"Discipline means control. Self-discipline is self-control. It means getting yourself to do what is important to do, rather than being a leaf in the wind of your thoughts or feelings You don't lose control of yourself when you feel hurt or angry, but decide how you are going to talk and what you are going to do. With self-discipline, you take care of yourself."
-excerpts from the Virtues cards with permission from The Virtues Project™
I recently read about a study which had been done with kindergartners. Each child in the group was given a piece of candy and told they had a choice about eating it. They could eat it right away, or if they waited five minutes, they would get another piece. If they waited 30 minutes to eat it, they would get the whole box of candy. Many of the children ate the piece right away, several ate it at the five minute point; several others waited patiently for 30 minutes, while distracting themselves with other things. All of the children were followed in the study through college. The majority of children who had waited for 30 minutes successfully pursued study and careers in professions such as medicine, law, and engineering. Those who ate the candy right away, were not as successful in pursuing higher education or professional careers.
So, the question is, how do we get our children and ourselves to be self-disciplined? In our fast-paced world, where instant gratification is the norm and we are bombarded with promises on TV, radio and in commercials, how can we become self-disciplined? We can't see the end in the beginning. How can we know that using self-discipline now, will reap rewards in the future?
Questions for reflection:
What are some ways I practice self-discipline?
How has self-discipline helped me in my work and my relationships?
What are my challenges in being self-disciplined?
How can I have the courage and trust to help my children to develop their self-discipline?
The Virtues Project™ strategies can help children, youth and adults develop self-discipline.