The discipline of desire is what makes a person who they are

John Locke, a philosopher, said, “The discipline of desire is the background of the character.” He says that if we want something badly enough, that desire will turn into discipline. The desire will give us the power to bring self-control and discipline into our lives so that we can build an unwavering, persistent, and resilient character.

A Disciplined Life

A person with self-control and discipline can find real meaning in life, is honest with themselves, and is willing to fail.  To turn our desire into the motivation to do what we need to do, we must first find out “why” we do what we do. When we don’t know why we’re doing something, it’s easy to give up. This is why we need to ensure that our reasons are strong enough to keep us going even when things get hard, or even more so. We should want to reach our goals because it makes us stronger and helps us grow as people, not so we can look good in front of others.

Honesty and Discipline

Being honest with ourselves is also part of self-discipline. We have to be willing to admit where we still need to improve. How can we fix things if we don’t want to admit we need to fix them? If we want to be disciplined, we have to be able to see where we need to be taught, warned, and corrected.

It’s a Process

Discipline is not something that happens overnight. It’s a process that takes a lot of work. We must not only have a good reason for what we want and be honest with ourselves in areas where we need to be disciplined, but we must also be willing to fail. This seems entirely backward, but the key to succeeding at self-discipline is being ready to fail.

Failure is an excellent way to learn how to keep going. When something goes wrong, we shouldn’t see it as a problem but as a way to get around it. It’s not a roadblock but a stepping stone.


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