Being disciplined sucks!
Being disciplined is that elusive state where you do what you should be doing, even and especially when you DON’T WANT TO DO IT!
I know this! And the reason I know this because my single biggest struggle has always been with being disciplined.
From my earliest days, I knew very clearly when I was slipping.
I knew when I should be doing one thing, but ended up doing something else – non-productive, time-wasting, etc, etc – altogether. And while I always felt guilty later, the next time it came to making a choice between what I wanted to do and what I should do, guess what won?
As I grew older, my internal dialogues before every moment of choice grew increasingly complex and lengthier.
My inner child argued vociferously for that last snooze, that solitary chocolate bar languishing in the fridge, those last 20 pages of that novel I’ve read a hundred times.
And all the while my inner adult tut-tut-ed disapprovingly.
So, why are we indisciplined?
Are we lazy? Probably!
Are we tired? Mostly!
Are we unwilling? Always!
But what’s interesting is that I’ve found my struggle with indiscipline escalated massively over the lockdown when the number of things on my plate scaled exponentially.
Between working from home & working for the home, I found myself in full-scale rebellion-mode – actively shying away from doing what needed to be done & binging on what I wanted to do – napping at inappropriate times & then pacing like an insomniac at night…completing things in a screaming panic seconds before the deadline…missing my workouts…eating junk like it was going out of fashion…should I go on?
I suspect that you may have experienced something similar.
And I’ve realised that being disciplined is harder when…
We’re uncertain about what’s going to happen.
We’re scared and stressed.
We’re not sure if that we are doing is having any effect or is of any use.
It’s easy to be disciplined when life is hunky dory and everything is going right, support systems are in place and everything makes sense and has a reason.
Not so easy when things are out of control…personally, professionally or in your head…or as it happens today – globally!
So, what’s the solution?
In all this while, I have found only one simple solution to this recurring problem – Just don’t listen to yourself!
I read this today somewhere – you can be your own best friend OR your own worst enemy!
It’s the latter these days.
We are the most wayward entities we will ever meet…driven by emotion and impluse…jumping to conclusions…easily demoralised and even more easily scared.
So stop listening to yourself and DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO! PERIOD!
Wait for the next time you’re supposed to do something. And when that fateful moment actually arrives, just put your metaphorical hands-over-your-ears – and say la-la-la-la-la-la so loud so that you can’t hear your own arguments for why you could delay doing what you’re supposed to do.
Because if you do, you will persuade yourself right out of it.
You will come up with a hundred reasons for why now is just not the right time…how you’re too tired, too stressed, too (fill in whichever adjective fits) anything to do what needs to be done.
So, just don’t think. Just do it!
Nike had it right!