Extend Your Career with Self-Discipline

The prophet Daniel’s career took him to a powerful position as an assistant to several kings in Persia. He had the opportunity to live with all the created luxuries of the day. Yet, despite the lavish lifestyle he could have enjoyed, he chose to live a disciplined life of restraint, which was the key to his successful career. Daniel’s self-discipline in the following areas kept his career throughout the changes in leadership he experienced:

  1. Discipline over his appetites. In the book of Daniel, we read how Daniel fasted for 21 days. He understood that if he gave in to all the delicacies offered at the king’s table, he would lose sight of God and defile the source of his strength. His fasting empowered him to resist the temptation to live a comfortable life. He is a great example of someone who truly understood that God is far more interested in our character than our comfort.
  2. Discipline over his ego. Daniel was a brilliant man who was “good looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the kings’ palace,” yet he went to his knees. Likewise, books or podcasts, seminars, lawyers and consultants can only take you so far, whereas humility will take you to your knees to ask God for His guidance on matters beyond your reach. When confronted with a challenge no other advisor could solve, Daniel found the answer in prayer and declared to the king “that there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets.”
  3. Discipline to hold to his convictions. It is interesting to note that during his time serving in a high government office that all three kings he served crossed over to his worldview. Such was his convictions to the living God, and the manifested power of prayer, that all three kings would honor his God. Daniel repeatedly demonstrated the great courage to stand against the prevailing culture of the day and put his faith in God’s Word.

In Hebrews 12:11 we read, “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” Self-discipline is never pleasant at the time, but if you want to extend your career like Daniel did, then you will need to exercise discipline over your appetites, your ego and hold to your convictions.