True success cannot be achieved overnight. It is something that can only be earned by hard work, dedication and resilience, combined together. Unless a person is ready to put in the effort and go the distance, he shall never be able to experience the taste of triumph. But majority of the population, especially in India, do not have the combination of these three magic elements that can make them earn laurels in their respective fields.
Quite a few make a cut, and that is because they made it a routine to be able to work harder, focus harder and comeback every time failure knocked them down. All this in an attempt reach their goal. They do not stop until they have reached their destination. The question that we face now is why are they able to achieve what they have achieved? The answer is plain and simple- Discipline.
The word traces its origin to the term ‘discipline’, which is used to denote a student or a follower. An ideal disciple has been classified as the one who excels in academics, co-curricular as well as physical fitness. This can only be achieved when he submits himself to his teacher, who can be equated to authority.
Discipline can only be achieved by laying down of rules and laws and enforcing them. The key to enforce discipline is to be obedient to the authority to which we have yielded ourselves. And the master key to inculcate obedience in an individual by the authority is punishment. Disciplining is a synonym of punishment. Ever since childhood, we are subjected to punishment whenever we have committed actions against the interest of the well-being of the organisation we have been a part of.
Be it family, school or sports clubs, punishments deter the individual from repeating their actions, as well as serve as an example to the others in the institution. Rules governing our society, limits an individual to act for the good. Punishments exist, because of these rules.
If a person is not punished, he shall take the society for granted and keep doing things that might seem like catering to his personal desires, but in reality, will culminate into ruining himself as well as causing harm to the society. On top of that, without exemplary punishments his fellow human beings will follow his steps, and lead to complete anarchy prevailing in the society. Thus it is important to enforce discipline to prevent anarchism.
The first institution that an individual comes in contact with upon his arrival in this world is their own family. From their parents and elders, they pick up the way one walks, the language they speak, the perspective of what is wrong and what is right. It is the elders who take him by his hand and guide him through childhood. He does not yet realise the concept of discipline.
Curiosity overwhelms a child and he proceeds to do things that must have been forbidden by his parents. That is when he first encounters a punishment. It is to ensure he does not repeat the same action in future again. The child’s brain too, registers this incident and makes him realise the meaning of authority.
The next organisation he encounters is a school. With the basics of how to live being instilled in them by their family, the child transitions into a student as he crosses the gates of an educational institution. Here, there is a separate set of people and rules governing him and his fellow students. It is the first time the child will be interacting with an outside world.
A teacher’s role is therefore, crucial in moulding a person’s character. Right from checking his homework, to ensuring he arrives on time, to ensure he is behaving well with his fellow classmates and respect the elders, the job of a teacher is one with many responsibilities.
For every rule broken, homework not completed or rash attitude towards their contemporaries, the students receive a punishment. It could be in the form of reprimands, humiliation and mild or restricted physical chastising. This further ingrains morals and values and reinforces discipline in him, especially the idea of self-discipline, a concept that is lacking amongst the majority of the world populace.
Once the phase of school passes, the student has been moulded into a citizen. The extent of discipline and responsibility that he has developed depends upon the quality of lessons the teachers, the parents and the society has delivered to him. He develops his point of view and methods of tackling situations thrown at him in life.
But given his age, he is bound to become a rebel, disavowing the thoughts and ideologies that the society had been trying to enforce on him. While no authority is perfect in their current forms, the students tend to dislike ‘discipline’ and bear contemptuous feelings for the authorities that punished them for being ‘unruly’.
Many consider the humiliations and attacks on their ego as a selfish propaganda by the institution which is hell-bent to destroy their lives. This mentality bears them down and they are constantly looking to rid themselves of it. But they have to understand, it is not a conspiracy against them, but a plan to convert them into a mature citizen so that they can achieve goals that they have set for themselves.
How anarchy is born
The authority which is righteous, impartial, fair and bears confidence in its functioning, is the one which can regulate discipline in the most efficient manner. The actions and ideas that they are stirring in the minds of their subordinates should not come in conflict with their own perspective of moral values. If they do, it will give rise to doubt, and doubt gives rise to distrust which can ultimately lead to a rebellion. Humans are instinctively aware of their natural and fundamental rights.
If things are going against their wishes, they tend to raise question. But it is upon the authority to give a proper justification of their enforcement of a rule or law to remove the slightest of the uncertainty from the minds of the people. The defence forces are a perfect example of maintaining order and discipline inside the organisation. Every military personnel upholds to his duty and morals. It can be safe to say, they have been inculcated with self-discipline.
The whole organisation is built on trust and respect of their colleagues as well as seniors. Discipline is a lifestyle for them which helps them manage time, material and human even in the gravest of situations and keeps them mentally, physically and socially sound. They deal with rule breakers with strict and impeccable punishments. It is the sheer respect that the organisation commands that makes it one of the temples of discipline and success.
But the ones which are unable to inculcate the sense of discipline are those who enforce it either half-heartedly or go extreme on their members. In the first case, a half-hearted approach shows the hesitance of the authority to take a decision. They lack confidence in themselves, hence cannot garner the interest of their subordinates, therefore, are unable to enforce discipline.
Such organisations are either dominated by stronger forces, or collapse completely, unable to keep up with their expectations. On the other hand, we have organisations which go all out aggressive upon their members, making lives difficult for them even though they do not deserve it. Lashing out punishments just because they did not comply with the rules the governing body had set to benefit their own desires.
This is when there is a communal harbouring of hatred against the authority which tries to establish supreme dominance at the cost of basic rights of an average person. Over a period, this hatred fuels the anger that finally comes out in the form of a rebellion.
The most infamous example of this is the French Revolution. It was a result of enforcement of brutality against the commoner of the country which led to the toppling of the monarchy. Hence, it is important for the authority to make sure it implements only as much enforcement as required to straighten up the members of the society to ensure stability. It should be confident to the core in its decisions and it comes only if it is morally correct and puts the welfare of its people before their personal gains.
A state of complete disorder can never lead to peace of mind. The universe itself tries to reduce the entropy and become as stable as possible. We are just a tiny part in the universe, hence it is our duty make sure that order prevails, at least on our planet. Anarchy has always worsened the situation of the world as well as our nation. The partition in 1947, the emergency in 1975 and the communal riots that have plagued our nation for centuries now.
Our country has seen it a lot and a lot of reforms have been brought out to control them. For instance, our preamble describes us as secular. Yet, the riots did occur. On a global level, extremist ideologies destroyed many flourishing middle-east countries like the ISIS in Syria and Iraq and Taliban in Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. Chaos dominates these countries as the locals suffer miserably.
These unruly factors have emerged because of the loose hand that the governments of the nations have on them. Laws are not properly enforced which have led to prevalence of such terror organisations. Anarchy has always resulted in a disaster for a person or a group, leaving them in complete ruins.
But discipline is the antidote of anarchy. As long as it exists, Anarchy can always be controlled and even prevented. Many nations have successfully implemented disciplinary actions to improve the state of affairs inside their boundaries. Hence, we as responsible citizens should learn the art of discipline, especially self-discipline because discipline has always reduced anarchy to a vegetative state.
Discipline inculcated in the foundation of an individual’s character, will definitely cause immense growth in the person. Sachin Tendulkar, Mo Salah, numerous aspirants of civil services exams who cleared them with flying colours, discipline was the key which led them to build their skills, intelligence as well as qualities of dedication and perseverance.
Hence, we can conclude that discipline is the single most powerful characteristic that can influence man’s personality. Be it personal, professional or any other field, as long as they practice discipline, they are bound to succeed.