Etymology Word of the Day: Discipline

Etymology Word of the Day Banner


Discipline (disuh-plin) n. – early 13c., from Latin disciplina “instruction given, teaching, learning, knowledge,” from discipulus (see disciple). Old English discipul (fem. discipula), Biblical borrowing from Latin discipulus “pupil, student, follower.”

As a military veteran, discipline has deep meaning for me. From regimented physical training, to rigorous instruction and repetition, to the scrutiny of checks, double checks and more checks, discipline framed my world.

Quite often I hear from people who incorrectly associate discipline with rote, mechanical movement; the kind of repetitious, habit-forming work that can be performed by mindless drones. Military discipline, as with leadership discipline, stands in stark contrast with that kind of robotic responsiveness. Rather, discipline is about purposeful, deliberate, and intentional movement.

To be disciplined, as a leader, is to carefully consider matters, weigh them out, and then act accordingly. Discipline, in this regard, allows leaders to respond to situations, rather than react to them.

The disciplined leader is the consummate pupil, student, and learner, constantly assessing circumstances, people, and environment. Rigorous attention to that which is in the leader’s charge develops within them a confidence and strength to respond with deliberate decision-making and practiced purposefulness.

Tags: ,

About mwgrigs

I have three great loves in my life: learning, being useful, and my family. Sometimes I blow it royally in all three areas, other times I'm a rock star. I plan on spending the rest of my life exploring the possibilities of making each of those areas truly awesome!

One response to “Etymology Word of the Day: Discipline”

  1. Jody Holland says :

    I believe that the more disciplined we can become, the more accomplished we can become. Henry Ford believed that you could not find success through others until you could discipline yourself to demonstrate success. I believe that too!

Thanks for the comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Bliss Bombed

Explore the Possibilities!

Mike Grigsby

Explore the Possibilities!


This site is the cat’s pajamas


4 out of 5 dentists recommend this site

Soltis Consulting, Inc.

Business Concepts, Ideas, and Information

Affectioknittly Yours

Gigi Knits and More

Mike Myatt

Explore the Possibilities!

Scott Berkun

Author and Speaker Scott Berkun

%d bloggers like this: