Discipline. Direction. Determination.
These are my 3 D's to personal development.
They are three separate words, but together they have given me the perspective I have needed to get to the through and into my purpose. In sharing, I hope that you can gain the same benefit.
Discipline is the act of enforcing your obedience.
Direction is the course or path along which something moves.
Determination, a word I absolute love for, speaks to the firmness of purpose.
Together they say this...
[Enforce your obedience] [towards the right things] [with an unflinching resolve.]
Discipline can be a thing, but it is much more useful to you as an action.
You can be in a discipline and not have discipline.
Let's talk about DISCIPLINE...
I am an engineer. And because I am an engineer people love asking me all sorts of technical questions. When you are in need of someone to examine the foundation of your home who do you call? An engineer?
Answer: Yes and no.
If you want the job done you don't just call an engineer; you call a civil engineer. And to go a step further, you don't just call any civil engineer, you call a structural engineer. You have to choose the right kind and the right discipline. Being a structural engineer is a discipline within engineering field. (This idea also speaks to the specificity attached to being successful. I'll be sure to cover that in a later blog post.)
Now, as I mentioned before, you can be "in a discipline" and not "have discipline". How would you feel if you hired a structural engineer; got the foundation approved; moved into your brand new home; and your home tilted to the east after the first major thunderstorm? If that happens it means you picked the right type kind of engineer, the right discipline of engineer but you also picked an engineer without discipline. Odds are, that engineer had the knowledge and the higher education; else, the engineer wouldn't have the credentials. That engineer was not an enforcer of obedience to his discipline. The sad part is that the process of acquiring and becoming apart of the discipline laid out all the regulations, specifications and information the engineer needed to know. But here you are suffering because that engineer had no discipline.
Unfortunately, there is not cool way to interject another line of thinking and, because of how my mind is set up, I can;;t move forward without making this emphasis. I just wanted to take a moment an reverse engineer what you just read. Above I'm talking about you choosing someone for a task. This same logic and applies to your getting chose for a task. Recognize that progress is just as much about someone giving you an opportunity as it is you seizing an opportunity.
*return to regularly scheduled reading*
You may not be an engineer, but you are something. No, you are someone. You are some singular, unique individual and you have something to do- that thing is your purpose. Figuring out what your purpose is is tough, but I know one thing for sure...where you want to go is through where you are. Just like where you are now is on this side of where you were. The process may show, equip and give you what you need, but you are the enforcer of you obedience.
Let's talk about DIRECTION...
This touches a little on purpose and know your purpose, but I will keep it simple by saying this:
It doesn't benefit you to be an enforcer of your obedience if you are obedience to the wrong people, places and/or things.
Your direction, in any moment, should never be arbitrary. You should never be doing "whatever" or going "wherever". This is the essence of being lost or wandering. People are quick to say things like, "If you just keep working hard, you'll get through it." You can't "just" work hard.
To me, the real question is- What are you trying to get through to?
Irregardless of your intentionality, you can have the discipline and be headed in the wrong direction. In fact, your struggle could be your situation protecting you from your own demise. This is both a spiritual and practical thought. On on hand, God could be protecting you from yourself or, like your body regurgitating toxic food, the systems of the world naturally reject and cast out things that aren't purposed to be there. A wise pastor once told me, "The worst thing you could ever do with your life is spend it climbing the ladder, finally reach the top, and realize that it's leaning against the wrong building." That thought blew my mind. Make asking yourself "Where is this going?" a habit.
I really feel the need to illustrate direction some more...
Direction is much more practical that you think. Personally, the weight I feel when I ask myself, "Am I headed in the right direction?" usually has nothing to do with direction and everything to do with destination. Now, what if I don't know what that place is specifically? Here is what I do- I think about a ladder and it's purpose. When I climb a ladder I do two things at once- I move upward and I move forward. Instead of being overwhelmed by the weight, I ask myself- is it taking my to a higher level of self and is iet's dig into what a ladder does. Every step you take in life should do what a ladder does.
I try to never talk about the bad without touch on the good. That said, what if you are headed in the right direction? How do you know if you are? ..
There is a flow, a fluidity to purposeful progress.
Now, I'm not saying it will be easy. I'm saying that when you get into your purpose you feel it. In fact, when you really get into it you stop feeling it. It's like the professional athlete shooting with his eyes closed. He or she has done it so many time that it is seemingly effortless.
This is where DETERMINATION comes in...
What happens when you know you are in the right place and you stop feeling it- you go harder. Deep down, I believe getting to the next level in something you don't know about is easier than reaching the next level in something you are actually good at. There are levels, better yet, depths to achievement. People fear starting when starting is easy. What it will take to master and continue to master something is what strikes fear (the good kind, lol) in my heart.
Regardless of your path, making the kind of progress you are purposed to make requires determination.
Above I mentioned not feeling it because of flow. But what about the other end of the spectrum- discouragement, depression and doubt. Motivation is important, and I used to say motivation but, lets be honest, some days you simply don't feel it. I don't need to explain "not feelin' it" one bit, do it? Right.
To sum it up...
Everyone is trying to get to the "top". The tough part of being at the top is that once you get there you are the deliverer of the directives. This is why the most important person you will ever learn to lead is yourself. So today think about where you want to go. The goals you have don't have to be super lofty and the distance you want to go doesn't have to be super far. Why? Because once you arrive you can always determine if you want to go further. On the other hand, you can never go further than a place you never reached.
Enforce your obedience towards the right things with an unflinching resolve.
Thanks for reading. I pray it blesses you along you journey. And, please, let me know if I can support you in any way.
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