I am often asked by clients, friends and family about self discipline and how they can acquire this trait. The question itself is arbitrary in nature and is actually the wrong question. Whether you are looking to lose weight, become healthy, eat better, become more productive, be on time to appointments, become more organized, or whatever the case may be, the question should be, ‘how do I meet this goal?’ The emphasis is on “I” in this question because the process, or the “how”, is different for everyone, and the “I” is the beautiful variable in this equation.
Let’s say becoming healthy is our goal. I like this goal over losing weight or eating better because the organic byproduct of creating a healthy lifestyle includes both of these goals into a larger one. My first question to you is ‘what is it about becoming healthy that is enticing to you?’ Or, ‘what would becoming healthy mean to you?’ Why do I ask this? Well, motivation is everything and self discipline doesn’t just happen.
Self Discipline is formed by:
Self Discipline is a direct result of having a KNOWING instead of being told. It’s an internal knowing of the benefits of becoming healthy as opposed to someone telling you those benefits. It’s knowing how to ride a bicycle instead of someone telling you the steps of how to ride a bicycle. When we explore and allow our curiosity to have full reigns with no constraints within its exploration, we learn what needs to change, how to change it, when the best time to change is, and in this process, Self Discipline is born.
Why? Because when we discover what needs to be done through internal exploratory work, we innately KNOW the process that needs to happen to get us there. At that point it becomes a part of us, not just an action plan. Instead, it becomes a plan to action. One that we willingly take into action.
There’s an interesting thing about this KNOWING. We may instinctively know the way, but we still may be confused on where to start, or which specific path to take. We sometimes need a guide. This is where we explore our options. During this external exploration, our intuition, or that gut feeling, will tell us which path is the correct to follow. Sometimes that guide is a process, sometimes it’s a person, and sometimes it is both.
Guides help ask the questions to focus the self exploration into one that allows an organic self discipline to emerge. A guide can help you on the journey of understanding yourself which is the first step towards self discipline and knowledge. The power of self has been known for centuries and was focused upon by our great philosophers. “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom” -Socrates
Self Discipline is sort of a super power. But luckily for us, it’s a super power that can be obtained through following a process. And just like the process of learning to ride a bike, the process of self exploration never ceases, therefore we never forget self awareness, we just sometimes take a break from it. If you ever find yourself looking for self discipline, remember that, similar to the bicycle you took a break from riding, it is hanging on the rack in the garage or is outside hiding behind the junk you moved to make some room. Take some time to prepare the way (self explore), dust it off, and hop back back on. Soon, after the rust has been shaken off, you will be back into that KNOWING, and the nature of “you” will take over.
Cheers to better versions of ourselves, together!
Be well, Be love,