Scott Peck defines discipline in two words – there it is, delayed gratification. Say that with me, “Delayed gratification”. So when you think about discipline, you think about what? Delayed gratification. That’s discipline. Delayed gratification. As a small boy, my parents and your parents, tried to teach you the concept of discipline, of delayed gratification. “Ed, eat the liver and onions and broccoli, because guess what’s for dessert?
Your favorite! Home-made ice cream” and I would see grandpa over there on the churn there in Laurel, Mississippi as we were vacationing in the beautiful spot in the deep south. “The ice cream’s coming, Ed. Eat all the liver, all the onions, all the broccoli”. I would go “Yuk!” but I would endure that because “There’s ice cream!” That’s delayed gratification. That’s a difficult principle to teach, isn’t it? You talk about a well-disciplined student, they come home from school, they get their homework up the first thing so they can enjoy the rest of the evening.
If you put it off, if you become Paul or Paula Procrastination…you wait and you wait until the last minute and then you’re cramming, “Oh no! I didn’t get it” and early in the morning you’re trying to copy the notes from someone in school and you’re freaked out. So, do first things first. Do what you ought to do. Not what you want to do. That’s discipline. Delay the gratification. Delayed gratification.
I work out often, about five times a week and I work out, I endure the pain of the Stairmaster, of running in the heat, of lifting weights. I endure the pain because I know the benefits when I’m in my sixties will be great! I’ll feel good about my posture.