Today, after a long day at work, I kicked my feet up on my bed and was about to turn on the TV to relax, which would mean breaking my commitment to 0 hours of TV watching during the week. Ignoring temptation was hard; I had a long day and I just wanted to watch some TV and relax. However, I was disciplined enough to not break my promise and instead I started writing this blog. This blog is about exemptions and discipline. We all have certain things we want to be disciplined on; however, sometimes we try to make exemptions and make ourselves believe that there is a legitimate excuse for breaking certain promises or goals. We have to understand however that if we do an exemption then it will just lead to future exemptions, and this will ultimately delay or stop our goals. The first time I heard about this concept was listening to a podcast by Zig Ziglar. In the podcast, he spoke about how exemptions will kill you and that no matter what; we always have to be disciplined. Ziglar gives an example in which he had committed himself to a jog every morning at 5:30 am; however, the previous night he had gone to bed a 4 o’clock in the morning. Ziglar said that he debated with himself whether to get up at 5:30am or sleep in. Ziglar says that his body, mind and every fiber of his being were telling him to sleep in; HOWEVER, he had made a commitment so therefore, he decided to get up and go for the run. Was it a horrible run? Yes. Did he feel really crappy running? Yes. Did he wish he was sleeping like the rest of us? Yes. Did he have a horrible day cause of the lack of sleep? Yes. Nevertheless, he stuck with his commitment and you bet he was in bed already at 8 p.m. that follwing night. Ziglar claims that this was one of the most important decisions he has ever made in his life. He stayed disciplined; he stayed committed based on principle. You see, sometimes we make one exception, then the following week we make another exception, then another, and so on, and as I mentioned before what happens is that we end up breaking our commitment. Sometimes the problem does not even have to do with making an exemption; the problem is that we like to make excuses. As a culture we have excuses for everything. We love to justify our every move and make excuses. I mean, how many of us out there have not tried a diet or a workout plan? And I know that if you are like me, we tend to make exemptions all the time. I’m sure we have made comments like, “It will only be for today,” or “It’s a special occasion, I can eat whatever I want,” or “I don’t have time to go run,” or “I’m tired.” In my opinion, none of those really qualify for legitimate reasons to make any exemption; they are just bunch of excuses. The solution oftentimes is to just be disciplined in our lives. Discipline is tough, and we usually learn discipline from our parents, school, and culture. We must admit, some of us are not very well disciplined; and we all have areas in our lives we wish we were more disciplined in. In my opinion, the best discipline is self-discipline. It is the discipline we intentionally follow, because of principle. You have to be disciplined with your goals, you have to be disciplined in your relationships, you have to be disciplined at your work, you have to be disciplined with every aspect in your life. So the next time you are going to break a commitment, ask yourself: is this really a legitimate exemption or is it just an excuse?
Thanks for reading.
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