were created to be) can be found in your habits. Test it out!

5 Steps To Break Bad Habits

1) Establish why the habit is bad
2) Think of 3 reasons why your life will improve with the changed habit
3) Ask yourself how many people are being affected
4) Don’t make or accept any excuses
5) Follow the 12 steps above

NB: Discipline yourself, to form a habit that will change (or improve)  your personality

“Never too old, never too bad, never too late, never too sick to start from scratch once again.” -Bikram Choudhury.

“Even if you stumble, you’re still moving forward.”

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” -Maria Robinson

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” –Life’s Little Instruction Book

1 Corinthians 10:31

 So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God.

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5 thoughts on “Clarifying Discipline And Habit

  1. Good thoughts! I am doing an at-home retreat right now and prioritizing and establishing some new habits is part of what I am seeking the L-rd about. I am in the process of coming up with a more ordered way of life.

    • That’s excellent! Trust me there is nothing better than the feeling you get when you finish the dishes and you look at a clean kitchen! Or even, walking around a clean house!

      A house of order=a life of order.

      God bless your pursuit

      • I so agree! After 3 of us living in a tiny (and I do mean TINY) RV for 5 1/2 years where order was simply impossible, I am having to re-establish my routines in our house. The fact that it is still unfinished does present challenges, but there are parts of it where I can keep a semblance of order. 🙂

        My main prioritizing right now is also in the areas of things I do in addition to our home…in addition to baking, cleaning, etc. I do not want to do a lot of thing not that well. I want whatever I do to be done with excellence. So, I am praying about what I many need to let go of entirely. I am “decluttering” and bringing order to my spiritual and social life, too. And that includes Facebook and blogging and music and study and…

      • …whatsapp and ebuddy lol. That’s amazing. Being able to adapt and organize yourself to the best of your abilities in everything counts for a lot of things! I’m so excited for you Abi, I’m going to be praying for you and hope that day by day, step by step, you’re getting closer and closer to living a life of order!

        Sent from my iPhone

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