Essay and Answer Writing → UPSC Essays

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment” [2008]

Every individual’s life is defined by a sense of purpose. Everyone has goals, dreams, aspirations that they want to achieve, successfully. For some it may be related to their profession, for others their art and for yet others their academics. While these goals may differ from person to person, what makes the goals achievable is common to everyone. To be able to accomplish desired targets, one has to inculcate values of discipline and hard-work. Discipline is intrinsically related to motivation. It is what makes us work towards our target and make ourselves productive. This essay explains the importance of discipline and how it helps one achieve success. 
 
‘Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment’ is a famous quotation by the American entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn. It essentially means that in order to achieve the ‘end’ that is one’s goal, one must follow the path of discipline as its ‘mean’. Discipline teaches us to obey rules. For instance, a player must follow rigorous sessions of daily practice or a student must devote some hours daily to study and learn. Not following a strict schedule can infact hinder development and keep one from achieving their targets. Rohn compares ‘discipline’ to a ‘bridge’. Just like a bridge which provides a limited passage and joins two ends of a road or river, discipline is that essential pathway, connecting one’s dreams to reality.  
 
There are numerous examples around us that prove that discipline and hardwork can lead to success. Consider the example of the ex-President of India, also a famous scientist with an illustrious career, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Kalam was born into a poor Tamil family in Rameshwaram in 1931. Even though his family wasn’t as affluent, Kalam possessed a strong desire to learn and achieve greatness. He loved mathematics and spent hours studying the subject. His disciplined lifestyle allowed him to reach great heights of success. As a visionary scientist, he made several recommendations in field of technological innovations, agriculture and nuclear energy. He was awarded India’s highest honour, the Bharat Ratna and was elected as Indian President in 2002. 
 
Discipline is not just about working hard towards your goal. It is also about doing those things others are not willing to do, hanging in there long after everyone else has let go and given up and doing what’s uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable. One must strive to surround themselves with the right people, those who motivate you, inspire you. Distractions must be kept at bare minimum to avoid indolence. One must learn to respect others’ points of views, value opinions and choose what is right. Neglecting these can have a counter-effect. Neglect starts out as an infection, and soon it becomes a full blown disease that has you in its grip and won’t let go, until discipline comes to cure this disease! Lack of discipline also leads to procrastination, which may cause a lack of progress and inconsistency. 
 
Success in life is not only about academic or professional accomplishment, but it means to be successful in personal lives. It means that one should be able to achieve their goals without compromising their health and relationships and have a meaningful life. Inculcating a disciplined way of life as a habit can be helpful. We must believe in the ‘power of habit’ and train our brain for it. Planning is also an important component for a disciplined life. After Independence, India had several challenges to face. With poor literacy, high mortality and extreme poverty, India has become one of the countries with largest growth rate. And this has been made possible only due to proper, strategic planning. Making a list of ‘short term’ and ‘long term’ goals is also helpful. Accomplishing the short term goals increases the willingness to strive towards the longer term plans. As Swami Vivekananda had once said, “Arise, awake and stop not till our goal is reached”, this should be taken seriously by everyone. Rewarding oneself, upon achieving a goal – big or small – also reinforces values of discipline and perseverance. 
 
Make discipline your greatest ally. Make yourself committed towards the goal that you have decided and stay committed unless and until you have achieved your goal. And as they say, in order to control what you ‘do’, control what you ‘think’. Train your mind with positivity, good thoughts and motivation to achieve. Discipline, will power and mental toughness can take a person long way ahead. 
 



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