I strongly don’t believe that Self-Discipline is a habit or something we develop. We are disciplined because something more important motivates us to be disciplined. For me it is our core values which are responsible for my self-discipline.
In spite of your core values manifesting in self-discipline, there will be days when you digress. I do digress; I believe there is no harm in digressing a little now and then but not any longer because the sense of “who I am” rebels against the digression, and I come back into my discipline mode.
Recently, I saw a scroll hanging on the wall of my friend’s office. Written on that scroll are some Japanese symbols or characters (he said so I don’t know the difference between Chinese and Japanese characters). I asked him about the scroll. He said the symbols on the scroll mean self-discipline in Japanese and it will remind him of the self-discipline he needs to maintain.
That sounded crazy to me because you know what self-discipline is according to me. How can a bunch of meaningless symbols (the scroll looked beautiful though)make me stay self-disciplined? Being a close friend I expressed my thoughts to him. His reply made me change my opinion. He said three things, one it is not as easy to maintain self-discipline in this information era as it was in Iron Age or even industrial age. There are thousands of things trying to get your attention, television, hoardings, continuously ringing mobile phones, SMS, facebook, messengers. Everybody wants your attention and want you be as undisciplined as possible; two, when people can see God in a symbol why cannot a symbol remind me of self-discipline. I have the scroll on the wall long enough that it represents self-discipline to me. Pretty convincing isn’t it?