(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Some people really like the structure and focus that is present when they use discipline to achieve outcomes. Discipline has been taught by some cultures, organizations, and families to be the only tool of success. Without discipline, they say, you will fail.

But discipline has an underlying energy, a not-talked-about assumption. If you have to discipline yourself to accomplish an outcome, it implies that you are having to push through something. Pain, suffering, or struggle are companions of discipline. It takes mental self-control, an expensive ingredient, in short supply for most.

Desire is also a powerful force. When you are clear about what you desire and what the payoff is for having it, then you will be pulled past painful sticking points. Desire is stronger than wishing or wanting. With desire you can experience the outcome even before you achieve it.

Certainly there are times when you want to use discipline to push through to get an outcome, but as an everyday tool, it is more expensive than having the personal awareness of what you desire.


Copyright 2004 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.