Sunday, April 25, 2010

SELF discipline

Artist: Alex Bannykh

My teenage son is at it again....incomplete homework assignments, reason...couldn't get into it. My initial feeling was anger, my thought....well...maybe I shouldn't say it out loud! I really wish this child came with an instruction manual. In lieu of a manual,  I decided to breathe, talk to God and then talk to my son.

As I struggle with my son's lack of discipline, mine became visible. We all go through phases in life that are monumental. Mine is the 40th year, my son's...his teenage years. Accepting that this is where I am, I'm in a much better position to help myself, and in turn, help him.   My first instinct was to go through the long speech about his future. However, I'm aware that teens live in the here and now.
Now that I'm forty, I'm learning to tap into my inner strength to make a decision and execute a given task until it is completed regardless of any resistance. I just pray that it doesn't take him until 40 to get it!

As an athelete he never misses practice. He has discipline in sports and has made practice a habit which has brought him success. Aristotle said "We are the product of what we repeatedly do".  My task is to coach and help him to also make his homework a habit. But first I need to practice my own self discipline. This is a great opportunity for me to realize my own shortcomings. I get angry with him...when in reality I'm seeing my self in him. I'm angry with me. I've struggled with self discipline because I have a fear of failure. I don't start tasks because I believe that if the task failed...I'm a failure. My son seems to have a 'fear of failure' also. I've since learned that I should not tie myself to the task. So I've committed to a few tasks related to my health and I'm executing.  I'm coaching by example and not by words.

Pursuing a balanced life teaches me to appreciate who I am and to love myself in spite of my flaws. As I grow I can help guide my children by example. It is my hope that they develop self discipline much earlier than I did and maintain that skill for a lifetime. It's always wise to take a deep breath when confronting your kids because in some instances, you may be confronting yourself! Be disciplined, be fearless, be wise and embrace your journey.

This book is a helpful tool for developing self discipline

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