Have you ever wondered what separates the self disciplined person from the undisciplined person?
See if you can recognize the difference in this story.
A Shortcut to Discipline?
A man decided that he wanted to become a tightrope walker. He had been friends with an experienced tightrope walker for years.
He admired his older friend’s skill, fitness, and grace.
He envied how the crowd “Oohed” and “Ahhed” as his friend navigated a thin rope several feet high in the air.
He saw how his friend drank in the crowd’s thunderous applause after he completed each dangerous stunt in triumph.
The man didn’t feel good about himself and he thought the key to change was getting the crowd’s approval. After all, he thought, that’s what his friend had and he was the most confident man he knew.
So one day, he told his tightrope-walker friend that he noticed a wire between 2 buildings downtown and he intended to walk across that.
He was going to do it during the lunch hour when there would be lots of people around to see and applaud him.
“No!” The experienced tightrope walker said, “You’ve never even walked across a stick on the ground, never mind a tightrope. Let me train you. First, you’ll begin with a beam on the ground. That will start to train your balance.
Once you master crossing that, then we’ll raise the beam off the ground a few feet. We will keep raising the bar as you improve, giving you more complicated crossings to build up your skills. With time, you will learn to become an experienced tightrope walker too.”
The man frowned. “That’s too much work! It will take too long. Plus, there is no crowd around to see me practice. I want that love and approval you get.”
The friend shook his head. “You are only seeing the end of my story. You didn’t see the work it took to get here.
I spent hours training – even when nobody was watching, even when nobody applauded me. I practiced every day. Sometimes, I even fell off the beam! But I got back up.
If you want to become a tightrope walker, that is what you must do.
Plus, I don’t do this to get the crowd’s approval. That only lasts a short while anyway. I am doing this because I love to do it. Friend, you need to approve yourself right now for who you are – not because of what you do.”
But the man left the experienced tightrope walker, thinking he was going to do the stunt anyway.
He wanted the shortcut to applause, not all that work and practice his friend talked about. Surely there was an easier way to becoming a professional tightrope walker!
He was going to find that easier way.
A few weeks later, the experienced tightrope walker was shocked to see the man’s picture on the news. But it was not a happy news story.
The man had attempted the tightrope walking stunt. However, he did not get the applause he was seeking. He only got the reaction of a horrified crowd as he fell to his death.
This man’s story illustrates an important key to self-discipline – 1 key that he ignored. Did you guess what it was?
God’s Way to Self Discipline
You can find a clue to self-discipline in how God Himself operates:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).”
Did you notice the word “plans” was mentioned 3 times in this scripture?
Our God is a thinking, planning God! He does not act on impulse. He works a plan.
That is the only difference between disciplined and undisciplined people. Self disciplined people work a plan every day.
The word “discipline” comes from the word “disciple.” A disciple is a person who is trained, one who follows a plan of instruction.
While a disciplined person works a plan every day, an undisciplined person goes through each day without a plan. They spend the day wishing and hoping that things will work out.
They allow life to “just happen” to them.
Their moods rule them or else, they allow outside influences to pull them in different directions.
Subconsciously, they think success is just going to fall into their laps, like winning the lottery.
But for the disciplined person, it is a different story. They focus on moving forward, not looking backward.
They have a clear picture in their minds of what they want, seeing the end from the beginning. They see what they want in action, in living, breathing color.
Then, they develop a plan for getting there. They take on the attitude of a student. They may make mistakes, but they learn from them. They may have to adjust their plan, but they keep their picture before them mentally.
Disciplined people work a plan.
When someone tries to persuade the disciplined person to act contrary to what they want, they just say “I can’t do that. I’m working a plan.”
A disciplined person is usually a person of integrity. Most do the right thing, even when nobody is watching. They keep working their plan, even when no one else is around to applaud them for it.
Don’t fool yourself; success is never an accident.
However, failure often is.
Although you may not have seen it, that successful person you admire worked a plan to get where they are.
If you want to become more successful, then you too must become a person who works a plan every day. Never start your day without a plan.
Remember: The main reason that people fail is because they never work a plan to succeed every day!
Today, decide to become a person who “works a plan.” And you too will succeed.
Be Blessed with Health, Healing, and Wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Do you struggle with overeating sugar? If so, you are not alone!
Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my journey to losing 85 pounds and dropping from a size 22 to a size 8.
In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge online course (inside the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss.
Click here to learn more about the Take Back Your Temple program.
“Prayer for Weight Loss”
I was just thinking that I need to get into a routine , as I’m sitting here and it’s 2 o’clock in the morning and I found this article. I cannot thank you enough Kimberly. I really needed to read this
Glad to hear it was a blessing to you, Alexis!
This is such a good email! It speaks to me so clearly and it is so sobering.
It starts to sink in the importance of a daily plan and practicing it. I have lots of good intentions and lots of good attempts but they never last past two weeks! Im starting to realize that I haven’t been such a good steward with the most precious commodity God gives us: time!
Every day is such a precious gift that I should treasure every moment and use it wisely.
Thank you Kimberly
You are welcome, Simona – I pray the Lord direct you in the wisest use of your time so you can maximize it for His kingdom and enjoy life to the full!
After floundering around today, wondering why I didn’t eat in a healthy manner, your post reminds me of the importance of having some sort of plan each day. Great insight! TBYT is such a blessing me. Thank you Jesus!
Glad that was helpful, Vickie – God bless you on your wellness journey!
Very timely – I needed to hear this today. Thank you!
Glad to hear it was a word in due season, Mary Anne 🙂
Super programme 🙂
I appreciate that, Helene – all glory to God!
Thank you for sharing this.
You are welcome, Valerie!
Thank you for such encouraging and inspiring words of truth!!! God bless you!
You are welcome, Cheryl. May the Lord bless you on your wellness journey 🙂
Yes and Amen. I am guilty of wanting things, but no plan and no real work. Going out this year I can say I have a plan and the first thing is to set my eyes on the Plan MAKER and become a discipline disciple. Thanks Kim for sharing this with me.
You are welcome, Nancy – God bless you!
Wonderful words of instructions and encouragement. Thank you so much for the article, it was right on time!!!! Many blessings and Merry Christmas, Kimberly!!!
Thank you, Mary – God is good!
Wow, I have loved the challenge of always planning. The lesson that God operates with a plan. I would always want to imitate Him.
Thank you Kimberly.
You are welcome, Mercy – may the Lord be praised!
Thank you Kim, this was a wonderful example of how to live the a Christian life, and here, planning what to eat. Most weight loss plans tell you to plan. This had an impact on me, one day at a time, practice, don’t give up or in, if you fail, start over again,
Trust the Lord He wants the best for us. God bless you, you always share a timely word.
This article is the key I need. I have never heard it explained this way and it makes so much sense. Thank you so much!
You are welcome, Rita! The real challenge is working that plan every day because so many things in this world can distract us. May the Lord guide you in staying focused 🙂
Thank you for sharing this. I realize I need a plan. God’s plan. Also thank you for being the friend of the tight rope walker. We/I will not die like the walker. Instead we/I choose to learn and get it right one day at a time. I have friends who have had surgery and one is going to get one. Also people have met someone online and married. I don’t want that to be MY story. Not that is wrong but I believe God has something better. Thanks
This is a great article. It has given me something to think about. I love the statement: “A disciple is a person who is trained, one who follows a plan of instructions”
This was on time! I was literally lead to read Jeremiah this morning, I did however walk away mid thru reading. Then I came to my room and there was my phone which had unread/unopened emails and here this article was blaring at me…. Jeremiah 29. God will get his point across whether you want it or not. Amen!
Correction: working God’s plan for my life with diligence!
Great reminders of working your plan with diligence!
Well said Su
Thank you Kimberly! Your articles ALWAYS resonate with me as spiritual truth. You have a gift. Your words today about working a plan state a simple truth, yet I am guilty of either overthinking or winging it. Neither one works. You’ve inspired me to TAKE THE TIME to make a plan for myself today, and further inspired me to pray for wisdom and to walk in the fruit of the spirit as I walk out that plan. I’ve been wrestling with my weight for over 40 years, and I’ve read hundreds of diet books and halfway started countless weight-loss Bible studies with no success. Your articles, videos and FB groups are the real deal. It’s all about Jesus, and our hearts. Thank you.
Diane, I’m sure Kimberly, herself, will reply but I want to also because I can so relate to your situation. When I had just graduated from HS, my doctor put me on a 600 calorie diet. I ate nothing but a the measured calories in the shakes/cookies, something like Slim Fast. At the end of 2 weeks, I’d only lost 2 lbs. The doctor accused me of cheating. Years later I asked my Mom why she didn’t stand up for me. She knew I hadn’t since we were together 24/7 traveling across the country.
I was almost 200 lbs. at my heaviest…Way too much for 5′ 4″ in height. It’s taken me years of investigation to learn answers…mostly ones that are unique to me…such as food sensitivities (constant inflammation…i.e. the body holds water weight). Please know that it’s not lack of discipline on your part. If you have the attitude, “If it works I’d do it”, I’d be willing to do what I could to help you. You can friend me on FB – Sue Robinson, Raleigh NC – then Private Message me there. Above all else, Diane, I am now led to pray for you…which, to my way of thinking…is the most important thing I can do. Blessings!
Such an encouraging post and I know it’s true. But I worked my plan daily for 2 1/2 mos with nothing to show for it and it was extremely discouraging. I would be honest if I was fudging here and there but I truly stayed within the plan of eating and exercising during that time and the movement on the scale was by oz up and down. At the end, I weighed the same.
Hi Diane – I am not sure what plan you were on, but know this…if you use the scale as your sole measurement of success, then you are vulnerable to discouragement. Are your clothes fitting better? Do you have more energy? Are you able to move better? Do you have a more positive outlook on life? Are you growing in Spiritual fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control)? All of these are signs that you are moving in the right direction.
With that being said, Sue is right in that certain people do have food sensitivities that cause them to hang on to weight. For example, I discovered I have a sensitivity to wheat-based products. The first week I removed them from my diet, I almost lost 4 pounds. You also may not be eating enough nutrients or even enough calories. Here are a couple of articles on TBYT that may help:
God bless you on this journey – it’s a good one and your life is worth wellness!
Please. don’t let the enemy imprison you by a number on the scale. It could be medication,fluid, a number on the scale does not say who you are. You! are the “Kings”Daughter! That makes you! Pretty special. Sometimes we can tell better by how our clothes fit than by a number on the scale. Don’t get hung up on that. Fight the good fight In due time you! will reap a harvest.
Great message. Definitely agrees with my study last night. Specifically the statement “never start your day without a plan”. I recently brought a planner that ask specific questions in the morning and evening to help me focus. I’ve been working my way to being discipline and focused. It’s still a work in progress but this blog post pushed me to awareness
God has really annointed you through your writing. God bless you mightily for hearing His voice, being obedient to use your gifts, and communicating so effectively! I’ve read much over the years, however what you write really sticks with me. Praise God!
Thank you for your kind words, Mary – I’m am grateful to God for His supply!
Thank you Kimberly. This article is so timely for me. Highly inspiring. May you be rewarded greatly.
Thank you for these words of wisdom. This coincides with Habakuk 2: 2 “Write a vision and make it plain.” I have found that success doesn’t come by accident, it happens when you know your purpose AND you prepare for it. Someone once wrote “pray like it all depends on God, live like it all depends on you.”
While the tightrope story may seem unbelievable (who in their right mind would choose to walk across a rope at such deathly heights if it was their first time?!?!), but this story rang so true. I can relate to wanting the benefits of success without the hard work that goes into it. I would love to be a senior executive, but what good would it do anyone for me to be in that position of authority if I lack maturity and grace in dealing with the magnitude of situations and personalities that come with the responsibility?
yes! true,true, so we keep working gods plan till we reap a harvest 🙂 thank you
That’s the way to go, Debra!
God knew I needed to read this. While I believe there are other imbalances (also) contributing to my endless days of accomplishing nothing, THIS rings TRUE as well.
When I give myself a moment to consider your words, my soul-ish voice (critically, accusing) whines, “Even when you make a plan, you don’t follow through with it – then you become even more disillusioned and disappointed with yourself!” Followed up with, “So why even start if you’re only going to fail?! Or ‘fall off the wagon’ half-way to your goal? Haven’t you failed yourself enough?! Haven’t you drank that bitter brew of disappointment enough?!” And then, I think…maybe…probably……I allow myself to bow my head in shame and go do something else…something not so challenging…somewhere those “voices” don’t badger me. Somewhere where I’m not bullied. And then I end THAT day wondering why I’ve failed myself yet again.
Praise God He created me strong-willed. Sometimes that works against me, but in this case: Enemy – try as you may, my God will tromp you. And He will accomplish His good and perfect will in me. I will not be your pawn.
May God help us all to be FEARLESS in this daily battle against the evil one’s lies, deceptions, excuses and misleading cues. Greater is He Who is in me than he who is roaming about…seeking only to steal, kill and destroy. We do not have to be the enemy’s victims.
Your word caused my Spirit to leap, Angie. Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world!
Wonderful article! It is very inspirational! I love your writing!
Thank you Darla – all glory to God!
Soooo sooooooo timely. We are to strive to be like Christ… Let this mind be in you… be holy as I am holy… God is not the author of confusion. If you don’t have a plan, there’s confusion. It’s a good principle. God plans. We are to follow hus example. I’ve been meditating on a plan, then I just read this. Now it’s solidified what I must do. God is awesome!
I’m a laid-back kind of person; going with the flow. I’ve always hated planning…to the point that I’m surprised that I even had a wedding (as opposed to eloping). In this new job I have, I find myself doing a little more planning (out of necessity), and I find that it reduces my stress level to know that things are taken care of. Reading this article was a big “Aha!” moment for me. No wonder I’m unhealthy and I can’t lose weight…I’m failing to plan and continuing to fail.
Here’s to learning to plan (and liking it)!
Thanks Kimberly and blessings to you and ministry.
Your article was exactly what I needed to hear. You have a gift of writing. I always enjoy your articles. Don’t ever stop. They minister love and life. Thank you for your diligence
I’m ready to work the plan. I’ve had so many challenges, I need support and I know with Gods help I can do this. I’ve given in and it has only gotten worse. I’m excited to see what being in a group can do. A new hope is a powerful feeling! Blessings!
Kim, thank you for sharing this story with us. I am back on track now. I’ve been off for a while. I too was diagnosed with some health issues. Test showed that I have a fatty liver and a cyst on my kidney. Also blood work showed that I am pre-diabetic. Sometimes life challenges can catapult you into getting you back on the right path. What the devil meant for evil, God has turned it around for His good! This April I was weighing 162, now I am down to 146. I’m just taking things one day at a time. I set a goal for my self using the “my plate livestrong” app. I said if I can lose 1 pound a week, I will be satisfied. I am now making wonderful food choices and doing a lot of research on nutrition. Now my next step is to get into some type of exercise, if nothing else but walking! Walking is good and it’s free, right! Just need to get motivated in this area. Y’all pray for me! My desire and prayer is this be a life style change and not just for a season. God has still a lot for me to do and I need to be fit to do it!
Such words of wisdom, and the story illustrates it perfectly.
It inspires confidence because we know it to be true. Which one of us learned to read, or to ride a bike, or to do ballet, or go to college by ‘winging it’? And excelled? Here, as we seek the Lord for this ‘impossible mountain’ we can know that He is able to take us across as we follow Him. He has NEVER failed. He can be trusted to accomplish this work in us as we trust His promises and work His plan: “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it to the day of Jesus Christ… “And God is able to make ALL grace abound toward you; that ye always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: I love how many times he uses the word all and every good work, like rebuilding God’s Temple…
Thank you so much for this word in season. I need to daily work my plan to success. The road is long sometimes but one day at a time and we will get there. thanks and God bless you.
Yes, this definitely spoke to me. I have many good ideas for being successful, but I start and never arrive at the end. I started walking again yesterday and it felt so good. I was tired this morning, but I made myself do it. It was a little rainy, but at 6:45am, it was the most beautiful rainbow which reminded me of God’s unchanging covenant. God is faithful and I am created in His image, so I can be faithful and discipline as well.
Thank you, Kimberly!!!
Displine , perseverance.these are needed in all areas of our life. 2 yrs ago the Lord began working on me. I began to daily read my bible and pray and layer by layer my life changed. Then I joined TBYT….again these same two principals started working. Now these principals are bareing fruit. I have an eating plan that is working for me.i am down20 pounds but it is a daily disapline. Thebible says that God DAiLY loads us with blessings……see He is disapline day too!
Kim,thank you for your ministry to the undisaplined. It’s helping us all to change. We give God All the glory!
Thank you so much Kimberly! It is so easy to make a plan and not stick to it. I like the part of the story that even when the man was practicing and fell off, he got right back on and kept going. I am too much of an all or nothing person. I had trouble with overeating these last couple days and instead of doing my usual thing of blowing it for the rest of the weekend, I am going to get right back on plan. God bless you! I’m so glad the Lord is using you to encourage us! ~Terri
oh thank you, Kimberly! I recognize myself as the undisciplined person…that’s me! I begin each month with what I want to achieve for the month, but I stop. I don’t work on it. so each month is failed…nothing is achieved.
I have, at the top of my July calendar. ..”work on a plan everyday. ” Kimberly Taylor. at the margin, is my plan.
God has brought us together, even if we’ve never met in person, I thank God for you, and the work you do.
Excellent article. I have just been diagnosed with diabetes and now I truly have to discipline myself in my diet and in my life.
Your article is so timely and illustrated so well by the story of the tightrope walker. Unfortunately I have just been diagnosed with a serious illness so I must work a healthy eating plan and stick to it. So don’t wait until there’s a forced reason to work your plan do it now. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Prayers for you Elyse
Keep fighting the good fight!
This is just what I needed to read to remind me of some things I need to do. Being a procrastinator, I often start a plan but then fail to keep working my plan. Thanks for this timely article!!
This speaks to me…and is something I’ve been thinking about. The other day I read something that supposedly the Dalai Lama said. I’m a Chrisitian and do not follow him but this comment did speak to me. He said when he was tempted by a woman he reminds himself that he is a monk. I thought why not put this into use in my life…when tempted by food, I can say something like I eat according to my eating plan, or I don’t eat that or at this time of day I don’t eat that etc. Like you say, I can’t do that, I’m working a plan.
It sounds so simple…a no brainer. But the truth is I have failed to “work the plan”. Thank you for this article. The light has finally come on! I will work a plan from today forward!
I did not achieve all I wanted to this week. I ate some things I knew I should not have eaten, but thank God for strengthening me to get up and try it again! I’m not going to quit! I know I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Keep me in your prayers.
You are not alone!
We are all on this road together. The road takes different turns. But! If we do not falter we all will reach our destination. It is not an easy road but! Jesus! lights the pathway. He who begun a good work in us is faithful to complete it! Great!! article as always! Kimberly!
As usual, this is right on time! I’ve been working the plan God gave me concerning my health for about 4 days now. It’s not easy, and I’ve already fallen short once, but I’ll continue to work the plan and expect to see the results I’m seeking. Thanks for sharing!
Keep up the good work! I love the song “we fall down, but we get up”. I agree that it’s not easy! But with God all things are possible!
Thank you TBYT!!!!
I am in the same position. I will pray for you
GREAT ARTICLE!! I have been truly blessed with your words of wisdom. They are in due season for my life.