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Did you ever wonder why some people seem to be more successful in relationships, business and healthful living? I will explain just why others seem to obtain successful and fulfilling lives while their friends and neighbors struggle through life.
The principle of successful living, and of resulting spiritual and psychological growth has been suggested to me by two individuals in my life. One, by Dr. Scott Peck who wrote the best selling series of books and audio tapes titled "The Road Less Traveled." Dr. Peck was a Harvard trained psychiatrist and wrote about psychological-spiritual topics. And secondly, and probably the most influential, George Robinson of Miami, Florida, my teacher for several years in the late 1980's.
Self-discipline is the life tool that when used unceasingly, will lead to successful and healthy lives. There are four tools of discipline that will be discussed as we take our journey of spiritual and psychological growth.
The first tool is self-discipline to delay gratification. We must learn to solve a problem now. Solving problems now means learning to delay gratification. It means doing the hard things first. Solving problems now means giving up something temporarily, bearing some discomfort in solving an immediate problem, in order to have joy later.
Successful living demands that we have the self-discipline to choose to solve problems in our life now rather than ignore them, believing the problem will go away of its own accord. Successful living likewise demands that we realize that problems will not go away or fix themselves later. Therefore we must solve them now, not choose to deal with them later, not choose to procrastinate.
Some of us have learned...usually from parents, to delay or avoid entirely problem solving. We believe that somehow, magically they will fix themselves, or even go away forever. We tend to avoid problem solving whenever possible.
The second tool is the self-discipline of accepting responsibility for our problems. There are two ways we often avoid responsibility for problems in our lives. And by avoiding responsibility we therefore rationalize that there is nothing more to be done, and the problem remains even though we ignore it temporarily.
Let me give you some examples of how we think in avoiding problem solving. Read the next two paragraphs and then select which paragraph best describes how you think.
When a problem disturbs me, I tend to say to myself and others things like: "I can't do that..." or "I have to..." or "I had to..." Most problems seem to be caused by someone else or something else. For example, my child is acting the way he does because of my mate, or the school, the child's friends, etc, etc. Or, I am having financial problems because my mate spends too much, my mate doesn't make enough, my mate is a bad money manager.
Or does this paragraph describe how you think:
When a problems disturbs me, I tend to say to myself things like: "I shouldn't do that.." or "I should..." Most problems seem to be my own fault or problems occur because I don't know how to fix them or find a solution. For example, my child is acting the way he does because I have not spent enough time together. I am having financial problems because I do not have skills to get a better paying job, and I don't know how to save.
Now select which paragraph best describes how you think and click on it:
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