When we utter the word discipline ,the feeling I get is partially pleasant. As if, The word itself. generates a lot of caution before we use it on own ,or others behavior's, or maybe, it looks like a forced activity on humans. This is certainly a topic we encounter ,dwell or navigate in our lives. Having spent. For 30 years, practicing, various forms of discipline be it military, martial arts or sports, I am narrating my personal perspective here in this article to my interpretation of discipline which worked for me. I have added a flavor of neuroscience of habits to the same. Discipline is so large a subject that it would take so much to dwell on its very concept.
Many of us want to achieve goals and cultivate habits and none of this comes without instilling the process of discipline. Discipline forms the framework for creating achievements and sustaining it. Even in creativity and Innovation we need a discipline ,the discipline here is to Go out of Box.
The above picture depicts a flow chart of discipline which is based on my experienced logic, and application. The stages are explained below :-.
1. Stage one.
Having a strong Want :Discipline, cannot be inculcated, unless there is a Strong intrinsic motivation. We do things when we are motivated from deep within. Having a deeper sense of purpose is a must for intrinsic motivation. For example , if I want to look good and fit ,this may drive me to exercising everyday, as much as if I want to prevent myself from diseases x/y/z , so behind the want is the hidden value and purpose we live for. The drive can be positive or negative to do an act of habit or discipline. These wants act as a propellant, and keeps use motivated and burning. The wants serves as a ignition point, which energizes and sustains discipline.
2. Stage 2.
Persistence :So once we have the want, it is very important to hold on to the needs. It is important to often create a reminder on how to sustain the want, and why its important to us. Persistence can be generated by constant reflection's ,revisit to our wants which needs bodily and mindful awareness and constant inner talk. Creating a roadmap to our wants requires persistence , strength and resilience.
3. Stage 3.
Practice - Repetition :When we repeatedly practice our goals under a structured and process oriented manner, it sustains discipline. Repetition in neuroscience is great way to sustain neuroplasticity of change ,when small practices become sustained habits and new habits replace old ones, then it becomes a long lasting change and becomes engrained as a habit ,and we become more disciplined . Working in a process oriented job environment can be a great enabler for self discipline . As people get embedded in these processes, It becomes easier for employees to follow discipline. Structure and operating procedures enable people to be disciplined .A process orientation has positive and negative reinforcement and this promotes right behavior , which is the other name for discipline.
The hard truth I learnt in the military is that people are selected into the forces are basically disciplined ,and people who are not so disciplined become tuned with the processes over time ,and that's the strength of the process and culture .Yes , culture can promote great discipline when people stand by organizational values ,and mutually support each other to get right behavior's.
4. Stage 4.
Rewards: If disciplined people don't get noticed or rewarded the chance of its occurrence reduces .A good organization should reward discipline and thereby promote it as part of rewards and recognition. Rewards motivate sustenance of disciplined behavior's.
Discipline is a broad based term to show orderliness, rule following, conforming and process orientation and to some extent perfection. All these are good to the extent it serves our purpose. Some amount of perfection and rule following need to be taken away to create an environment of risk taking and creativity . Discipline that way would provide the stability and core strength of organizations ,and the unique value proposition is when we move out of structures and process ,take risks and think out of box. This is not deviant to discipline but just a better version of the same.
Do comment and share for greater insights and perspectives.