“Tuesday,” just the sound of that day sent a shiver down my spine as a child. “Was I ready? Would I get in trouble?” I did not know. I hated that cursed day.
“Thursday,” just the sound of that heaven blessed day put a smile on my face that spread from ear to ear! I had been eating for this all week! It had a finally come and I was ready!
Why did I feel this way? Partly because of a simple thing called self-discipline. Bum Phillips said it best, “The only discipline that lasts is self discipline.” This statement has proven to be true time and time again in my short lifetime.
As a child my Tuesdays started out like any other day, but they always ended badly because of piano lessons. I never liked playing the piano, and I especially hated practicing. But no matter what I tried, my mother would not let me quit. “That is out of the question! You have way too much talent, and if you quit you will just regret it!” I heard these words every day as practice time rolled around.
The nagging only got worse come recital time, the absolute worst time of the year! This meant I would have to practice twice as long and then memorize a terribly boring song that nobody, not even my parents, wanted to hear! Then came the actual recital. I had to wear an itchy dress, and sit in a hard pew for up to two hours listening to a bunch of kids attempt to play the piano. It was torture!
As I got older and still showed no interest in playing the piano, my mother eventually allowed me to quit. I was not improving simply because I hated to practice, and when I did practice, I seldom concentrated. Although my mother had tried, nothing she could do made me want to play the piano. I had no self-discipline, and my piano playing was proof.
On the other hand, Thursdays started out like any other day, but always finished as the best day. You see, Thursdays were game days! Basketball days to be exact! I loved basketball with a passion! Practices were a blast, but games were even better! I always thought we could win, and even if we didn’t, I still loved to play.
Because of my love for basketball, unlike the piano, I always wanted to practice. As the old saying goes,” Practice makes perfect.” While I was never perfect, I always believed that I could take any girl in my grade in a game of one on one. If you gave me a ball, I would show you my stuff. That confidence, along with a little talent, has helped me excel in basketball over the years. Of course, all the self-discipline practice time didn’t hurt either. I have gone to lots of camps, played on summer teams, and now I am a player for my high school team. And, it all started on Thursdays.
Being forced to do something seldom works. In spite of all the lessons and practice, I still do not enjoy playing the piano, even to this day. Basketball, on the other hand, comes easy. I not only love to play the game, but I still love to practice. For me, this illustrates how important self-discipline is to our personal enjoyment and success in life.
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