tl;dr Discipline is a bitch. Get on that shit early.
I’ve been thinking about discipline a lot lately.
If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’d have realised that it’s a bit of a recurring theme lately.
I think it was late last year when I came to the awkward epiphany that the one thing I’d been running away from most of my young life and is now quite lacking, is the one skill I could damn well use right now.
Discipline. Yeah, that old chestnut.
As a kid, I remember my father trying desperately to instill a sense of discipline into me. Mostly he used the “brute-force” method – with a belt. Now before you go crying about it to your oversensitive sensibilities, hidings were a celebrated means of discipline back in the day and had their merits.
That said, I saw discipline as everything I didn’t want to do getting in the way of everything I did. Discipline was a dirty word, and not in a good way. I felt it was everything stopping me from being ‘free’, from really enjoying life. I mean who wants to learn the value of mowing the lawn when you could be playing games at the mall or vegging in front of the telly watching Empire Records for the hundredth time?
For me, discipline was a pain in the arse and I did everything I possibly could to avoid it.
Oh, what an idiot I was.
Flash forward 20-odd years and all of a sudden I’m lamenting the free-spirited child of yesteryear with all his frivolous whims and afternoons spent rollerblading in the driveway.
I wish I’d just hunkered down and did the hard stuff, because all of a sudden I’ve realised discipline IS the ONLY way to achieve true freedom – the freedom to do what you want without getting in your own way.
There are so many things I want to achieve (my list of ‘this’ll be so awesome, let’s do it’ is maybe a little too long). And yet I find that no matter how much I wish and want and hanker after that Men’s Health look for summer, the Nosh bar next to the teller invariably wins out. Or the couch over the gym. Or the next super rad awesome cool series over learning to actually play guitar, paint more or write.
Thankfully we have passion, but passion usually runs out just that little bit too soon. Just before we get to the place where we’re hitting the “ooooh this is rad, I’m so glad I did it” phase, passion invariably goes “ok, I think you’ve got it from here, I’m off to the Bahamas” and dumps you on your fat ass, nosh bar in hand watching the latest Game of Thrones.
And so this year after crying in my beer for a few days, I realised I should probably get on with beating my body into submission (BDSM, self-flagellation whip in hand) and focus on instilling a little bit of discipline into my life.
I’m now about half-way through the year, and to be brutally honest, I’m not quite sure how I’m doing. Discipline has got a lot to do with perseverance. And probably the only thing I’ve really persevered at is attempting to get more discipline – which isn’t a bad thing, but I’m a little worried that I haven’t really stuck it through on all the wonderful things I’ve been attempting to be disciplined at.
But it’s not all thorns and teardrops. I’ve seen a modicum of success across a few things, albeit up-and-down across them all – but the positive thing here is that I suppose this is the journey. The weird thing about perseverance is that you simply shouldn’t give up and you have it. Get up one more time than you fall down I think the adage goes.
So far I’ve more or less gymed at least 8 times each month this year, I’ve also maintained some sort of focus on my weight-loss goals- even if it’s not exactly going fantastically. I’ve sorta kinda kept reading and have some semblance of a morning routine going. And I think the most important thing is I feel like I’m gaining more control over my life and my future.
And honestly that’s a win for me and I’m amped to see what the next part of the year holds.
Is the dirty-d something you struggle with? I’d love to hear what you’re doing or done to push through the laziness and get more.