The Four Disciplines of the Heart

Recently, I met with a leader who was in the process of losing heart. I have seen the look in his eyes a hundred times before. (I had seen it in my own mirror on more than one occasion.)

A Man Sitting on a Bench Reading His Bible - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/irishblue, Image #4950788

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/irishblue

My friend was under attack. He had just discovered that one of his board members was campaigning to unseat him. Worse, one of his children had just been diagnosed with a chronic disease. As a result of these issues, he was struggling with the typical symptoms of stress—insomnia, indigestion, and back pain.

He was ready to throw in the towel. And, who could blame him? Life is hard.

This is why leaders must understand the importance of their heart and why they must guard it. In times of adversity and temptation, a healthy heart is essential to survival.

How can leaders cultivate a healthy heart? I would suggest four disciplines:

  1. The Discipline of Reflection. We live in a busy and noisy world that will suck the life out of us if we let it. This is why it is essential that we intentionally pull away to a quiet place, pause, and reflect. If Jesus did this (see, for example, Mark 1:35), how much more important is it for us?

    I believe this is best done by reading the Bible and praying. I have also found it helpful to read other spiritual writings, especially those of the desert fathers. Anything outside of our own time gives us much-needed perspective, as C.S. Lewis notes in his Introduction to On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius.

  2. The Discipline of Rest. God has built rest into our very physiology. We are made to shut down for a third of the daily cycle. One of the quickest ways to lose perspective is to cheat ourselves out of this God-given “off switch.”

    But practicing the discipline of rest requires more than a biologically-induced pause. It requires deliberate choices: deciding to rest one day in seven and choosing to take our allotted vacations. I believe it even involves fasting—giving our bodies a break from the tyranny of our appetites.

  3. The Discipline of Recreation. There is a difference between amusement and recreation. The former leaves us more tired than we started. (Ever taken a trip to Disney World and come back more exhausted than you left?) Yet the latter refreshes us and grounds us.

    Recreation involves any activity that gives us the opportunity to express our creativity. For some, it might involve painting, writing, or playing a musical instrument. For others, it might even involve rebuilding an engine or baking a cake. These activities never seem urgent, but they are vitally important.

  4. The Discipline of Relationships. Arguably, this is the most important. You and I were made to live in relationship to others. In fact, the very foundation of reality is relational. Before the world was created, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, lived together in perfect love and unity.

    But in a world of social media and faux connections, we must be intentional about building authentic relationships and real community. This means making time—quality time—for our family members and friends. It means taking the initiative to invest in those we love.

I realize that I have only scratched the surface. This topic is worthy of an entire book. My hope in writing this short post is simply to put your heart on your radar, so that you will nurture it and find it to be a resource in the challenging times ahead.

Question: Which of these disciplines is most important to you in nurturing your heart? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Want to launch your own blog or upgrade to a self-hosted WordPress blog? It’s easier than you think! Watch my free, twenty-minute screencast. I show you exactly how to do it, step-by-step. You don’t need any technical knowledge. Click here to get started.

Watch my free screencast

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://www.warriorshepherd.com/blog Dave Hearn

    I find that the “Discipline of Rest” is most important to me–and probably the one that I struggle with the most!

  • http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/ Joey Espinosa

    The hardest one (and one that I need to work on most) is Rest.

    But the one that I do well (and is refreshing for me) is Reflection. I love QUIET!

  • http://toppup.com Russ Pond

    I think the key word in this article is “discipline”. These are great suggestions, and I find that I can do them, but it’s typically as the result of overwork, anxiety and stress. Sure, Rest and Reflection come, but only because they have to. 

    I wholeheartedly agree that these should be disciplines. We should plan them, build them into schedules and routines. We should make them daily disciplines.

    • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

      I agree with you Russ. Sometimes I only do the “disciplines” when forced to because of burnout. 

  • http://twitter.com/charphar Charlie Pharis

    Thanks for another great reminder. And thanks again for more good stuff to be “favorited” and re-tweeted! 

  • http://twitter.com/charphar Charlie Pharis

    Oh, and definitely the discipline of rest is one I’m lacking in, too. We tend to think that things can’t run without us, so we beat ourselves down trying to always be involved. Then we beat ourselves up when we’ve finally had enough and are forced to shut down for rest.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I find that most people struggle with this one the most.

  • Tommy Zerse

    Unfortunatly, the discpline that is the most difficult is the one that is missing at any given time.  Today, I would say relationships.  A little more than a year ago I moved my family from a large metropolitan area to a small town.  The move was motivated by a job for me.  In this small town I find that relationships are the most important with me as it has been extremely difficult for my family to integrate and develop relationships beyond the acquaintance stages.   I can tell you today that meaningful relationships are vital to a healthy heart!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Many people see relationships as optional. They often confuse their work relationships with friendships. Then when they leave that job, they wonder why their “friends” no longer call.

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        Mike ! I agree with this completely.

  • http://www.maurilioamorim.com Maurilio Amorim

    Excellent post, Mike and truly timely. Thanks for writing it.

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Personally, I feel nurturing the discipline of relationships as most important. When one is going to mess up with spiritual realtionship, family relationship and professional relationship, his life is doomed to fail for sure.

    Also, sometimes back, I was listening to Andy Stanley Leadership podcast on “Enemies of the Heart”. It was a four part audio series. He was speaking about —
    Guilt,
    Anger,
    Greed, and
    Jealousy.

    I found those messages greatly insightful and comforting.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      Interesting how all four enemies strike at relationships. They all involve our response to others. Good stuff, Uma.

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        Thanks TNeal! You are welcome.

        Subject: [mhyatt] Re: The Four Disciplines of the Heart

    • Anonymous

      This particular series by Andy is one of his best.  (Funny how I feel like I can refer to him as “Andy”.  I never would have thought to refer to his dad as “Charles”.)

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        True Karl! Andy is one of the most powerful communicators I have seen in my experience. His ideas always teach me something new.

        Subject: [mhyatt] Re: The Four Disciplines of the Heart

        • Anonymous

          I know. I learn as much about communication when watching/listening to him as I do about whatever it is that he’s communicating.

  • Hbbcpastor

    Key point that I’d never realized before–recreation involves using your creativity. Brilliant. Thanks MH

  • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

    Great post Michael.. 

    For me, the discipline of relationship is the most important..  not only because as you say, reality itself is relational – but if it is a good relationship – that other person will also support us in honoring the other three disciplines, as a true companion and partner..

    Thanks again,
    Paul

  • http://golfwisdomlife.com Larry Galley

    Spot on.

  • http://gatehouse13.com Jacqui_gatehouse

    Great post Michael – for me all 4 disciplines are important and it depends on what’s happening as to which one becomes most important at a given time.  Perhaps it comes under recreation, but for me the discipline of exercise for me is critical.  It clears my head, gived me clarity in my thinking and recharges my body in a way nothing else does.  When I feel tired, it boosts my circulation.  When I feel stressed, it relaxes my body.  And when I can no longer think straight, it gives me time to let my brain run free.

  • Jim

    Thank you. Now, how do your regain heart?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      By getting back to the basics and practicing these disciplines. I don’t know of any other shortcut.

  • http://twitter.com/DerwinLGray Derwin L. Gray

    Michael,

    thank you.  I’m going fishing today and I’m going to take a nap.

    Pastor Derwin

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Perfect!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I spent the day yesterday at a small e-book conference put on by Andrea Glass in Oceanside. As the six of us sat around a small conference table, we each shared our writing and publishing journeys. You could hear the frustration at the process. Whether it be the rejection of trying to get a publishing contract or the technology challenges of self publishing, everyone had the same aim. We all have something to share with the world, and we need to find a way to share it.

    As the day wound along, Andrea took us through the e-book process step by step. And she made one BIG point all the way through. Don’t do this alone. Get help along the way. Be part of a writers community.

    As the day wound up, she gave us the tools, the motivation and the encouragement to see the process through. She asked us to set a date goal for publication and she promised to help each one of us make it a reality.

    I walked away refreshed and ready to take on the challenges, because I had been a part of small community of writers sharing from the heart. While publishing an e-book is one of the easiest ways to get published, it’s still a daunting task in many ways. The discipline of relationships is very powerful. Now I know I’m not alone, and just an e-mail away from someone to give me a hand. That encouragement makes all the difference.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing that story, John. It sounds like a wonderful conference. I’m glad you now have this community.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        It really hammered home the point of how important your new book on building a platform will be. Writing is hard enough, and then you add on the publishing and platform pieces and most people throw up their hands in frustration. We all need help with this. As Andrea shared, there are very few people who have the talent to publish a book and build a platform all by themselves. Thanks for building a community here, Michael,  and providing helpful tools to get the job done.

        • http://www.nginaotiende.blogspot.com Ngina Otiende

          Thank you John for sharing your story. 

          I feel encouraged just by reading it.

           I have a book ready for publishing (and sorting the funds issue since its self-publishing) plus am working on an ebook. The journey sometimes does feel daunting  and its easy to go on freeze-mode – feeling unable to move to the next level, not just in writing/publishing, but in other important areas of life as well. 

          Thanks Michael for the post. Incisive and straight to the heart as always.

          • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

            I’m working through that Freeze-mode on a couple of projects right now. That’s why it is nice to get together with others, talk things out, and set some deadlines. One of the hardest things about self publishing is all the little details. I find that making a checklist really helps, because you can take those items and do them one at a time. Then you can check them off (one of the greatest feelings in the world :-) ) as they are done.

            Good luck on your book. Let us know when it is published!

          • http://www.nginaotiende.blogspot.com Ngina Otiende

            Wow, I like that idea of check-list! Will implement  that asap :)

            Thanks, will shout abroad once its published :)

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      John, I appreciate your story, the encouragement and wisdom that flow out of your sharing it. Thanks–Tom

  • http://twitter.com/catch22mkting Cameron Clark

    Totally agree with Russ Pond below about the importance of introducing these things as disciplines in our walk. I operate until I break, then I do the good things I should have that would have stopped me breaking.

    Thank you for a wonderful and timely message for many people I know…

  • http://markjmartin.com Mark Martin

    Thank you.  I needed to read this today.

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Very good reminders! 

    A few months back I finished reading a book that deals with these concepts from a Christian perspective.  It brought new meaning and enlightenment to fasting and developing a closer relationship with God.  It pushed me to my limits as it drew me closer to God and helped me develop new skills in dealing with worldly stress. 

    I recommend this book for anyone wanting to challenge themselves and draw closer to God (plus it’s an easy read). 
    “Awakening:  A New Approach to Faith, Fasting and Spiritual Freedom” by Stovall Weems

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great. Thanks for that recommendation.

  • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

    The extrovert in me wants to say relationship is most important, but truthfully it’s rest.  I cannot function well when I am exhausted.  But secondarily (for me) is relationships.  I am energized by being among close friends. 

    I forwarded this post to my husband!  As a small business owner in a tough economy, he needs to do some heart guarding.  Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/Kennishahill Kennisha

    Great post, Michael and very timely for me. I know I am right there right now– feeling like I’m losing heart or are just very frustrated/ overwhelmed. And I’m praying about it. Everything you said greatly encouraged me. As a mom of three under five years old, rest would be great! I think most times I’m so busy parenting and writing that I don’t pursue reflection, rest or recreation. I have to find the time for it. Those three typically beg me to revisit them– especially recreation. 

    You gave me a lot to consider. I really appreciate that!

    Kennisha

  • Cecily

    The most important one to me is recreation.  Taking time to be creative and “play” allows our brain to relax.  The relaxation and activity of recreation allows us to take care of the other 3 disciplines.  When exercising recreation we enable our minds and bodies to reflect, rest, and foster better relationships.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I almost wrote a paragraph on the difference between being a creator and being a consumer. That could probably be an entire post. Culturally, I think we are beginning to see a move away from consumerism. People want to create and express themselves. Thanks.

  • Susan Fontaine Godwin

    Thank you Michael for this vital reminder. I find that if I’m struggling with anxiety and worry, which are definitely issues of the heart, that one of these disciplines is running on low. Another key discipline for me to guard my heart is the practice of gratitude, especially taking time throughout the day to observe and note gifts of thanksgiving…from the large to the small. I’m currently practicing 40 days of gratitude and tweeting and posting on Facebook one note of gratitude every day. It’s wonderful to see how many people have responded. Ann Voskamp’s book “1000 Gifts” is an inspiring read.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Gail read Ann’s book and loved it.

  • Sakins

    Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life…

    If you’ve lost the way of your heart it can be recovered. Our minds do us some good and our culture tells us IQ is everything. The world didn’t flock to the movie about a “Brave Mind.”. We long for people living from Brave Hearts.

    Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love that verse (Proverbs 4:23).

  • Pingback: Three Reasons Why You Must Guard Your Heart | Michael Hyatt

  • Anthony DiMaio

    Thanks Michael again for your contribution to the dialogue of grace.  For me, the greatest discipline of the heart is obedience.  Obedience is the guarantee of God to meet me at my point of need. “Though He was a Son, yet learned He obedience through the things which He suffered.”  This learned art of obedience does not denigrate me in my efforts, but rather encourages me to learn the language of heaven: Obedience. This “Headline” of obedience is a dependable ‘roadmap’ to tasting and seeing the goodness of God. The reason for the over-arching importance of Obedience is that it keeps us on the frequency of His Voice. I have found that when the words of God become an enigma or contradiction, obedience becomes my indispensable asset for breakthrough.  Thanks again Michael. Write on brother. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for this thought. Excellent!

  • Pingback: The Importance of a Leader’s Heart | Michael Hyatt

  • http://www.ivanhoesanchez.com Ivanhoe Sánchez

    I couldn’t  live without a Sabbath.  I have chosen that my Sabbath will be on Saturdays.  It renews my mind, body and soul.  It makes me think on my Creator and not in my self.  It makes me feel that I am saved by His Grace.  My parents taught me this and I have kept it since I was…born.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      So true Ivanhoe. It amazes me how many people see a sabbath as optional.

  • http://twitter.com/rkinnick59 Randy Kinnick

    Great, practical ideas, Michael.  Practicing a balanced life requires that we develop these disciplines.  It is an ongoing challenge for me…especially taking the necesssary time to unplug and rest properly.  It seems…even on my day off, I find things to do that are “ministry/job” related.  I do have people in my life who remind me to address that, though.  I actually wrote on the topic in the following posts:

    http://bit.ly/vyI4xx

    http://bit.ly/oJzjo8

    http://bit.ly/msljol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1010080047 Edwina Cowgill

    It is so important to me to get away at least several times a year for a “retreat” – to spend time alone with God, my Bible and my journal. I need the refreshing and rest these retreats offer.

  • http://www.shannonmilholland.blogspot.com Shannon Milholland

    Wow, Mike. Great post. I am looking in the mirror today at discouraged eyes. Planning on taking a hard look at these four disciplines before I throw in the towel.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Sorry to hear that you’re discouraged Shannon. I’ll be praying for you today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1010080047 Edwina Cowgill

    I need to get away for a long-weekend retreat several times a year. I take my Bible and my journal and spend hours of quiet time with God. I return refreshed and rested and ready to move forward.

  • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

    I think in general we need to really watch out for our heart . The Bible says about the heart that it’s “decitful and desperately wicked, who can know it.”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, but I think in the context of Jeremiah, he is referring to the unregenerate heart. In the New Covenant, God has given us a new heart (Ezekiel 11:19). We are told to guard it (Proverbs 4:23). Why? Because it is valuable and the well-spring of life. Thanks.

      • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

        Good point. I know I have to watch some things that I think are from “the heart” and are emotionally motivated versus being the Spirit’s leading. Thanks for the insight!

        • Anonymous

          Kimanzi, I find that it depends how deep in my heart I am willing to venture. 

          I often have competing desires and conflicting emotions.  To stay centered and on track, I have to find, remember, and act on my deepest heart desires, which often means choosing to ignore surface desires and momentary emotions.

          That’s where the Discipline of Reflection comes in.  Spending time alone with God, each day, allows the Holy Spirit to lead me into the deepest regions of my heart, my heart of hearts, which is inhabited by God’s Spirit.

          • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

            Very well said!

  • http://tomraines.wordpress.com Tom

    Great reminder to take care of the heart! We must be careful to give our heart to the only One that will never abandon it! Praying for your friend and thankful he has you.

  • http://twitter.com/wizardofwords Doreen Pendgracs

    Thanks for this, Michael.

    For me, it is definitely relationships that are key to the happiness in my heart. Everyone who knows me knows I am all about building relationships, connecting people and enjoying social interactions. I am definitely not a solitary spirit. Relationships rejuvenate me!

    Regards,
    Doreen Pendgracs

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=73003476 Josue Sierra

    My struggles with the discipline of rest causes me to struggle in making time for the discipline of recreation. This is a particular challenge for me as a morning person married to a diligent, hard-working night-owl wife. One other thought — I suspect that sitting and watching a TV show doesn’t qualify for the discipline of recreation. You don’t use or need creativity and it”s a very passive, non-engaged form of “recreation”.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, correct. Watching TV may be a welcome relief, but it is not usually recreation inasmuch as you are not creating anything.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Number 4, The Discipline of Relationships is most important in my life. I can tell when I have not been relational. I tend to get grumpy, tired, and annoyed easily. When I’m around others chatting and mingling I get so much refreshment it is crazy.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      And the discipline I struggle with the most is Reflection. Life gets so busy I forget to slow down and reflect.

  • http://twitter.com/lautsbaugh Lautsbaugh

    I find the need to reflect the biggest. Life gets busy and all of the disciplines suffer. For me the one that suffers the longest is reflection. I need to plan it in, it just does not happen naturally. I am aiming for one morning a month.

    Write the book! If you don’t I might!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I plan to!

  • Lancelotbe

    Thank you.  I needed this Monday morning reminder.

  • Anonymous

    I believe you need to have disciplines 1 -3 to get to number 4.  And you are correct, relationships are our reality, and because we live in the world they are all the more difficult, but they are also – when healthy make disciplines 1-3 easier to achieve and maintain.

    I also am motivated by your comment on fasting… it is a discipline that is not “taught” or discussed much in church life, but referenced in the Bible frequently and as a foundational element to healthily prayer

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      In my own church tradition (Orthodox), fasting is encouraged and practiced. Not only do we observe the traditional and ancient times of fasting (Advent, Lent, etc.), we also observe most Wednesdays and Fridays as fast days. These are not total fasts, but fasting from certain foods. It is a wonderful discipline that focuses the mind and strengthens the will.

      • Anonymous

        Michael – very interesting… would you point in the direction of some books or sites regarding fasting.  I would greatly appreciate that.

        Thank you

        Walter

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          You might take a look at Great Lent by Alexander Schmemann. It deals specifically with Lent, but the same principles apply.

  • Jack Lynady

    These are great MH. For me it’s #2, everything flows out of that. Some say it’s our relationship with God. I say God lives at a totally different pace than we do. For me, I find I have to constantly rest, slow down, and disengage from the Matrix just to get to His pace so that I can “walk” with Him.

  • http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com Cynthia Herron

    How well I can understand your friend’s attack (regarding the health of his child.)

    Even putting a bite of food in my mouth became a labored effort during a time of intense testing years ago. Now, scooting up to a big plate of guilt? I perfected that to an art.

    Every single one of the disciplines you mentioned took a hit. Getting from one day to the next became my primary focus. When we’re facing life and death situations, our minds go on autopilot. We know that we should be doing one thing, or several, but our focus becomes making it through the moment before us.

    There came a point (as it so often does in life) that God completely broke me, humbled me, and gave me a new vision. I came to realize that if I let the enemy steal, kill, or destroy my joy during this period of refinement, it wouldn’t be productive to anyone–not me, our child, or our family.

    Thank you so much for addressing this…And yes, you should write a book on this entire topic.

    Oh…and a side note: Todd Burpo’s “Heaven is for Real” tackles the illness of little Colton from such a personal, heartfelt perspective that a copy of his book should be in hospital libraries everywhere. Thanks for interviewing Pastor Burpo here and for your continued teaching!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Cynthia.

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    They are all important, but without #1 the rest are hard to achieve. Connecting to God first is vital to me for survival in this crazy, busy world, where everyone wants a little piece of us and our time. I didn’t realize until a few years ago how important relationships were. I was so afraid of them that I avoided them, but today I would be lost without some of them. 

  • http://allthingsloss.com Kevin Mackesy

    My favorite is the discipline of rest.  Of the four you listed it seems this is the one we are the worst at.  We (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’) have GOT to learn how to rest.  Not resting is just as idolatrous as resting too much, as if we think the world can’t go on without our constant intervention.  It’s a matter of faith to be able to “unplug,” sit back and rest in what God has done and is doing.  Yet we can’t seem to do it.  Always plugged in, afraid we’ll miss something, afraid our platform will diminish, worried about what we should do next. 
     
    We need to recover the doctrine of the Sabbath.  It’s a good gift from God that we NEED.  He knows better than we and that is why He gave it to us.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Yeah Kevin! Let’s do it!

      • http://allthingsloss.com Kevin Mackesy

        Easier said than done, right Joe?

        • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

          What? You mean start a movement to replace Sabbath in a productivity obsessed Western Christianity that has dismissed it as being religious “law”? Nah, should be pretty easy ;)

          • http://allthingsloss.com Kevin Mackesy

            You’re right!  When do we start!?

          • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

            I’m starting tonight! Taking a Sabbath until tomorrow (I work weekends, so Monday night to Tuesday night becomes my Sabbath).

            Seriously though, you and I should chat more about this. You’ve got my email address, right?

          • http://allthingsloss.com Kevin Mackesy

            I don’t think I do…but don’t feel obligated to send it until your Sabbath rest is over!  I noticed Liz posted on thewritepractice.com today.  Is that a result of Sabbath as well??

          • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

            Yep ;)

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      Sabbath is a tough lesson to learn. Building on what Mike said about the difference between amusement vs. recreation, I think we often work at our play. I remember how exhausted I was when I worked construction Monday through Saturday and played softball on Sunday afternoons. Two weekends of that, and even in my early 20’s, I knew I couldn’t keep up that pace. I needed true Sabbath rest.

      • http://allthingsloss.com Kevin Mackesy

        Absolutely TNeal.  The body and mind (just like the universe – think of the seasons, the tides, sunrise/sunset) work rhythmically and when we operate outside of those rhythms we are operating outside of how we were created to operate (did use the word operate too much there? haha).  If we don’t build rhythms of rest into our lives burnout will inevitably result.  And depending on your situation, the cost of burnout can be enormous (loss of job, family, health, etc.)

  • http://twitter.com/KatieMcManners Katie McManners

    Thank you for writing about the distinction between amusement and recreation. I’ve never thought of it that way before.  

  • http://blog.rumorsofglory.com/ Lucille Zimmerman

    Wow, look at all these responses. You know how I feel about this post Mike – I did write a book and it will be published next Spring with Abingdon Press. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think it proves there will be a great market for your book!

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      Looking forward to reading it!

  • http://twitter.com/BeSTforum Blake Ensign

    Powerful!  Daily Disciplines!

  • Jackiesmith43

    While rest if very important I think reflection rejuvinates our spirit and body.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Smith/1150981881 Steve Smith

    These are the core values of Potter’s Inn, a ministry to leaders in the workplace and ministry. Check us out at http://www.pottersinn.com 

    Thanks, Michael for highlighting the need of leaders in this great blog entry!

    • http://blog.rumorsofglory.com/ Lucille Zimmerman

      I’m reading your books now.

  • Anonymous

    The “discipline” of rest and relationship are the two important ones for me.  Thanks again for another great post – one that was very timely!

  • CynthiaKayWade

    These disciplines are as important to those who practice a non-Christian world view.  Please remember that in your writings.

  • David Stevens

    I deal with this topic in a soon-to-be WestBow Press release called, The Reset: Reclaiming the Life You Should Be Living in 28 Days.  The basics are presented as “Learn seven life-transforming Resets  in 28 days and reclaim and finally live in the life that God designed just for you!”  One of the quotes on my front flap jacket says, “I firmly believe that most of our defeats and setbacks in life come because we do not diligently guard our heart.”

  • Bill Seashols

    Proverbs 4:23.  God told us.  Thanks for repeating.  Relationships imperative, beginning with our Jesus. Listen well and we will/can  hear each for ourselves. 

  • Donschin

    I 100% agree that the fourth, relationships, is the key. That’s why I chose to write about it as well for my first book. Michael keep your thoughts coming – you’re the only ‘blog’ that I follow.

  • Anthony DiMaio

    Hey there Michael — I have to complain… (LOL) you do this piece on The Four Disciplines of the Heart on MONDAY, and now I am caught in the blog-trail of great comments.  I would have liked to have seen this on Friday, so I could have implemented, instead of just lamenting… :)

  • http://www.15minutewriter.com Sharon Gibson

    These are critical disciplines. I am glad you wrote about them because with all the cultural pressures, it’s important to focus on taking care of your self and your relationships.

    Years ago, I felt impressed to set aside Sundays as a day of rest. At the time I had two retail stores with alot of demands and so it took discipline to do so. It is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Now after so many years, I cannot work on Sunday or my body protests. :-)Whether it’s Sunday or another day, I think it’s important for mental and physical health to rest one day per week. If God took a day of rest from His labor, then surely we can too. :-)

    One area I am challenged is taking rest breaks during the day and I need to be more intentional about that. The interesting thing is that when you take breaks, often creative ideas and solutions for your work come to you so it actually benefits your work progress as well.

    Thanks for articulating these so well.

    Keep up the good writing!

    Sharon Gibson

  • Dustin

     I needed to hear that this morning. Thanks!

  • Meghan Baxter

    “But in a world of social media and faux connections, we must be intentional about building authentic relationships and real community.”

    I can’t agree more. As a natural introvert, and a military wife, it’s so easy for me to keep to myself in each new community to which we are posted. It’s a real energy-sucker for me to make new friends, engage in small talk, and invite people over to get to know them. And, as an added bonus, I’m a writer, so I would rather type my feelings than share them in my own voice! 

    Thanks for this reminder that relationships truly are the foundation of our world, and our faith.

  • Ron Jenson

    Great piece Michael. I love using the Devtional Classics for this and on a wek away re-creating on the beach in San Diego. Thanks.

  • Jon-jon

    Well I guess the discipline of recreation in one of the most important to me. And yes indeed, i need to reevaluate my priority :-)  Thank God for the author of this wonderful reminder.

  • Jon Solangon

    Well I guess the discipline of recreation in one of the most
    important to me. And yes indeed, i need to reevaluate my priority :-) 
    Thank God for the author of this wonderful reminder.

  • Rich Procter

    Michael — Great post. I want to acknowledge you for the spirit you bring to this blog. I get something valuable and — more importantly — USABLE — every single time I come here.

    I’m a writer, and I often struggle with the discipline of relationships. I’d rather just shut the world out and write. And yet — as you remind me — we were meant to be in relationships, and know God through each other. (And, of course, produce positive results in the world by working together.)

    I lurk quite a bit here. I’m grateful for what you do. I get so much out of it. Thanks. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Rich.

  • Anonymous

    For me, without a doubt, it is the “Discipline of Rest”. I read somewhere that we “download” into our collective lives as Americans 3.6 zettabytes of information per year. That is the equivalent of twittering every second continuously for one hundred years. It’s hard not become numb to the onslaught unless you take time to reflect, ponder, and give meaning to just a portion of that overload in our lives.

  • Cammon30

    I have been doing some of these things with out understanding the power it was giving or supplying me with. For recreation I play my guitar! Even though people beg me to do things I rest instead. I am always reflecting and when O don’t I pay. The Lord has now put me in divine connections with people that are spirit builders.  The one that is the most essential for me is reflection and playing my guitar those two are the ones that seem to aide me the most! Be Blessed! And Thank You!

  • http://www.extremejohn.com Extreme John

    To me the most important is the Discipline of Reflection. Almost all of the time we read a lot but only a few of these times we are able to read a Bible. Finding the time to read it is oftentimes difficult especially for those who are busy learning other things. 

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Wow.  Great stuff.  I’m not sure I can answer your question about which is most important to me, though.  I continually see a need for each of these in my life.  Different seasons require a different focus.  For example, the last few months, I’ve needed to really apply the rest and recreation aspects.  But now that things are staarting to slow down a bit, reflection and relationships are more in the forefront.

    Great thoughts!  Thanks for sharing! 

  • Susan

    I was in my late 30’s when I finally realized how important recreation was. Prior to that time I had been a constant slave to my To Do list, experiencing a new thrill every time I crossed off a project that was completed. I had no hobbies, other than reading, and only then when I had the time. I have been scrapbooking for 12+ years now, and have found the time I spend working creatively on something I value and enjoy to have paid back, tenfold, the time I set aside for my hobby. I come away more relaxed, but energized, ready to tackle the next project with enthusiasm.

  • Rob Sorbo

    God has clearly blessed you with some great wisdom, Michael.

  • Rabrooks1

    A great and insightful post that is very timely.  The original word for recreation really had to do with re-creation. We have often forgotten that fact, and as you indicate, vacations can of themselves inflect a great deal of stress.

    Jesus himself was a great picture of your four “R” points and was part of the ideal example of a relationship of intimacy and intensity that seems impossible on the human level.

    Thanks again for sharing timely insights; they are good for me today.
     

  • Anne-Marie

    I think the most important is recreation. It embodies all the others: it is restful in a way mere sleep or solitude can be; it is relational in communicating to and with others in a way nothing else can; and lastly, it sparks reflection as nothing else can.  The benefits are not proportionate to our skill level (thank goodness!).

    I’m just sayin’…….

  • http://daddybydefault.com Craig Grella

    This is such a good article, thanks Michael. Sometimes I get caught up in what I’m doing and forget about every one of these “R” items.

  • http://www.rustgeek.com/ TheRustGeek

    I find rest and reflection are intertwined – for me at least – and I have struggled the most with both.. Thanks for the reminder! 

  • http://www.inamirrordimly.com Ed_Cyzewski

    This is great advice. One subset I would add to the relationships section would be friends and acquaintances who tell us the truth about ourselves. I once shared a potential writing project with a friend who listened carefully, asked a few questions, and then I decided to focus on some other things that were more important and better suited for my talents. That has happened at so many points in my career, and I’m a more effective writer because I made myself vulnerable to people who lovingly spoke the truth I needed to hear.  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is indeed one of the great benefits of friendship. Our friends can remind us who we are when we get lost.

  • http://www.charlesspecht.com Charles Specht

    Bible reading and prayer tend to “cure” us of many worries and stress.

  • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

    This is a great post and rest is one of the most challenging areas for me. I’ve been reading a lot about physical training lately and the importance of rest in endurance sports. When we rest, we get stronger! LIFE is an endurance sport…when we rest, we get stronger…body, mind & Spirit.

  • Anonymous

    All four of the disciplines discussed are very important. 

    The Discipline of Reflection is the one I find, for me, is an absolute daily requirement that must not be put off.

    The Discipline of Relationship is the one that requires the highest level of intentionality, for me, because it can be easily put off until tomorrow.

    Thanks for the important reminder!

  • Gentsent

    The discipline of relations.

  • Carol Karels

    All four are in important, but I think 1 and  2  is the most important because with out Jesus  we have nothing.  We have to make time for Reflection and Rest  sometime this is hard to do for me  to do. 

  • Ken

    Mike,  Great post!  I love the part about pursing relationships.  I quoted you in the a post wrote for tomorrow, “Social Media, Trick or Treat.   Oh yeah, the discipline of rest isn’t bad either.  Some day, I am going to learn “Reflection.”  As always you challenge me.
    Ken

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m so glad we are friends. Our lives are richer because of you and Diane.

  • Wendy

    Great post, Michael. It makes me think of the anatomy of our heart. Our heart has four chambers.  When one chamber shuts down, the whole heart becomes diseased and unable to function well! So it is with the four disciplines…when one shuts down the whole person/leader becomes diseased and unable to function well.  If all four disciplines are taking place at one time, then those ‘attacks of the heart’ won’t be as damaging. :-) Thanks for your expertise on leadership!! 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am totally stealing that! Excellent.

      • Wendy

        I am honored! :-)

  • meeklabs

    Relationships, at least here in the US seem to become harder to establish and even harder to maintain these days.  Everyone is so busy trying to keep ahead or help their kids keep ahead, that no one has time for each other, much less themselves and God. 

    It seems like something catastrophic has to happen for people to slow down.  I’ve been slowly working to decrease the amount of time spent on the job or daily requirements, and surprisingly, no ill effects so far.  But I must admit it is far from easy.  The pull back to being overwhelmed is just a simple “Yes” answer to the next thing that comes along.

    We are told that in order to have life, we are to sacrifice our lives for Him.  This action removes so many burdens and stress, but a command that so few of us follow or even understand.  If only I had the faith as large as that mustard seed…

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    I agree…you HAVE only scratched the surface. Fantastic stuff, and your thoughts come at a very good time in my life. Thank you, Michael!

  • Todd Alexander

    The “Discipline of Rest” helps me remind myself of the things that are truly important.

  • http://jeremysconfessions.com Jeremy Statton

    Could you make a list of the books that you read that help you pause and reflect?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Some are listed on my bookshelf under the spiritual category. Thanks.

  • Jose Rene Berrios

    Love this post ! everything you said is so true, yet sometimes we find it so difficult to at least slow down, sit for a few minutes and meditate, rest, take a break from our routine and try to listen to God

  • http://RichardBurkey.wordpress.com Richard Burkey

    All 4 are important, but the other 3 don’t happen well without rest. Somewhere I heard “lead from rest”, and I have discovered when I violate that principle, all the other 3 are drained from my heart as well. Ultimately all 4 are interwoven. When you pull the thread of one, the other 3 unravel as well.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Interesting take on fasting and “the tyranny of our appetites.” Thanks to your LoseIt.com post way back when, I recognize the wisdom in that statement. When I gained control over my weight and appetite, I found other areas of my life becoming more disciplined.

  • Alaskan At Large

    FYI: Off topic.

    Michael – I just saw the news that HarperCollins is acquiring Thomas Nelson.  Will this effect your position at Thomas Nelson?  Curious….

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I really can’t comment beyond the press release. Sorry.

  • Anonymous

    Amen! I hadn’t appreciated this perspective, but in hindsight, I’ve been under attack. I’m doing well in my Relationships, drawing much-needed nourishment there. I’m fighting for Reflection and Rest. 

    • http://www.gailsangle.com Gail

      Put it in your calendar. Block it out and then guard it. It’s hard to get into the habit of Reflection, Recreation and Rest but once you have it included into your life you’ll value and guard it well. Others will eventually learn that it’s ok for you to say no to them filling in your time.

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    Reflection.  It is in the time of reflection we can get honest with the disappointments and unmet expectations giving it all to Jesus.  Stuffing, burying, avoiding the pain keeps the wounds open. Honesty brings healing.  Pray. Listen. Lean. Hope….sweet times with Jesus! Reflection is the best time – even when it hurts.

  • Alaskan At Large

    Thanks for the speedy response re: the Thomas Nelson piece of news.  I’m always keen to follow the info you share about the publishing world and will look forward to updates when it’s appropriate for you to discuss it.  I learn so much on this blog.

  • http://ericspeir.com/ Eric

    This is some great advice. I struggle with these myself because of the high intensity in which we live. We are often in a rush to accomplish more in less than and it leaves us tired and wiped out. When I take the time to do these things then I help myself and those who are depending on me.

    • http://www.gailsangle.com Gail

      True. It can be hard to live up to others expectations but the more you give, the more they expect. One of my current favourite quotes is “Lead from a place of rest”. We’re all better people and leaders, if only of our children, if we are rested, recreated and well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/germanrayjr.gonzales German Ray P Gonzales Jr.

    The discipline of relationships is most important to me. I think that the measure of a meaningful life is not what new ideas, great material achievements we have brought about. Rather, it is the impact of these achievements on the quality of our relationships that counts more.  The people we love are the reason why we work our asses off in the first place. It would be the height of irony if we lose them just because we were too busy working. 

  • Guest

    As a Christian, I think the 1st discipline is all that matters. If I fail at #1, I will fail at #2-4. If I do #1 and obey (as Anthony DiMaio pointed out so well) then #2-4 take care of themselves. If I think I am good at #1 but fail in 2,3 or 4, then I am deceived and need to go back to #1. If I think 2-4 are more important than #1, I am stuck in idolarty and need to go back to #1. See a pattern here? ;)   :)Mat 6:33  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

  • Pingback: Social Media, Trick or Treat?

  • http://www.gailsangle.com Gail

    Most of us have lost the art of recreation – particularly mothers. I know this because when I ask people what they do for fun many look at me like I’m speaking a different lanuage!

    Playing, laughing and having fun is something we believe we need to leave behind with childhood but it is so important to keep us well and who we are. To begin with fun can feel awkward and get lost in competition for our time, but once we schedule and prioritise it,it’s soon clear that recreation and fun is vital for healthy living.

    If you have a wife, mother or friend who desparately needs some fun in their life, do your best to give them permission to recharge, to laugh, to play. Take the kids or the chores away from them for a while and let them have time to recreate. For some, playing with their kids is the answer (I love playing lego and barbies with my niece and nephew, it’s the most fun ever), so for them, maybe doing a basket of ironing or mowing their yard may give them the space they need to play. Others need kid-free time to attend a scrapbooking class or play sport with friends.

    Thanks for including Recreation Michael :) It’s so important.

    • http://www.15minutewriter.com Sharon Gibson

      Great points and suggestions Gail! Fun is something I need to schedule more into my life and I just thought of a young mother I can give a break to and enjoy her two little ones.

  • David Gould

    The Discipline of Rest I find so hard to do and of course it is the one that makes a huge difference to well being.

  • Pingback: Disciplines of the Heart « Faith Venture

  • http://insearchofwaterfalls.com Raj Paulus

    The most important to the health of my heart is the Discipline of Recreation. Why, because during those few moments of planned fun, I play with my hubby and daughters, sleep better, and have renewed energy to reflect. I love that I’m married to a man who plans great vacations. These are the times we stop running ourselves ragged and have great conversations with each other and with God. Loved this entry! :)

  • http://twitter.com/jamespinnick7 James Pinnick

    The Discipline of Relationships.

    I have to take more interest in people around me and live more for others than just me. I realize I live for God and He is my savior, but He commands me to spend the time building relationships. I’m trying! :)

    James
    Author-The Last Seven Pages
    http://www.jamespinnick.com

  • http://findingforwardmotion.com Tony Elam

    I need to do better with all of them lately, but more importantly Reflection.  One thing I have been planning to do prior to reading this is to take time to focus on what is true.  I am hearing so many false things lately that it has discouraged me.  I know better, and just need to rest and reset.  Thanks!

  • Avelina N

    Hi fellow Christians.  I have been a Christian for as long as I can
    remember and feel like I have had a lot thrown my way.  In the past I have asked pastors and fellow
    Christians and nobody really taught me why. 
    I thought if you were doing the things that I thought you were supposed
    to do, usually a list a ministry would give you, that everything would be
    wonderful!  But it wasn’t.  Then I came across
    href= “http:www.teachingfaith.com/”<www.teachingfaith.com.  I started to
    listen to the Spiritual Warfare series and was so happy I rejoiced in the
    Lord!  There was someone teaching on why
    Christians are attacked and how to get through it and this preacher used God’s
    Scripture alone, not some self-help book! 
    Also, explaining what we have to look forward to and what to keep
    focused on, NO LISTS!  If you feel like I
    felt check it out, your doubts will disappear!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been trying to focus on the discipline of reflection lately.  

    You noted that this topic is worthy of a book.  When are you going to write it? :-)

  • http://darensirboughblog.wordpress.com Daren Sirbough

    Definitely the discipline of reflection. There is nothing like spending time with God alone and not being distracted by anything else during that time. I get perspective and energy from it.

  • kathy

    Building a great relationship with the Lord.
    Secondary,with others in my family and community.

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I am learning the discipline of reflection. I “finished” (I put it in quotes since it will always be changing) my life plan and have begun my weekly review process. It is amazing to me how much that helps me stay on track! Reflection is something I now look forward to and it keeps me walking the path I know God desires me to be walking.

  • Marian Forest

    These disciplines are very important. The one that I need to focus more is better rest habits. It is good to have family time and recreational time, also. We must know we have to  get rest in order to be able to function as a person and to do what God would have us to do. 

  • Pingback: The Discipline of Relationships : the Intentional Communicator

  • Pingback: this went thru my mind |

  • Jon

    I observe that most people around me do not reflect. The reason is most likely they are fearful. The TV, radio or iPod is never off. Reflection is almost impossible when all this commotion is coming at us.

    Make a quality decision to unplug. Bask in the silence. Take a break and reflect.

  • Edythe Draper

    When employed not exercising the “Discipline of Rest” was my downfall. It’s so important. Now that I’m “retired”, I’ve taken time to savor the writings of the Early Church Fathers. It’s opened up a new understanding of faith and commitment, especially those of the desert mothers and fathers.

  • Pingback: The Discipline of Rest | The Write Practice

  • Pingback: How can I cultivate a healthy, quiet heart? « Strengthened by Grace

  • Joe

    Relationships is what I struggle with most-I guess its the fear of intruding others privacy. My role as a leader in church is however slowly helping me to know that this cant be an  option. I love what my pastor keeps on telling me,”God is in the people business” and so I cant be a leader and shun real,heart relationships. Thanks for the reminder.
    Shalom

  • Grace

    I would say rest & reflect. It gives me time to refocus, reconsider & listen to what God is saying.

  • ValeriePlis

    Michael, I’ve been following your blog posts now for several months. And while I always enjoy your posts, this post was extremely valuable. One of my favorite scriptures is Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23 NKJV).

    Whether you are a corporate leader, minister, or parent, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the responsibility of “doing” that we lose focus of the things that actually strengthen and help us to be more effective (i.e., Relationships, Recreation, Rest, Reflection). And for me, it seems as though these are the areas of life that are sacrificed for the sake of getting more done.

    Thanks for the awesome reminder!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am speaking on that very verse tomorrow! I love it. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/mehebda margaret

    Oh how encouraging! I have never, ever thought of rest as being built into my very physiology. But I am incredibly grateful that it is–what a precious gift from the Lord.

    Thank you so much for differentiating between recreation and amusement. I get those confused sometimes. I think you’re right–recreation is vitally important, and in someways (for me atleast) I feel that is is connected with rest. Just as amusement will often drain me, so recreation is often relaxing and restful. Now if I could just practice these disciplines :) 

  • http://www.meeklabs.com meeklabs

    I could definitely use that recreation discipline, but over time, I’ve found that it is the relationship that matters most.  When times are good and when they are bad, its the relationships we have that make all the difference in the world.

  • Pingback: How Not Working on Your Catechesis Can Make You a Better Catechist | Marc Cardaronella | Evangelizing Catechesis

  • Pingback: 5 Posts That Will Change The Way You Lead .:. Nate Fietzer

  • Apanaa

    Thank You Micheal. That was a good read.

  • Anonymous

    I am a woman.   Relationship is most important to me . .   and the most difficult, as it requires co-operation and understanding.   Rest, one can discipline their own self.   Recreation,  plan.  Reflection, just do it.    But, Realtionship requires mutuality.    An ability to inspire, persuade and a sense of being a “fisher of men” . . .       an understanding of that which I follow.   A courage to follow . . rather than simply lead.   And, an abiding faith that what I follow is good, also, for my fellow man.   How to encourage others  to walk beside me?   Be not afraid to walk beside them?     It takes a profound faith and testing of my own integrity, which comes through Reflection.   I can grow weary, and need Rest.   Recreation together can form the bond . .    all paths leading to Relationship.  

  • Jlshands1s@gmail.com

    Assuming I am like most, I would argue that the discipline of relationships is the most important to me. I find myself stuck in the situation that I have been hurt at one point in a past relationship, and because of this I think too much. This causes me mental and emotional pain. Yes I have moved on, but now I am a different person. I believe I have found my match. She attended Christian school, is higher in her faith. She understands me, loves me, the whole works.. but I am stuck in the same situation as before, I find myself loving her more than she loves me. Yes she loves me and I know this, but it doesn’t seem like… I can get past this “gap.” I have always wanted a relationship where I am finding my partner loving me more than I love them, if not equally. This is where my “thinking” comes into play. I over think and feel unloved. I know Jesus died for my sins and fully believe it. I know God loves me uncontrollably and that I will never be able to even fathom how much he does. Still, I feel unloved, like the attention, or proof in this “relationship pudding” is not there. You know, something to go by and tell me I’m loved. We all see life, what God has given us, what he has done, PROOF and the attention given to us to feel loved. Sadly, as for myself, I wish I had at least a love in a relationship that attempts to be like my heavenly father’s. I honestly feel until I find this love that I’ll be to consumed by the want of it, and that it will decrease my faith/christianity. I ask that the Lord’s will be done and pray I am kneeling to it, it is hard and I don’t fully know what God wants for me. Regardless, I have a situation and found this while in my depressed doubts, which is why I’m here (possibly like most.) At any rate, I ask that those that read this, even if you don’t know me, I ask that you put aside thoughts and simply put me in your prayers.
    Sincerely, I simple college student from Southeast Missouri.

  • Ishanieperera

    sweet! Great article, thanks for sharing. May God continue to keep and bless you : )

  • Pingback: Five Blogs – 27 March 2012 « 5blogs

  • Leon Yeap

    Michael, Thank you for another personally timely message that is relevant! Thank you for sharing encouragement and wisdom.

  • Jerry Nulton

    Fabulous insight, thanks.

  • Dahlia_dd

    Discipline of Recreation. For Me, the more  scattered I am  the more I NEED the zenlike quality of  Fabric/ textile manipulation.  Quilting  needlework or just  organizing the  Sewing Studio of Awesomeness.  Just by doing these things  I have time to either shut down the destructive internal monolog  or   chew through a problem. It is so Effective to have control over the creative process. For me  it refills the pitcher  from which I serve others.  An Empty Pitcher cannot pour.

  • Danny Park

    Great article.  I especially liked the insight on the difference between amusement and recreation.  Very easy to get those mixed up.

  • Kontactkate

    Relationships for sure. 

  • Pingback: #19: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains [Podcast] | Michael Hyatt

  • Tmabie

    Reflection. I have know for some time that need this. It is critical to my wellbeing. Yet it has been lacking. I need to go back to my life plan and ideal week.

  • Pingback: Leadership Starts at Home | Michael Hyatt

  • Pingback: Let’s Talk About it: Guarding Your Heart | Redemption's Heart

  • Pingback: #026: How to Lead in Turbulent Times [Podcast] | Michael Hyatt

  • Pingback: The Four Disciplines of the Heart | Michael Hyatt | patwoodblogging

  • Valerie davies

    I find reflection is the most important point in this really interesting and helpful post. Reflection helps me see what is really happening, it puts things in perspective, refreshes me  and re-connects me with my Source.

  • Rosalind

    I totally agree with all four reason to guard ones heart.  I had a conversation earlier reagarding the fourth reason.  When we are completely open we make it possible for us to be attacked by the one who hates God and hates us. This is a new place for me in guarding my heart glad to be here.

  • Alexandra Leonardo

    The discipline of reflection and the discipline of recreation. Most often we forget these things :)

  • Christna

    My heart has been broken many times over the past 6 years by the same person. It has changed the very core of my being. I very seldom feel the gush of love and affection I used to have for my family, life, and everything that’s included in it. I have read this scripture in the past and felt the very need to be wiser and gaurd my heart. To protect it from the person who squanders it away, but I am so weak to him, and suffer in angst when he draws away from me.

  • Michelle Johnson

    I have done Spiritual Fast, but Fast can be challenging for me at times. I have stuck with fasts, and i have broken fasts. I like to Decorate cakes and learn new things to explore creativity. Learning how to make crafts allows me to make my own gifts for Birthday’s and Christmas for friends and family.

  • Rennie

    by far the most important for me is quiet time away from the world and being with the One who knows me best, allowing time to reflect and hear His voice through His Spirit in me and His Word, and through His creation. Thanks for your time in putting this article for our hearts out there.

  • Pingback: Claudia Santiago | TECHNOLOGY: Internet is great…but how is your health responding?

  • RVS

    I want to hear more about the discipline of recreation. Because sometimes for me, I just need to change my scenery and other times I need to DO something.

  • lawanda bee

    Definitely rest. Thank you for this effective help. I have something to start with as I was clueless before.

  • Michael S

    For me I am trying to really go after set bed times and set wake times. Rather than jump around to the hoard of things to work on I am picking one simple area. Recently I went to a meeting where I was ready to pack it in. The mentor group listened to me and then asked, “How much does lack of rest play with my current state. I was challenged to set a reasonable bed time and be up ealry to prepare my day. It has been over a month and there has been much victory! At the mentor meeting I heard the phrase sleep in on the front end and was ver inspired by this. Rather than sleep in at the morning, sleep in at bedtime. That is go to bed earlier. Applying this principle has worked so welll. I have cut my bedtime down from 12-1am to 10:30, I am looking to cut this down to 10.
    Thanks Michael for teaching us great principles that work!

  • http://mcgreevycoaching.com/ Michael McGreevy

    I think “authentic relationship” is the most important and the hardest to find. Most would say, yeah, I have that. I spend time with my family everyday. Yet, because of our insecurities, real honesty and vulnerability are often passed over. Although difficult on the front end, there is nothing quite as satisfying and life-giving as someone really knowing you and choosing to love you.

  • atrudel

    Wow, all four of these disciplines seem equally important if we are to lead a balanced life. If I had to choose, I’d say #1, closely followed by #2. Sometimes 2 takes priority.

  • B J Fox

    The Discipline of Reflection is very important to me; for I want to seek Gods face and have a closer walk with him. If I were to say the one that I nee more work in, it would be the Discipline of Rest; God help me to do better.

  • Odiela

    Recreation this is when I’m more creative and relaxed…

  • Sam Pasco

    Some very useful and much needed disciplines for not only leaders, but every one of us….
    …good stuff!

  • Scoti Springfield Domeij

    The Discipline of Exercise. When my son, an Army Ranger, was killed on his 14th deployment, his death gutted my heart. I retreated to a quiet place and snuggled under my thick, down comforter. Any noise, conversation or phone call shattered any remaining strand mooring my frazzled emotions. The sleep of depression failed to offer rest. I resigned my leadership positions at church and dug deeper into the Word and reflected on the Hebrew names of God. And then the Bible was simply not enough to buoy my heavy heart. I realized, “I’m sinking. If I don’t make some kind of change, I’ll lose the key to escape this downward spiral.” I started CrossFit, the same brutal training required of my son. CrossFit even named a hard-driving Hero workout in honor of him. After the first week, the trainer gave me a rousing commitment talk. I told the trainer, “I’m broken. I have no push. All I can do is show up. You’ll have to push me.” He said, “I can do that.” And he did. The first month I slept for the first time in two years, due to physical exhaustion, not due to depression. I’ve found an amazing group of people who mirror relationship in a way I wish the church did. People welcome every new face and introduce themselves. They don’t judge, they’re just glad you showed up and that you ‘try.’ When the workout of the day (WOD) is a killer, hard-body CrossFitters cheer me, and others, on as we struggle. The common bond of commitment, sweat, knotted muscles, lactic acid build up, and fatigue forges relationships. Even though I still struggle with the pain of loss, I feel better emotionally as a result of the intense exercise. And I’m awed by the doors God is opening to share Him with people outside the church bubble, because I’m knocked down and broken, but not knocked out.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Wonderful testimony, Scoti. I love hearing about your story. Thank you for taking time to share it.

  • Paul S

    The discipline of relationships is one of growing importance to me. Not just any relationship, it’s the relationship with my wife and brand new baby boy.

    I am trying to grow in my career, build a platform, start a business, and be present at home when I am at home.

    I have found that putting my cell phone in my office at home and leaving it there for a few hours helps me to disconnect from all that other stuff and focus on the two most important people to me. It is so refreshing.

  • Ryan Gaskill

    I enjoy reflection, quite times when I get to be home alone or in the car and shutting everything off and being still and quiet. There is also nothing like a good day of surfing.

  • http://www.sassyinspiration.com Heather Filipowicz

    This one hit home. Last year I was in the throws of this. It took a while to come back, but I did. It’s a hard time to go through for leaders and there is hope at the end. Thanks, Michael, for addressing it.

  • Angry Angie

    Very enlightening. Thanks…Reflection. Rest. Recreation and Relationships..Easy to remember.

  • Beata Sievi

    Relationships – the main sourse of power and happines for me, I am glad that you mention this. Bonding is our natural instinkt.

  • margaret jones

    This really spoken with me that I had to forward it. We have been in a season of encourage our leaders to incorporate Sabbath rest in their lives but really it’s like pulling teeth :0 The gift of the Sabbath is one that I don’t believe most Christians follow, not it keeping of a day but the receiving the gift of resting from work.

  • Tim Wright

    Hi Michael,

    What is your definition of the heart?

    Thanks

    Tim