Devoted, Not Disciplined
Another Lesson from Pavarotti
The recent article What You and Pavarotti Have in Common must have touched a chord, as I received a very enthusiastic response. Many of you commented on one of the quotations included after the article:
"People think I’m disciplined.
It is not discipline. It is devotion.
What Is the Difference?
When I’m coaching, people often confess, “I need to be more disciplined.” Certainly discipline is a worthy character trait to cultivate, however Pavarotti’s distinction about devotion conveys a more powerful motivation. Rather than pushing yourself to do something, being devoted is a deep dedication that springs from the heart and moves you to act. The details of the work that must be done to honor the devotion pale in comparison to the devotion itself. The work becomes a labor of love.
Whom do you know whose life demonstrates devotion? When I ask myself this question I immediately think of my doctor, Bruce Shelton, whose love of learning and educating others about integrative medicine and alternative healthcare is apparent. When giving an explanation for a particular medicine or healthcare tip, Dr. Shelton always has a story to go with it and his eyes light up as he conveys it, whether he is speaking to one patient or a full lecture hall.
Two other models of devotion in action are Rosa and Domenick Anzelmo, the proprietors of Basilico Italian Restaurant¹ here in Scottsdale. When they describe the fresh ingredients and artistry that go into one of their meals, it’s —as Domenick likes to say— “the best-ahh!” Their website has it right when it declares, “We cook with love.”
Labor of Love
It is essential to know those things to which you are devoted in life. What are they for you? Beauty, music, family, teaching, building, cooking, adventure? Next time you hear yourself say, “I should be more disciplined,” ask instead: To what am I devoted? When you shift to devoted, the work that is required becomes just a detail and your heart engages in a labor of love.
Here's to you,