Author H. Jackson Brown Jr quipped, ‘Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.’ If you know you have talent and you’ve seen a lot of motion but little in the way of results, you may lack self-discipline. Look at what you did last week. How much of your time did you spend on regular, disciplined activities? Did you do anything to grow and improve yourself? If you have been putting these things off and telling yourself that you’ll do them later, you need to work on your self-discipline. A nursery in Canada displays this sign on its wall: ‘The best time to plant a tree is 25 years ago… The second-best time is today.’
So starting today—discipline yourself. Why? Because:
(1) There’s a price to pay to reach the next level. American playwright Sidney Howard remarked: ‘One half of knowing what you want, is knowing what you must give up before you get it.’
(2) Be willing to start with small things. At first your gains will be small, but they will grow. The difference between the gold medal winner and the other contestants, is often just hundredths of a second.
(3) Get into the right environment. Since improvement always requires some degree of risk and failure, pick a place where growth and experimentation are encouraged.
(4) Believe that you can always do it better. Anything you’ve done in a particular way for a given amount of time, can always be done better. So with God’s help, you can keep improving.