Discipline and Accountability
Larry Bird is one of my favorite basketball players of all time. He was a 12 time NBA All-Star, three-time NBA Champion and three-time NBA MVP. He was a two-time Finals MVP, All-Star Game MVP, NBA Rookie of the Year, three-time Three Point Shootout Champion. Larry Bird was part of the 1992 Dream Team, and he was selected as one of the 50 best players of all time.
NBA basketball players are some of the most athletic people on the planet. They can run, jump and fly through the air with ease. Larry Bird was not gifted with great athleticism or great speed, and he couldn’t jump real high. Then how did he accomplish so much? How did he become one of the greatest players of all time? It was his discipline and work ethic. Larry Bird worked harder, practiced longer and did more than almost anyone else in the history of the game to become the player he was. He would show up hours before a game, so early that the only ones in the building were a few maintenance men. He would condition, he would shoot, and he would tirelessly work on his game.
Doing something well, or being the best at something does not come easy. To be at the top of your field, or career takes personal discipline. Being personally disciplined takes work, it takes effort, it takes changing something. Personal discipline is uncomfortable; it pushes us, it stretches us to new heights and new limits. Most people shy away from personal discipline because it doesn’t feel good. A very wise person shared this thought with me: ‘You are choosing between what feels good now and what matters later’.
Where do you need personal discipline in your life? Is it an exercise regimen you keep putting off? Is it an area you need to grow at work? Is it your relationship with your spouse or children? Is it setting a time to read the bible and pray daily? Whatever it may be, it’s a choice. The famous author Jim Collins, in his book ‘Good to Great’ says that good is the enemy of great. Stop settling for being good enough and make a decision today to be great at something. The choice is up to you.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT) 24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
“Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, help us to be personally disciplined people. The kind of discipline that helps us grow and mature into the men and women you want us to become. It’s in Jesus name I pray, Amen.”