The Romans used to say “Vincit qui se vincit”: he conquers who conquers himself.
Lao Tzu said, in the Tao Te Ching: “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”
How do we accomplish this? It begins and ends with discipline. Discipline is defined as “to obey what is right”. The first level of discipline is obeying others: teachers, parents, police, etc. The second level of discipline is when we obey ourselves, because we know that our choices are right and that everyone will benefit from them.
Discipline is like anything else. It must be learned and it must be practiced on a daily basis. After we practice discipline for a while, it becomes a habit. We learned to brush our teeth in the morning because we obeyed our parents when they told us to do it. After a while, they didn’t have to tell us any more because we did it ourselves, knowing that it was the right thing to do.
Studying the martial art of Taekwondo emphasizes discipline. If we do not show discipline in our training, we run the risk of hurting ourselves or someone else. If we do not learn our techniques correctly, we will not be able to defend ourselves or others if we need to.
Discipline is critical to our lives in all aspects!