The Altar Of Discipline

Hope verses discipline. Almost all of us have hope. Only a few have discipline. What is the difference? Hope may keep you hanging on. Discipline will keep you from letting go. Condition yourself to be disciplined, and you decide when it is over. While I am a hopeful person, it is discipline that has gotten me this far.

Can you remember when you were in your 20’s {or even 30’s} and life had not kicked you in the ass yet? Or maybe it had, just not repeatedly. You believed that everything would somehow work out. And maybe it did. But for so many, life has a way of being life, and life has it’s own agenda. From a Zen perspective, neither good nor bad. It just presents, and you have to make a choice. That’s where discipline comes in. The trained mind, sees all circumstances as an opportunity to grow. Hope doesn’t do that. Hope overrides the circumstances and say’s “ You’re going to make it.” And I’m cool with that. Sometimes hope, is the only thing that will get you through the day. But, I revert back to discipline who says “ Work the problem. Keep fighting.” Let me give you an example……

Both Terri and Pat were diagnosed with Breast Cancer on the same day. Both from similar economic and educational backgrounds. Terri is hopeful that she can beat cancer. She goes to the doctor and takes her medication. Over the course of months, she doesn’t get any better. In fact, she has gotten worse. Meanwhile, Pat goes to the doctor and takes her medication too. But Pat is disciplined. Pat also learned to meditate and has begun to work out. She joined a support group and changed her diet. She engaged in a spiritual journey. Which one of these ladies do you think had a better outcome? Of course it was Pat. Yes, there are thousands of Pat’s that don’t make it. But if you’re playing the odds {especially with your life}, do you really want to leave it up to chance. You’re betting on hope. And hope is not a closer. Hope is the first step.

Make a commitment today to discipline yourself. It matters not what it looks like. It does matter how it feels. For me, discipline is not fun, nor easy. It’s 5 AM workouts, being a life long vegetarian and engaging in nightly prayer and meditation. I am the most optimistic person I know. You can ask my wife. In the close to 2 decades that we have been together, she has seen me lose my cool, maybe twice? I am easy like a Sunday morning. Yes, I honor hope. But I worship at the altar of discipline.

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I am a retired crisis counselor of 20 years, and have spent the last decade working as both a Life Coach and Hypnotherapist.

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Vance Larson

Vance Larson

I am a retired crisis counselor of 20 years, and have spent the last decade working as both a Life Coach and Hypnotherapist.

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