Maybe Your Real Problem Isn’t a Discipline Problem

Curated Reading and Listening Material 


READ -> This article is about how to create a learning culture on your staff or team.

LISTEN -> This podcast covers the topic of high expectations and how they can help people achieve at a higher level. It is called the Pygmalion Effect.

VERSE -> John 15:12 This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

VIDEO-> How one small mindset tweak can actually make a big difference in your staff!



I have a favor to ask. I have set a goal for myself to double my email subscribers in the next two weeks. I am currently at 70 and want to get to 140 by August 14th. One of the best ways to get to a tipping point is by the network effect.

There are three ways you can help:

1. Would you please forward or share one of my emails with 3-5 friends/coaches in the next two weeks?

2. Would you please follow me on twitter at @KingdomCoachTW and retweet my tweet with my weekly email?

3. Do both of #1 and #2 please?

Maybe Your Real Problem Isn’t a Discipline Problem

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In one particular article I read last week about discipline, the author was talking about how discipline is hard.

discipline is harder than trustworthiness and skill and perhaps even than selflessness. We are by nature flawed and inconsistent creatures. We can’t even keep from snacking between meals. We are not built for discipline.”

Most would agree with this assessment of discipline.

What if I told you your problem might not be a discipline problem.

Before I get into why I don’t believe discipline is our problem (very general broad-brush statement), let me share some stories.

I have a buddy who has disciplined himself to watch an episode of one of four Netflix shows every single night. He never misses.

He seriously has not missed watching one episode of a program in over four months.

How’s that for discipline?

I started dating my wife during our junior year of high school. On our first date, we went to see Dances With Wolves in the theater. From that night on, I never… I repeat, NEVER, missed a day to talk to her, or see her if I was able (this is before cell phones:).

No one ever had to preach discipline to me. I would go by her locker EVERY day. I would call her EVERY night. No one ever sat me down and motivated or inspired me to be more disciplined.

Pretty disciplined huh?.

Our problem is not discipline. Our problem is deeper. It is a desire, satisfaction, or fulfillment issue.

We will ALWAYS do that which we think will give us the most satisfaction, significance, or security. You might be saying “I promise you I want the satisfaction that ice cream can give me. But I am forgoing it to lose the 15 pounds I need to lose.”

To that, I would say you actually think that losing the weight will give you more satisfaction or fulfillment than the ice cream.

I am not sure of all the nuance and interplay between our desires. I do know that there are battling desires going on at the same time. There are obvious times where doing one thing feels a lot harder than doing another thing.

For example, you have the choice tonight to call recruits or watch your favorite show on Netflix. That tension will be felt. Your choice will depend on what you think will ultimately give you the most significance, satisfaction, or security.

(Without getting too deep into this… the above example is why it is so important to have a ‘long game’ mindset and not a ‘short game’ mindset.)

You might be asking “So what? How does this actually affect me?”

Knowing this will help you fight the battle of satisfaction, significance, security… and not fight the false battle of discipline.

I usually get up really early. It is rare that I don’t wake up in the 5:00 hour. I also go to bed really early… like 9:15 to 9:30 early. I do NOT discipline myself to do either of those. I love it.

I love getting up early, before everyone else. I read, I pray, I write, I think, I create, I reflect. I workout.

I love it.

Some might say I have great discipline. I actually just try to have alignment between my hopes and dreams, my habits and rhythms, and my satisfaction, significance, and security.

This routine is what gives me health (for the most part:) in all other areas of my life.

1. It is important to know your values. We really want our values to drive our thoughts and actions. If you don’t know what is most important to you, how will we ever know what gives us the most satisfaction, significance, or security?

2. When you feel tension, it is important to get to the root. Asking “Why” can be super beneficial. “Why do I want this so bad?” “Why did I lose my mind when I didn’t get __________?” After you have answered the first “why” keep asking “why”. Keep asking until you have gotten to the root of the issue.

3.  As I mentioned, playing the long game is important. If you only have thoughts of the ‘here and now’ you will make poor decisions.

PS. This sounds really easy and clean but it is far from that. However, I try not to beat myself up over discipline or lack thereof. I simply work hard to align!

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Travis Wyckoff

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