Personal discipline is important in everything that we do in life. You can come up with the best ideas but these ideas will be forever outside of your realm until you develop the discipline to create them. Discipline is what allows us to take action in areas that we find difficult.
Discipline allows us to become creators, it allows us to bring to life our greatest ideas and vision. While many see discipline is a type of endurance under stress, true discipline is really great personal understanding. Many would tell you that life is either ‘the pain of discipline or the pain of regret’ and try to motivate themselves into difficult action by increasing the amount of pain of inaction.
Discipline should actually be seen as the fine art of personal understanding. What I mean by this is that in order to do anything that you find difficult, you must find a way to make it less difficult. Now this might sound a little trite but I’m being quite serious, true discipline comes from being able to motivate yourself in the right way. This motivation can come in two ways:
1. You can fool yourself into doing just about anything. By pretending that you want to do something or that something is incredibly easy, you can get yourself to do things that you would never be able to do without this pretense. This kind of pretending that I speak of is actually quite easy, children do it all the time when they pretend that they are this or that character or when they pretend that they are being attacked by some giant monster from outer space.
Next time that you need to do something that you don’t want to do, try pretending that you need to do it because it’s a life or death situation. Try pretending that you actually love doing it. Pretend like a child that you are being attacked by space aliens and if you don’t get this done you are going to get eaten alive. Sure you believe that I’m kidding and that this is some kind of joke, this is not the case; try it, try coming up with incredibly inventive ways to get yourself to do just about anything. If you have to do a menial task that you find quite difficult, pretend that you are a robot and that this is what you are being programmed to do at the moment. Play, use your imagination to essentially fool yourself into making any difficult task easy and fun.
2. Real discipline is created by understanding yourself perfectly. By discovering who you are and what you believe, you understand why you are here and why you are doing what you are doing now. Understanding your personal beliefs you begin to realize the reasons for even your smallest of actions or tasks. Doing your exercise routine becomes infinitely easier because you understand yourself and your motivations for those actions. If you can understand the fact that you are exercising because you believe that you are getting too chubby and that you believe that you need to become healthier, to live longer, you understand perfectly the reasons for your actions. Understanding why you are doing what you are doing, your motivation becomes your deep understanding of self. Discipline then becomes the act of personal self expansion, it is no longer a type of self masochism.
If you look about you will discover that you will not find a person that has found true happiness that has not also been able to develop great discipline. Great personal success is created through discipline. Some of these successful people are able to get themselves to go through the pain of difficult action and do those things that they do not want to do. The truly successful though are those that are able to understand discipline in a new way and are able to create for themselves a plan of action that is not fundamentally masochistic. Some of these truly successful people have discovered the power of their imaginative mind and of their ability to play even with their own awareness. Some of these truly successful people have discovered that they cannot classify discipline as intense willpower, but that for them, discipline is the ability to discover who they truly are and to walk easily in the direction of their self expansion.