In 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27 Paul says, Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not disqualify for the prize (NIV).
In above verses Paul emphasized about the importance of self-discipline as the key factor for personal success in any games of life.
Encarta Dictionary defines self discipline as ability to motivate self: the ability to do what is necessary or sensible without needing to be urged by somebody else.
How can we develop self-discipline in ourselves?
1. Set your goals. Ask yourself what really want you to achieve in the games of life. After that, evaluate your goals if it is attainable and carefully make a plan or strategy on how to make that goal to achieve.
2. Identify your purpose. Ask yourself, what is the cause that makes you need to tackle, or desire to win in that game? Is it worthy enough to consume your energy, effort, time, and commitment? John Maxwell, writers favorite leadership author point out Behind every great accomplishment is a purpose, not a wish. Our purpose puts the seasoning in life, and makes it tasty and exciting. Maxwell added, Person with a purpose does things out of the ordinary, above average. Personality doesnt make a person extra-ordinary. Neither does intelligence nor education. What makes a person extra-ordinary is a purpose the consuming desire to accomplish something in life (Be All You Can Be, p. 69).
John Maxwell further added and gave an acrostic that may help you understand and remember what a sense of purpose will do for you, how it will lift you out of the realm of the ordinary. A purpose will cause you to:
Pray more than the ordinary person.
Unite more than the ordinary person.
Risk more than the ordinary person.
Plan more than the ordinary person.
Observe more than ordinary person.
Sacrifice more than ordinary person.
Expect more than the ordinary person.
3. Avoid toxic or negative people. Avoid people who are always belittling your ability. The Word of God clearly gave a warning about this Do not be misled: Bad Company corrupts good character (1 Corintthians15:33 NIV). Before during my student life, I experienced too a lot of criticism. But as a young man and historian, who are always thirsty, hunger for knowledge and wisdom, through reading the profiles of the great people of the world, I discovered, come up, and finally concluded that a statue has never been erected in honor for a critic!
My Dear readers if you will experience similar experienced of the author, please do not take heed to that group of toxic, negative people but focus on your main goal to win! Calvin Coolidge, an American great president once says, In the battle of life, it is not the critic who counts; nor the one who points out how the strong person stumbled, or where the doer of a deed could have done better.
The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually strive to do deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends oneself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he or she fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat (www.appleseeds.org/dareroos.htm).
Once again, the writer strongly encourages you, focus in your goals to win and read and think of this carefully:
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you dont.
If youd like to win but think you cant,
its almost certain you wont.
Lifes battles dont always to the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.
(John Maxwell, Developing a Leadership Within You, p102).
Calvin Coolidge argued, Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talents will not, nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Educations will not, the world is full of education derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
Ive found out that before any great accomplishment is achieved in reality, its believed in heart. If you need to hear the applause of the crowd, you have to begin your attack in the face of criticism, believing that the applause will come later.
4. Feed your mind with knowledge and wisdom. The late Ernie Baron, A Filipino great journalist once said Knowledge is Power. No Knowledge, No Power and the Word of God is strongly gave advised and encouraged that you should always value knowledge and wisdom if youve really want to win in the games of life. The Book of Proverbs 4:7-9 exclaim Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Through it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor. She will set garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor (NIV).
Starting today, surround yourself with the best of good books, music, and wise people because knowledge and wisdom is supreme!
5. Time Management. Through my reading in the profiles of the great people of the world, I found out that their main secrets why they become so successful in life because of time management skills. I firmly encouraged you, if youre really desire to win in the games of life, learn how to use your time wisely. Dr Bella Angeles Abangan, the writers favorite Filipino author in self-improvement reminded you that The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop; at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, work with a will. Place no faith in tomorrow, for the clock of life may then be still (Aklat 2 Lakbay-Diwa, p.53).
6. Team Work. Remember the sayings readers No man is an Island. Enable for you to become successful in youre adhering in life, you should learn to value other people. In book entitled Team Work Makes the Dreams Work, John Maxwell pointed out Teamwork gives you the best opportunity to turn vision into reality. And Andrew Carnegie, the author of the book How to Win Friends and Influenced People added It marks a big step in your development when you come to realize that other people can help you do a better job than you could do alone. Helen Keller, the blind woman who became a great educator further added Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
The Word of God forcefully reminding us people, In the Book of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 uttered, Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken (NIV).
7. Trust and Make God be the Center of your Life. Solomon, a great wise man advised if your really longing to win in the games of life, you must learn, practice, and encourage yourself to Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3: 5-6 NIV). And put God in the center and everything will come together (Romans 8:28 NIV).
Starting today, if you will make God as the center of your life, God has a special promised for you. He will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom! (Deuteronomy 28:11-13 NIV).
Finally think of this: One person seeking glory doesnt accomplish much. Success is the result of people pulling together to meet common goals (John Maxwell, Team Work Makes the Dream Work, p.27).
I encouraged you once again; Do your best always and God will do the rest! And always remember this: The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams!
About the Author
Moises Padin Reconalla is an Alumnus of Adventist University of the Philippines and a graduate student of Manila Theological College. Worked as a Guidance Counselor, College Instructor, and Working Student Supervisor at North Davao Colleges, Panabo City, Davao del Norte, Philippines.
You can contact him and send your comments about this article through his email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have time visit his blog at http://getwisdomandknowledge.blogspot.com/
All rights reserved. Copyright August 30, 2006