Borrowing money isn’t usually a good idea. But there is one thing you can borrow that will change your life! Discipline is the best thing to borrow…
I was often told growing up that I should not borrow anything, especially money, because you didn’t want to be in debt, and borrowing was just a bad idea. And I think that’s generally true, but I found there is one thing I can borrow that can be life changing. And that’s this: you can borrow discipline. I don’t know about you, but I’ve often found myself in situations where I felt like I didn’t have the discipline I needed to move something forward. To try something new, or keep at something, and because of that lack of discipline, I often didn’t make the progress I wanted.
Well, I was facing a situation a few years ago, that I needed more discipline, and I just didn’t have it. We were involved in planting our second church, and I was working a regular job during the day, and one of the only times I could meet people is if I got up early in the morning and saw them for breakfast before work. If I wanted to have any God time, any time with the Lord before that, I had to get up really early. And I was not a morning person, it just did not come easy. I set my alarm, it would go off and that snooze button would call me, and I would reach over and turn it off, I just had a hard time getting up. I didn’t have the discipline to develop that habit consistently.
So what I did was I contacted a friend of mine and he was in the habit of getting up early, he had an early morning job, and he had been getting up at 4am for years. He was so established in his life that he didn’t even need an alarm clock, he would just automatically wake up at 4am every morning. I arranged with him, to give me a phone call every morning at 5, that was when i needed to get up. So at 5am, the phone would ring, I would answer it and he’d say “Hey David! It’s Peter, I wanted to just call and see if you are up?” “Yeah Peter, I am up, thanks.” and then he’d say “So, one more question: Are you staying up Dave?” I’d say “Oh yeah Peter, I’m staying up” and of course I’m waking up by this point a bit “Ok, one more question: Are you lying to me?” “No Peter, I’m awake, I’m up and I’m staying up”.
And by that time I was awake enough that I did get up, and I stayed up because I didn’t want to lie to Peter after he had just asked me about it. We did that every day, day after day, for several weeks, and by the end of that time, I had developed a new habit. I had developed the habit, the discipline of getting up early. My internal alarm clock had changed, when I went to bed changed, and everything was different, and I was able to get up on my own.
Now in essence, what I did, was borrow discipline from Peter. He already had it in his life, and I piggybacked on what he was doing until I was able to develop it myself. You can do that with other things besides the alarm. If you find someone who is doing something that you want to do, or need to do, you can often find a way to borrow discipline from them. Connect with what they are doing, have them give you a phone call. I knew one guy who wanted to go to the gym, so he had some friends, stop by his house to pick him up everyday, and they took him to the gym, and eventually it shifted to: he would meet them at the gym, and eventually, he had the habit built, he had developed the discipline, to go to the gym on his own. But he started out really, by borrowing theirs.
So I just wanted to suggest that you think about that. You might not want to be a borrower of money, I think that’s a good idea, but when you are stuck, you don’t have the discipline to move forward, find someone else who’s got it and see if you can borrow it, until you develop your own. Try it and see what happens, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
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