I recently had a reader ask me to write about this and was wondering if they were one and the same.
No, they are not but there certainly is some crossover. When l was doing a little research on the topic, I was surprised by the definitions of each. You can see below that they are not what most people think they mean.
“conformity in the application of something, typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness.”
Definition of discipline
1 a: control gained by enforcing obedience or order
b: orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior
4: a field of study
5: a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity
6 obsolete : INSTRUCTION
When I think of discipline, I think of someone who does the thing even when they don’t feel like it.
It takes discipline to get up early every day.
It takes discipline to workout daily.
It takes discipline to stay on a diet.
When I think of being consistent, I think of doing things day in and day out.
Walking every day for 6 months is being consistent.
Working out without missing workouts for 6 months is being consistent.
Writing 500 words daily is being consistent.
This almost seems like the chicken or the egg argument, which came first?
If I am not consistent, how can I be disciplined and vice versa.
I look at it this way, in order to be disciplined you have to be able to do hard shit that most people won’t do. This could be anything from working out to building a business.
In order to be consistent, you have a track record of doing the “thing” day in and day out for a long period of time.
This may just be splitting hairs but I do feel like there is a difference between the two.
I would say that no one is 100% disciplined or consistent. I would say that life is always going to throw you off track at some point. The people that are disciplined have the ability to not let it throw them off their game for any long amount of time. They are not thrown off for weeks, months or years, they find a way to do the “thing” they need to. If you quit things for more than a week you don’t have discipline and consistency doesn’t matter at that point as you are not disciplined enough to do the “thing” you said you would.
I will finish with this; discipline comes first and then consistency maintains the discipline.