Feb 2, 2018
When I entered USMC boot camp I discovered their way of forcing recruits to discipline their minds, mouths, and bodies. No Pro-Nouns and Close Order Drill.
Let’s examine the importance of self-discipline. We view the term “discipline” as a negative because it makes us think about punishment. George Patton said that all wars are a result of a lack of discipline on the part of one party and the need to re-establish discipline by another party.
Your personal success and your personal failures can be largely attributed to either an application of or a lack of discipline.
♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫
Welcome to Morning Mindset. A daily dose of practical wit and wisdom with a professional educator & trainer, Amazon best selling author, United States Marine, Television and Radio host, Paul G. Markel. Each episode will focus on positive and productive ways to strengthen your mindset, and help you improve your relationships, career goals, and overall well-being. Please welcome your host; Paul G. Markel.
Alright it’s that time again, it’s time for Morning Mindset. We’re going to help you get your mind right, and today we’re going to be talking about Discipline. Ooooh, Discipline, yes indeed. When I entered the United States Marine Corps many, many moons ago, back in the year 1987, and I attended boot camp on Parris Island, I discovered that they had their own special ways of helping recruits discipline their minds, their mouths, and their bodies. Many people who look from the outside in, at military training, especially Marine Corps training, because Marine Corps basic training is the most rigorous to say the least and one of the ways that they do that is, people say “Ah that’s mean and barbaric and they hurt feelings and its offensive” and so forth.
Well you only have so much time to teach so many subjects, and a Marine recruit has to learn a lot in a relatively short period of time. There is a lot of physical and mental discipline that has to be instilled in that man or woman, before they can graduate and move on in their military career. So they don’t have a lot of time to screw around. Every minute, I told someone the other day, I was talking to my oldest son and I was explaining to him, he said “Dad, don’t you think that that it would be good if they instituted this kind of Strength Training into Marine Corps boot camp? I said “Yeah it would be good, but they don’t have the time to do.” He said “Well they could make time”, I said “You don’t understand. Every minute, and I’m not being facetious here, every minute of the training day is scripted and scheduled.” Marine Corps drill instructors don’t have a minute to waste.
Since they don’t have a minute to waste, they don’t have time to sit down and explain to recruits, say “Okay little Johnny, we’re going to do this, and this is the reasoning behind it. No, they just do. So how do Marine Corps drill instructors force Marine Corps recruits to to discipline their minds, their mouths and their bodies. Well for starters, you are not allowed to use pronouns, you’re like “What? You can’t use pronouns?” Yes, when a Marine Corps recruits speaks, he does not use pronouns. They do not say he or she or they or it or what have you, when a Marine Corps recruit speaks, they would say something like “Sir, this recruits requests permission to make a headcall Sir.” But you say that’s stupid, that's harassment, that’s treating them like robots, no, no it’s not. It’s absolutely, very deliberate.
This is why. When I was a
teenager, and most people recruit when they’re a teenager or early
20’s, I actually turned 20 y.o. when I left to go to recruiting, so
I was kind of an old recruit in that aspect. Most people were 17,
18, most at 18. But up until that point in your life, especially if
you are a teenager, you’re probably very used to saying whatever
you want, whenever you want to, and you don't think about what
comes out of your mouth. How many of you people know people who
don’t think before they open their mouths? You hear people speak
and you you say “Did you even think about what you were going to
say or did you just put your mouth on autopilot and start making
When we were in basic training, well when we spoke to each other, when we spoke to each other we didn’t speak in pronoun linggidy, but you don’t speak to a drill instructor or anyone else in authority using pronouns, and there’s a very specific reason for that. Because that way before you start to speak, you have to engage your brain and think. I know it’s crazy right? Like I said, how many of you know people who don’t actually engage their brains before they speak, before they open their mouths and just let words come spilling out? Now the other way that they taught you to engage in discipline, to discipline your body, was through this thing we called Close Order Drill. A drill instructor, that’s what they teach you, they teach you close-order drills. You do left-face, right-face, order arms, and you march and you do it in order, and you perfect every movement and motion of your body.
You stand straight and erect and tall, and you look straight forward, and you hold the rifle in the exact right place, and you move the rifle exactly in the correct way. You pivot your heels in exactly the right way. Some people say “Well close order drills is antiquated and it’s ridiculous, and it was needed way back when we needed them to line up shoulder-to-shoulder, and listen to voice commands and engage in combat in that way, but we don’t need to do that anymore. So close order drill is pointless.”
No, close order drill is absolutely essential because, again, it forces people to, it forces the recruit to Discipline their body, to do it right. And the only way they’re going to do close order drill, correctly, on time, on command, is for their minds to command their bodies to do it right, that’s how they Discipline themselves. Let’s examine the importance of self-Discipline. Many people out there, you, me, a lot of people you know, view the term Discipline as a Negative. Because why? Because well it makes you think about punishment. We Discipline children, or at least we used to in the United States of America, we used to Discipline when the misbehaved. It was a way to show them that their behavior was wrong and they needed to fix themselves.
We don’t do that anymore, we have conversations with our 3 y.o. about changing their ways of behavior, which is just pointless. If you’re trying to a 3 y.o. about the error of their ways, you may as well go talk to a wall about the error of its ways, because a 3 y.o. doesn’t have the capacity to learn. You swat them on their fanny, you say “Don’t do that again, that stove is hot, don’t do it again.” George Patton once said, all wars are a result of a lack of Discipline on the part of one party, and the need to re-establish Discipline by another party. Your personal successes, and your personal failures can attributed to either an application of or a lack of, Discipline.
You say, you look in a mirror or you step on a scale, if you’re that bold, and you look at that scale and you’re like “Uuuuugh. When I was 18 I weighed Blank, now I weigh Blank +100lb. How did I get this way?” I don’t know, maybe you say to yourself “I know I need to quit smoking. I know I do, I have to quit smoking. I know it’s bad for me, I know it’s bad for me. I puff on these, I’m a pack of Marlboro a day smoker and I know I need to stop”, why don’t you stop? You don’t stop because of a lack of Discipline. Maybe you have personal successes in your lives, and you point to those successes and I say to you, that if you achieved and you had any success, it’s probably because you Disciplined yourself and you did the work.
Either way, Discipline is not a pejorative, it is not a negative thing. Before you say “Life isn’t fair” or “This person is Lucky”, and that is a very typical human reaction. We see people who have succeeded, and the sour grapes thing is to say “Well, they sure are lucky or they did get lucky.” Sadly, there’s a tendency of people who see- who view the strong and they want to cut them down. Musclehead or this or that, and why is that? Because they know in order to do that themselves, they’d have to exercise some serious and absolute Discipline and they really don’t want to do it. Say “Well, I can’t because…” what? Because I’m going to give myself an excuse.
Have you heard that before on this show, Excuses and Reasons? Are you making excuses for yourself not to exercise Discipline? You say “Alright Paul, alright Smart Guy, let’s say I’m not exercising Discipline the way I should” there is one way, and I’m not going to make you cut all pronouns out of your vocabulary, I’m not gonna make you do close order drill either. But one thing you could do, let us say you’ve made the decision, that you’re going to be more fit. Right you’ve made the decision to either lose weight, or gain strength, or whatever, you’re going to do something physical. You make a commitment to join a gym, or you decide to buy some gym equipment, but let’s say you make a commitment. You say to yourself “I’m gonna go on Wednesday.”
But by the time Wednesday rolls around, you’ve had a long day, you’re frustrated, you’re tired, you don’t want to go. So you don’t, or you do. When you don’t want to go, when you don’t feel like it, and I’m not talking you’re throwing up, I’m not talking you’re sick, I’m talking you just don’t feel like it. You say to yourself “Eh, I don’t feel like it today, eh I’ll do it tomorrow.” Make yourself do it, make yourself go. If you can make yourself go to the gym, even though you don’t want to, that is an exercise in Discipline. Ladies & Gentlemen, in our modern world Discipline has been-, like I said, it’s viewed as a pejorative, viewed as a negative. Discipline is not a negative, it’s a very important positive, and many of us have lost that as we grew up and got older because why?
Because everything around you is set up to make your life comfortable. Everyone and everything you see, whether it’s fast food or clothing or whether it’s make-up or chairs or beds, everything is designed around your comfort. But Discipline isn’t about comfort, is it? Discipline is about doing what needs to be done, even if you’re tired. So ladies & gentlemen, my assignment for you today is to find one small area of your life, where you can exercise Discipline over yourself, and uh, it’ll snowball eventually. Like I said I’m not gonna make you cut pronouns out of your vocabulary, I’m not gonna make you do close order drill.
So, both successes or failures can be attributed to both Discipline, or a lack thereof. Alright that’s if your today, I gave you a bit of bonus time, well uh, a couple extra minutes on Friday because I think you deserve it. Thank you once again for joining me here for Morning Mindset, for letting me help you get your mind right. If you’d like to read more and explore, go to Amazon.com and type in my name, Paul G. Markel, super simple, and you’ll find all of my books either as paperback or as kindle versions. I’ll talk to you again, real soon.
♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫
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