These two words – Soldier and Disciplined, are actually synonyms. Can anyone visualise a soldier who is not disciplined? Even if there is an aberration to this rule, the delinquent personnel is severely and quickly punished. The rules of conduct in defence services for both peace and war time are clear and comprehensive. A soldier behaves in a manner befitting his/her status in the society as per the written and unwritten code of conduct for defence personnel.
Therefore, if we admire a soldier due to his/her conduct in a disciplined manner, why is it that we don’t follow this routine ourselves? This is probably because the rules by which a soldier lives on a daily basis are quite stringent, to the extent of denying certain basic rights guaranteed under the constitution to all citizens; after initial coercive training, a soldier learns to live with these rules as second nature. It becomes a way of life. However, a civilian does not have these restrictions and hence, is more liable to stray into an undisciplined life. It is however possible to develop certain basic traits of a soldier to live life in a more disciplined manner.
Soldiers are self-driven towards discipline. It comes from within- to do or not to do an activity- having the knowledge of expectations. Basic civic sense like no littering or spitting in public places, or following traffic rules is expected from all citizens. A soldier always lives up to these expectations. You should also follow all rules like they are orders from your superiors, without the need of a cop/monitor to enforce the same.
A soldier is known to adhere to timelines without fail. It is a basic trait which comes from training and proper time management. One must emulate this quality in all spheres of life.
The most inherent personal quality of a soldier is his integrity, which is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It is this quality which drives a soldier to act in a particular way. High integrity is inescapable for developing discipline in life for civilians.
A soldier lives and dies for honour – his own, his unit’s, and his country’s (Naam, Namak and Nishaan). His / her conduct is dependent on this basic quality. One must identify with one or more such ideals to honour and act towards them, while ensuring that these ideals are not based on fanaticism of the illogical kind.
Value of an Organization
A soldier knows and values the organization he serves. All actions of the soldier are focused towards increasing the value of the organization. In a similar way, one must value his/her family, office and residential area. The conduct must be driven towards collective good which shows a disciplined way of life.
Know your Boundaries
In Defence services everyone knows his/her limits – be it for action or words. This ensures that decorum is maintained and there is little or no friction; a junior seeks permission to speak in front of a senior, and certain topics like politics/women are taboo in mess/dining halls. Define such boundaries in your actions and words in day to day life.
Learn from Mistakes
A soldier never stops learning, especially from failures. A failure propels him/her towards self-improvement – individual or collective. A constant endeavour to learn from mistakes (their own or another’s) brings substantial self-discipline.
A happy- go- lucky attitude comes naturally to a soldier. He/she is conscious of the frailty of life and hence doesn’t get perturbed by small things in life. Forgetting, forgiving and moving on- these are the simple mottos to remain happy, and ensure that one’s confidence and strength of character remains high. One must make this change in one’s own attitude to see the difference.
A soldier is always focused on his/her immediate task while keeping in mind the end result. He/she does small things sequentially and logically without wavering from the chosen path. Have a clear mind and focus on one’s goal – be it an exercise regimen or an academic target- to develop discipline like a soldier.
Hebrews 12:11 states,
“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
So remind yourself of why you are trying to be disciplined, accept that it will not be easy at the time you are following it, but take faith in the fact that you’ll enjoy the rewards of the same if you stick to it.