Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Discipline: The Planned Life is the Best Life

People exceptionally talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.
Clifton StrengthsFinder

People high in Discipline like structure and order; they thrive in an environment where they know what is to come and what is expected of them. Their meticulousness with details and order makes them highly productive individuals. They follow through on things because each step is planned. Because of this, those with Discipline are seen as stable and reliable individuals.

Every once in a while, we like to share a story of a real person who knows and owns their strengths. This week, I would like to share a bit about my mom, Erika. This fall, after years of my own personal discovery, I worked with my family to discover their strengths. My mom, not at all to my surprise, led with #1 of Discipline, followed by Relator, Analytical, Responsibility, and Achiever.

Monthly Meal Plan
My mom is meticulous in planning out life. There’s a small desk in my parent’s home. At which, every Sunday afternoon, my mom sits down, opens the cookbooks, and plans the meals for the week. Then, she moves onto balancing the checkbook. And then she moves to another desk, downstairs to work on her planner. Yes- work on her planner. Always being a scrap-booker and stamper, my mom quickly jumped on the Happy Planner/Erin Condren planner train. Each week, she spends countless hours stamping, measuring, and placing stickers in the perfect way to beautify her planner. Then, throughout the week, she will chart the weather as it occurs, record her workouts and health measurements, and check off her to-dos (as any Achiever would). 

Planner Layout
Planner Layout 2
When I was growing up and experiencing this, I would laugh, finding it so funny how much time she would waste on these activities. For me, it seemed weird that she was planning out life, when she could be using that time to live it.  After reflecting on my own strengths (Discipline is my #34-dead last), and learning hers, I realize that this is my mom at her best. She thrives by having this set aside time to plan and orient herself to the coming week. Every time she goes out of town for something, she always takes an extra day off of work when she comes back to have this time to reorient to life.

It isn’t weird, it isn’t off-putting, it isn’t wasting time at all; it is Erika at her best. By naming strengths and relating to people through a strengths lens, we see differences as positive uniqueness. When I facetime my mom each week, instead of rolling my eyes when she shows me a new stamp for her planner or a new layout, I find I am genuinely interested in what she has to share. And it sure isn’t because of a new-found fascination with stamping, but it is because I love my mom and although these things can see trivial to me, they matter to her.  


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