Self-Discipline and Self-Control: The difference and why we need both.



You know you want one. (source: anthonyimages)

should speak for everyone but I can speak for me. I need more discipline in my life. It seems as if I ned to continue working at just about everything – relationships, fitness, learning, diet, and the list goes on and on. The thing is I do not have the mental capacity to do everything at the same time. Maybe you do. I seem to need to focus on one thing and then once that is where I want it and it can be maintained then I can proceed to the next thing. This has really been a measuring rod for me to show me my priorities. Where do I want my time and energy? Ok so enough of my sad story.


(if you do not care about the story jump down to The Difference)

Where this came from.

I have been doing some reading lately. I was one of those crazy people who preordered Tim Ferris’ new book the Four Hour Body. (Here is my quick review – Love it! Buy it! Read it!) I also have been doing P90X and yes, it hurts! Until this past week I always saw my workout and my diet as two realms that I needed to fix. After reading ideas that were brand new to me in the book – I started seeing that they can become one item on my list. This was a break through for me. So that is what I did.

I started thinking of both diet and working out in congruence with fitness goals. I know simple but hang with me. Once I started thinking this way, a huge hurdle came up in my life – self-discipline. There were so many things I wanted to eat and so many other things I really did not want to eat. There were also a lot times I did not want to go work out because P90 is over an hour on most days (if you add the Ab Ripper). This is where I started thinking about my self-discipline.

The Important Stuff

I found my struggle breaking down into two main categories. Stopping myself and making myself. This is where I saw the difference in Self discipline and Self control. When you think of these as two separate traits it is easier to navigate this rat race (or at least I think it is).

The Difference

Self-Control - not allowing yourself to do what you want to do but know you shouldn’t

Self-Disciplineforcing yourself to do what you do not want to do but know you should

This is really simple when you see it. And it applies to every area of life. Take a quick look at this simple table below for instance…

Area                                Self-Discipline                                                                Self-Control

Work                           Do it right every time                            Don’t steal someone else’s food from the frig

Marriage                 Love her every day all day                                          Keep your mouth shut

Fitness                           Get out of bed                                                           Do not eat a twinkie

The Point

So I think you see how it applies to life. You need both to succeed. Without self-discipline all the self-control in the world will not help you and the opposite is true as well.

Final note for the day (If you are married)

Give your wife a big kiss and tell her you like her shoes! It always works ;)

Some Great Reading for Fathers

I have been having different conversations with many different men who are looking for good books to supplement their reading that will challenge their thinking and push them to become better men. I love to read and for the most part have been able to sustain a good reading schedule. There are many books that I have read but I would like to recommend to you the best of them that are worth your time to go and read.

The books are broken down into three main categories of books, they are for – Men who are Fathers, Men who are Husbands and Men Pursuing Jesus Christ.

Feel Free to Purchase any of the books below simply by clicking on the picture or on the title. (All links are affiliated with Amazon dot com and will kick back a few dollars to help continue Intentional Influence.)

Books for Men who are FATHERS

Raising a Modern Day KnightRaising a Modern Day Knight

By Robert Lewis

I used this to prepare much of The Standard of a Man. This is a critical book for father’s with boys of any age. The sooner you read this book the better.

Better Dads, Stronger SonsBetter Dad’s, Stronger Sons

By Rick Johnson

This book was the first that I read and I have given this book out to numerous men. This taught me the necessity of everything that I wanted to push towards where as the above book by Lewis showed me how to do it.

After WordsAfter Words

By Ron Mehl

This guy wrote each of his sons their own book pushing them to become who they were. Each book had some similarities but each also had great variety. This may be hard for some to do but it is a great idea to see how he left his sons a legacy.

She Calls Me DaddyShe Calls Me Daddy

By Robert Wolemuth

This is for Fathers with daughters. My wife and I are expecting our first daughter and it seems that there are way fewer books about daughters then sons for Fathers. This one is worth your time and attention if you are looking for something in this area.

Books for Men who are Husbands

Sacred MarriageSacred Marriage

By  Gary Thomas

This book is not just my recommendation. It comes highly recommended by pastors all over the place. If you are looking to build your marriage in any way - GET THIS BOOK. I think that covers it. You get it right – Buy this book!

What's the Difference?What’s the Difference?

By John Piper

This book is perfect to describe the differences between the sexes, roles and help you see how the Bible defines true Manhood and Womanhood. A cross between helping you pursue manhood and marriage according to the Bible.

Tender WarriorTender Warrior

By Stu Weber

Here is a book that will help you focus on your responsibility not on the blame of what your wife is doing right or wrong. Weber is a fabulous author. The truth is anything you pick up with his name on it will be worth reading. All I have read I have loved.

A Husband After God's Own HeartA Husband After God’s Own Heart

By Jim George

This is the first book I read as I started pursuing being the husband my wife needed. I highly recommend this as a book if you are just looking to start the journey. It does not cover everything but is a great starting point as you begin the journey.

Books for Men Pursuing Jesus Christ

The Pursuit of HolinessThe Pursuit of Holiness

By Jerry Bridges

This is one of the greatest books I have ever read that helps us understand what it means to pursue Jesus Christ in our daily lives. This was a book I read before Bible College and now with a Master’s, it is still one of my favorites.


By C.J. Mahaney

Truth is I need to read this again. Yes! It is that good – and I lack what it teaches that much. This is a spectacular book and if you pay attention it will change your life.  I think out of all my struggles this is the one I need to read on the most.

The Principle of the PathThe Principle of the Path

By Andy Stanley

Everything from Stanley is solid. He is a great teacher as well as author. This book helps you map out how to get from where you are to where you want to be. Take the truths in this book and apply them to manhood and you will be well on your way.

Porn-Again ChristianPorn-Again Christian

By Mark Driscoll

OK lets not act like sex is not an issue. Married or not. This is one of the best books on the topic from all angles regarding Biblical sex and the ramifications of sexual sin. Click here if you want to grab the Free E-Book Version. (The link is legit, no worries.)

What are your Favorites?

Here is the deal, straight and simple, I love to read and if I were to recommend some reading for any guys these would be in the list I would put before you. I am always looking for new books and recommendations from other guys as well. That said, PLEASE SHARE any good titles that you have read that would help me as well as anyone else that visits Intentional Influence.

Ride of My Life – When I Became a Man.

The Ride of My Life - By Caleb Roloson

As a rule of thumb I always want to pull people into what I am excited about. Ok, maybe it is more of a habit, but when I am excited I want others to be all jazzed up as well. I love it when they are. I hope you see my excitement through this blog from time to time as well as enjoy when I bring others into it who are all excited as well.

So who’s ride is it?

The Ride of My Life was written by my brother-in-law, describing the day that, when he looks back, marks the day that he became  a man. This is significant for 2 reasons.

  1. He was thrown into it by necessity. His father is a great dad, I am consistently learning from my father-in-law in all areas of life. The point is though that this was not a ceremony. They did not have a chance for it. The day came when he did not have the choice and needed to become a man right away. He stepped up and it now marks the day that he looks back at as the day he became a man.
  2. He is in my Community of Men. Caleb is one of the guys that I asked to sign the Enlistment of Service for my son. I hope to share this story with my son as he grows up. I want him to know this story when he looks at his uncle and sometime be able to sit in the woods with him on a trip and hear it straight from his Uncle Caleb. That would be so cool.

Click on Image to Download.

A few short pages to read.

So here is the file you can read. Just click on the image to download the document. Enjoy reading and be sure to share it and send people back this way. You can also click here to download the story.

When did you become a Man?

So as this whole thing grows I would love to have many more stories. I am looking for any other men who are willing to share their story. All you need to do is explain the event or events that come to mind when you answer the question, When did you become a Man? Your story may have been a ceremony or it may have been a situation like Caleb’s, but either way I would love for you to share it.

I will put it into a similar file as Caleb’s story with its own graphic and make sure you get a copy as well as share it with everyone else through my site.

Let me know in the comments if you are interested. Questions are welcome and I would love to hear from as many people as possible.

Are you interested in writing your story?