“Nothing of importance is ever achieved without discipline. I feel myself sometimes not wholly in sympathy with some modern educational theorists, because I think that they underestimate the part that discipline plays. But the discipline you have in your life should be one determined by your own desires and your own needs, not put upon you by society or authority.”
I have often said that nothing is achievable without discipline. I got this message from my father repeatedly. I really got the message one day at a clan gathering. It was the summer before I got married and the family got together in Marlboro, MA. We got a couple of rooms at a local hotel and had a great time exploring Boston.
One of the dinner stops was a fine local restaurant in Marlboro. As the family settled in the waiting area, we got drinks and waited for our table. I shared a small table for two with my Dad. He was drinking a vodka martini and I had a glass of red wine. As the conversation progressed, I asked a simple question:
“What is the key to success?”
Dad sort of stared off into space like he did often and suddenly, with a fury that surprised me banged his fist onto the tiny table. I had to grab my wine glass to stop it from falling over. Customers fifteen feet away stopped their conversation to see what was wrong. I was stunned and couldn’t say a word.
That’s all he said in response to my question. And he went back to his vodka as if nothing had happened.
As I reflect upon what success is and how success is achieved, it becomes abundantly clear that discipline is paramount.
Your life is to be what you want it to be if you have the discipline to do whatever is necessary to achieve your desired outcome. Be less concerned about what it is you feel you should be doing and more concerned about becoming more of who you are. I am oftentimes asked what my wife and I have done in raising our children, both of whom are doing well in their chosen pursuits. My answer has always been simple. I did whatever I could to help them become more of who they already are. We continue to help them be more of who they already are. Surprisingly simple, eh? Check out the following quote:
“All people are called to be someone and to do things – it is part and parcel of human existence. Discovering and becoming who we are supposed to be, and what we are meant to do in the world is a life-long process of growth and change. This process involves certain commitments and these become revealed to us along the way. Informal educators can play a special part in encouraging these processes. Their role is to work so that people may shape and follow their calling.”
Reproduced from the encyclopedia of informal education [www.infed.org]
So where were we? Ah yes, how to read a book a week…