How Discipline Determines Results & Defines Us: It’s Always Our Choice

The inside of a Prickly Pear Cactus flower.
The inside of a Prickly Pear Cactus flower. | Source

“The purpose of Nature is the advancement and unfoldment of life; and every person should have all that can contribute to the power, elegance, beauty, and richness of life; to be content with less is sinful.”

I love this quote from Wallace D. Wattles. Although when I first read it, the sentence about sin gave me pause. Yet as we think about it, we realize that if sin is “missing the mark,” if Nature’s purpose is advancement, and if God wants us to have lives bursting with love, wisdom, joy and abundance, then anything less does fall short. This also beautifully conveys the understanding that getting rich is about much more than material wealth.

In the audio presentation of the Secret Science of Getting Rich, Bob Proctor reads and explains the text of Wattles’ brilliant little green book, “The Science of Getting Rich.” Many of us learned of this book by watching the movie, “The Secret.” In Bob Proctor’s presentation, we also hear from Michael Beckwith and Jack Canfield.

Awareness, Choice & Discipline

Because I listen to the entire set of CDs often, when I think of some of my favorite quotes from the book, or elucidating commentary from these three wonderful men, I usually recall their voices. Through memory, I hear the appealing cadence of Beckwith’s voice as he explains that “choice is a function of awareness.”

This simple, yet profound statement is crucial to our understanding of how our lives are shaped and why they unfold the way they do. The connection between awareness, choice and discipline is stunning and pivotal. This connection is by design, and is according to the laws of Nature as well as our human nature. This approach is as precise, predictable and elegant as the workings of our universe.

How we view discipline largely determines our results in life, and defines who we become as individuals.

Ask any person who has achieved a significant level of success, or experienced some meaningful personal accomplishment, or has made any valuable contribution in any endeavor, field, industry, sport or business about whether they avoid or avidly practice discipline.

Ignorance & the Herd Mentality

I hear Bob Proctor’s strong, clear voice as he explains that we have been told that the truth will set us free, and that the only thing from which we need to be set free, is ignorance. Bob contends that a lot of what goes on in people’s minds is considered “thinking;” when in fact, it is merely mental activity.

It is a kind of stream of consciousness, where we are reacting and rambling, based upon myriads of external stimuli, as opposed to actually being engaged in critical or creative and focused thinking.

We are bombarded with so much noise, radio, TV, newsfeeds, social media, chatter, stimulation, and activity. We are also surrounded by cultural forces and mainstream media messages which re-enforce a kind of programming to go along with certain expectations which are externally defined and determined. This is often referred to as the social norm or a “herd mentality” by those who resist being “sheeple” and who strive to be rhinos and live creatively in a world where the masses are viewed as cattle.

Bob calls following what the masses do, “living from the outside in”, rather than “living from the inside out.” His commentary is not only astute; it is potent and makes a rather socially subversive distinction. Society as a whole does not encourage true learning, or free, creative and inventive thinking.

Following the norm also perfectly describes my life and career path until I was in my early 50’s, and became an entrepreneur. I went to college and got a degree, then went to graduate school and got a Masters, then succeeded in several professional positions, etc. Then went to seminary and obtained a second Masters degree. It was rather routine and getting an education and salaried positions was an expected path.

Breaking Away & Seeking Wisdom, Instruction & Discipline

The Amplified Bible expresses it this way, “The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge – that is, its starting point and its essence; but fools despise skillful and godly wisdom, instruction and discipline.”

In this translation we see that moving from ignorance to knowledge and understanding requires a sense of awe and reverence; and that it is not only the beginning of our being set free, but it is the primary and the finest part.

We also see that those of us who are foolish do not value godly wisdom and reject instruction and discipline. This reference to discipline reminds me of a marvelous quote by Jim Rohn, the well-known motivational and leadership expert.

Rohn has succinctly and brilliantly written that, “We must all suffer from one of two pains; the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”

If we could only grasp the realization that choice is a function of awareness, and that discipline is exceedingly valuable, paying dividends which far outweigh its costs, then each and every one of us could craft lives filled with wisdom, tremendous joy, and inestimable value. This is how we live in harmony with Nature, approach the mark and enjoy the power, elegance, beauty and richness of life.

Abraham Maslow put it insightfully well when he wrote that, "One can choose to go backward toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again."

It’s always our choice, yours and mine. In some ways I believe it is a very straightforward choice, a clear choice, a simple choice. Not easy to do, but simple to decide. Having decided, discipline carries us forward.

As a bountiful beneficiary of these teachings, I am passionate about helping others to live the life of their dreams. Because this approach is based upon our very nature and design, it is real, possible and prized above all else.

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