LYBLABCs: D is for Discipline

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As part of my weekly LYBLABCs series — which rolls-out a core value aligned to Oprah’s Live Your Best Life philosophy found in O, the Oprah Magazine — here’s the latest virtue! 

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D is for Discipline!

Discipline is a dancer’s currency, almost militaristic. Dance is drilled into your memory and muscles until it becomes part of you. Because it can’t be faked. It’s either faultless or unsightly – and we know it when we see it!

Dance is excruciating – difficult on the mind, body and soul. Exhaustion is a constant accomplice. Job security is a fable. Sacrifice, dedication, and loyalty to the artform is fundamental. Years of vigorous, selfless training may ultimately end in vain. Your body must be in complete balance, and every part of you must be in perfect shape.

So why do we do it?

Transcendence. Dance lifts you up to the heavens. It tests your boundaries, challenges your mind, and makes you feel strong, capable, and alive. Dancers know how to work hard, rise to demands, and meet crises.

But extreme, self-denying, austere discipline is corrosive. Because you can’t always win. Competition risks failure, and losing hurts: your heart and your pride suffer a mortal blow.

A big part of discipline is knowing when to move on. Life needs novelty. There’s always another day, another mission, and another path. Be happy to be finished with something, free to move on with your life and start something new.

Be demanding, but not conceited. You deserve to be inspired and adored. Do the best that you can do.

Practice makes perfect. Steady your nerves, turn them to steel, and never get discouraged by your failures. Once you get it down, you’ll always hit your target!

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