I admire people with self-discipline. My husband swims 75 minutes six mornings a week, and even when the weather is lousy and he’d rather stay in bed, he goes to the pool (it’s an indoor pool, by the way.) My friend studied non stop for days for his graduate school entrance exam and didn’t let anything distract him, even though he would have preferred to be with his wife and year-old daughter. My sister didn’t touch a drop of wine when she was trying to lose weight.
But what about those who give in to temptation? Bill Clinton, who needed sex so badly, he dropped his pants right in The Oval Office? The woman who destroyed her marriage because she could not stop buying clothes and jewelry? The smoker trying to quit who sneaks a cigarette? Are they less worthy of admiration? Isn’t it entirely possible to be disciplined and vulnerable to temptation, too?
I’m always disciplined when it comes to my work and career, but I struggle to keep on track when it involves aerobic exercise, maintaining a reasonable weight and buying sensibly (Do I really need another pair of shoes and the most expensive tuna in the market?) I’m not sure I could stand total discipline. That would be stifling.