Set up a new discipline when the idea strikes you—when it is hot and the emotion is strong.
Being genuinely disciplined requires that you develop the ability to take action. You don’t need to be too hasty, but you also don’t want to lose much time. The time to act is when the idea strikes us—when it is hot and the emotion is strong, before the feeling passes and the idea dims. If you don’t, you’ll fall prey to the law of diminishing intent. A month from now, the passion will be cold—a year from now, it won’t be found.
So take action.
Set up discipline when the excitement is high and your idea is clear and powerful. You’ve got to take action, otherwise the wisdom is wasted. The enthusiasm will soon pass, unless you apply it to a disciplined activity. Discipline enables you to capture the emotion and wisdom and translate that into action.3
The greatest value of discipline is self-worth, also known as self-esteem. Because once we sense a lack of discipline within ourselves, it starts to erode our psyche.
One of the greatest temptations is to ease up just a little bit. Instead of doing your best, you allow yourself to do just a little less than your best. Sure enough, you’ve started, in the slightest way, to decrease your sense of self-worth.
There is a problem with even a little bit of neglect. Neglect starts as an infection. If you don’t take care of it, it becomes a disease—and one neglect will lead to another. Once this has happened, how can you regain your self-respect?
Start with the smallest discipline.
Make the commitment: "I will discipline myself to achieve my goals so that in the years ahead I can celebrate my successes."