“The man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait very, very long time.” – Chinese proverb
Knowing what you want to do and actually getting it done are two different things.
Think about it this way: there is a no-man’s land between every goal that is set and every goal that is accomplished. That no-man’s land begins as unclaimed and uncharted territory, but with the application of focused and sufficiently persistent work, it gradually becomes familiar as it is traversed.
The process of achieving any goal involves the transformation of the unknown into the known. Self-discipline allows this to be done. The ability to do the right thing when it needs to be done without external control or coercion is the measure of self-discipline. And self-discipline is an essential element of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual maturity.
Self-discipline at one level (e.g. physical or mental) provides foundational support for the development of self-discipline in the other levels. As such, the successful handling of the small, seemingly insignificant details of life contributes significantly to the pattern of victory in the larger goals and aspirations.
2 thoughts on “Self-Discipline”
Yeah, it sure is something that certainly deserves conscious examination. People are usually good at something where their natural talents excel and not so good at things where there is no immediate interest or gratification. It’s easy to become disciplined when you naturally focus your attention on something and are able to hold it there for an extended period of time. This ability is a very natural human trait we all possess and it truly is incredible in its awesome and almost infinite power to make things happen, for better or worse.
In thinking this through further, the ability to focus on something irreversibly changes you. We all give thought to things we observe, some more than others. The observation could be a concept, internal, or some object, external. They both wind up being assimilated in your own psyche and settle in with a force proportional to the intensity of the focus. It is irreversible at this point, until there is some other displacing force of sufficient magnitude born of some other observation that carries a polar opposite signature. The weight of the focus determines the place it takes in the psyche which then determines the eventual role it is going to play in influencing your behavior. All of this shapes you and you are continually becoming a person with a personality that has a foundation of whatever the intrinsic uniqueness of your born identity is and then all the cumulative layers of your observations and your experience, which as the years go by, pile on and make up the greater part of what you are going to be remembered for.
My original point I wanted to make after I read your post and totally diverged (!) is far more practical. I truly believe we need to become the thing we are endeavouring to do. This especially holds true for how it is you are going to spend most of your time and for most of us, that is what we call our career. Doing something you do a lot, without depth, will always cause tension and stress because the deeper impulses will always want to exert prominence and thus dominate you expression.
How is that done? In my opinion, you must become a disciple of that which you are studying and aiming for, fully immersing your psyche to deeply sense the life force of that thing you chose and then doing what you must to allow yourself to be absorbed and incorporated into it. This way it can displace any and all competing influences thrown your way, either by your own doing or via the heavily marketed world we all live in today which is so dangerous as there are more distractions than ever, growing by the day that can easily slay the delicate beauty seeking to be born. Desire is tempered, singularity of purpose born through contemplative, quiet yet thundering, meditation – this is what naturally emerges as it is a law unto itself. No need to proclaim vain self-affirmations as affirmation is woven in to the process itself.
I do not wish to sound authoritarian in any of this as that is not my intent, but to me, this is what discipline is all about, and this is what the word disciple means to me, stripped away of all of its contaminated overlays. You are the pupil – fully open, available, committed and subject to instruction – until you are the very thing itself and have become master. It is the process of mastery that is important; this is what instructs. Life takes on a whole new meaning, every little thing changes in your world and given that you are mastering principles, these principles then manifest in other areas of your life – as you stated above – that you don’t anticipate and the whole-ness of life becomes ever so more real.
As a result, your mind and your heart finally do unite and you see your health exponentially grow. Some have called this the secret to healing, the royal road to health – this I do agree!
Excellent advice. I’ve always appreciated this thought of Nietzche’s, “He who cannot obey himself will be commanded. That is the nature of living creatures. “