On Your Own
The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline. What your parents tell you not to do will only last until they’re not around anymore, unless of course you have instilled some of their rules into your own. Most people, especially teenagers need to learn from their mistakes and past experiences to develop their own rules and values.
In a recent conversation with my parents about going to college, we discussed self- discipline and its importance in this part of my life. Children who are completely sheltered through out childhood and even through out high school are often the ones who go crazy when they realize mommy and daddy aren’t watching their every move in college. The new environment is full of possibilities, more opportunities to drink, have sex, and skip class. As children they were constantly told what and what not to do. College is their first chance to break free (without a curfew). Self –discipline will be the only thing there to keep us on the right path to success. Knowing what and what not to let yourself do, how much, how long, when and when not are all key factors of the concept.
When on a diet, there is no one constantly watching everything you eat or asking if you’ve exercised today. Any diet will only be successful through self-discipline and determination. It’s the little voice in your head telling you not to eat the ice cream because YOU know you shouldn’t.
I believe that discipline is very important but that self- discipline is essential unless you plan on spending your life in jail, a mental institution, or if you’re lucky- just miserable. Someone can only tell you what to do for so long. But then you’re on your own. You must establish what YOU believe is right and wrong. Your beliefs will be the only ones that truly matter to you in the end. Find yourself, discipline yourself and be true to yourself. I believe in what you think is right because of what you’ve seen or experienced, and not only because someone told you to. Self- discipline is what will keep you sane and civil when things are looking bad and no one is around to tell you what to do. Self- discipline is what makes you who you are.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.