Discipline

For those that know me well, they often herald me as a very disciplined and methodical person, but I wasn’t always that way.  No, I was very much the opposite growing up.  I was an average student up until 5th grade.  For some reason, I just decided one day, “meh, I don’t want to do history homework anymore.”  So, for a long stretch, I didn’t do the homework, and naturally my grades suffered.  In addition to that, for some reason in 5th grade, I decided, “I want to be 100 lbs.”  And so I would eat myself sick at every dinner meal just so I could weigh more.  Part of it came from my relatives telling me I was too skinny, but that probably wasn’t the real reason.  The fact of the matter is, I became fat and lazy at a young age.  And well, old habits die hard.  The lack of homework being done and the gluttony carried on throughout middle school, high school and even the start of college.  I started to not do homework for other classes as well.  I wouldn’t even procrastinate, I just kind of gave up I guess.  My laziness even extended to my extracurricular activities (piano, violin, football and Friday night fellowships).  I wouldn’t practice my instruments, nor would I put much effort into anything productive.

There were some bursts of good work ethic though.  I relied on pure talent to pass my musical exams and for the classes I did enjoy, I put some effort into doing well.  And I even decided to go on a no-carb diet during the first couple quarters of college, but without exercise, a diet like that is dangerous.

After Felicity broke my heart freshman year in college, I didn’t hit rock bottom, but I was somewhere close to it.  I spent the summer doing some exercise, but with terrible work ethic, it didn’t get me anywhere.  Entering into sophomore year, I decided to turn it all around.  I spent the last 18 years of my life messing around and being lazy, I just got sick of it.  Here’s the life changers I decided on:

1. For academics, I will always give myself 8-9 hours of sleep, so that fatigue would never hinder me in paying attention in class.  I will always sleep by midnight, because nothing good ever happens past midnight.  I will always take notes in class, even if it bores me.  I will always eat breakfast, so that hunger would never hinder me during class.  I will always do homework and projects, and sacrifice fun for it.  I will always go to class early and sit in front, so I could see the board with clarity.  My philosophy in doing this was to maximize my chances of A’s.

2. For physical fitness, I decided to sign up for the gym in the dorms, since we paid for it anyway.  I would work out for an hour pretty much every night.  Mostly cardio so I could shed all my unwanted fat.  My goal?  To gain the body types of my skinny friends.  I promised myself that some day I would be able to keep up with them when we went biking (and I eventually fulfilled that promise).  I disciplined my self to eat better and less.  It was hard at first, but I avoided all fried foods, junk foods, sweets, candies, desserts and sodas.  And for the longest time I would eat like 5 small meals a day to keep my hunger levels in check.  I would eat a third of a sandwich and then eat another third a couple hours later.

3. For my spiritual well being, I made an effort to read my Bible more.  It became part of my morning routine in the mornings before class.  I started to go to small groups and even made myself more plugged into EPIC.  I forced myself to stop rushing my prayers and extended them beyond the same 3 sentences I recycled.  Fasting became a normal thing to me.  As many of you may have noticed the random times I fasted things to focus on God.  It was like catching up with a friend I had neglected for so long.

And so I carried these all out as much as I could for the remainder of my college years.  I should note that although I was studying super hard, I was by no means smart or a natural, I just put in the work needed to get it done.  I’m no genius, I just try really hard.  And well, good habits die hard.  And I’ve been quite disciplined ever since.  This one good habit carried on to all my other aspects of life (cooking, cleaning, work, reading and even games).  That’s why it bothers me whenever someone says they don’t want to do something because “they’re too lazy”.

I ask myself, is it so hard to be disciplined.  The easy answer is “no”.  Because it takes a certain mindset and determination.  Is it possible?  Very much so.  Granted, the atmosphere I was in sophomore year was great for this kind of growth, it’s hard to replicate in other stages of life.  And so, my thought on this matter is, if I can do it, so can you, no?  Laziness is the poorest excuse in my opinion.  Sorry, no pictures/videos this time around.  What areas of your life could you use some discipline?

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” -1 Corinthians9:24-27

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One thought on “Discipline

  1. Pingback: H2 Oh Yeah! | The Chronicles of Josh

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