To me Discipline by itself is freedom. One may not be alone in disagreeing with my statement. For majority discipline is a dirty word that is equated with a kind of maniac. In fact the opposite is true. Sometime back I read somewhere and still remember, “Those without discipline are slaves to moods, appetites and passions”.
Self-discipline involves acting according to what you think instead of how you feel at a given moment. More than often it demands sacrificing the pleasure and thrill of a given moment for what matters most in life. Right from wake up time to accomplishing the agenda of the day needs nothing but discipline.
All through, self-discipline has been a weakness of mine, but now I ask myself was it a tag worth it. I would dare say it is worth it because it has never proved otherwise. Not that I didn’t want enjoy the pleasures of lying down till late morning or going to work at a little ease or straying away from what I planned to do today etc.., but immediately the consequences of doing so pops up in the mind.
Discipline means to me, following or behaving according to what was decided is best, regardless of how you feel at a given moment. To take the later call it requires lot of introspection and good amount of self-analysis.
Developing self-discipline, of course, takes time and I would also say a mentor; but the advantage is that you yourself is realizing the need of it instead of someone imposing on you which shows that you could identify your own shortfalls. Yes, it needs lot of commitment. But the time invested will prove worth it.
If you struggle with commitment, start by making a conscious decision to follow through on what you say you’re going to do – both when you said you would do it and how you said you would do it. Then, I highly recommend putting in place a system to track these commitments. As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets improved”.
Make no mistake self-discipline is often extremely difficult. Instead of pretending something is easy for you to do when it is in fact very difficult and/ or painful one may have to find the courage to face this pain and difficulty. But I am sure, your self-confidence will grow and the courage that underpins self-discipline will come more naturally once you start enforcing it irrespective whatever adverse conditions may.
In this world of ‘no time for others’ and scant respect for what others are going through, I talk to myself, encourage myself and reassure myself. After all, it is only this self talking that reminded me of my goals and reinforced my commitment of the task in hand. When I find my discipline being tested, I always recall the following quote: “The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret”.
Plant this quote into your memory, and recall in whenever you find yourself being tested. It may change your life.
Madhu K. Nair [1st January 2016]