I believe that you can only truly be free if you incorporate discipline into your life.
Discipline is a concept that often makes us shudder. It tends to be linked to coercion, childhood, schooling and prison. The opposite to freedom in any case !
But discipline is actually about making choices for yourself that « nourish your well-being and provide opportunities for expansive growth » (Donna Farhi)
‘Tapas’ is one of yoga’s ten principles for living happy. It refers to discipline, perseverance and drive. Donna Farhi likes to call it « burning enthusiasm ». More than something that coerces you into a certain monotonous rhythm, tapas is about focusing and channelling your energy toward that which is good for you, toward what you want.
What we discipline is not our bad side, but our desire to escape from reality, whether that be by numbing the mind aimlessly watching television ; spending more money in an attempt to feel more beautiful ; procrastinating and dreaming of a different reality ; gossiping and blaming rather than taking responsibility…
Why do we self-sabotage when we could be great ? Are you ready to be GREAT ?
We can do anything when we put our minds to it, when we want it bad enough ! How else can people heal themselves against all the odds ? Check out Arthur’s inspirational story.
3 ways to improve self-discipline
Want to improve your ability to choose what is good for you and stick to it ? Try these.
1. Know why you are doing it
As Paolo Coelho says in Valkyries, « We do not need to know ‘how’ or ‘where’, but there is one question that we should all ask whenever we start anything : « What am I doing this for ? ». Now this can be the most challenging but it is indeed the most transformational. If you have a really good reason to do something you will have no problem doing it. You’ll probably do it well, with pride and with pleasure. You may suddenly feel alone and afraid, but if you remind yourself of your intention you will find the courage to move forward.
In the wise words of Mr. Robbie Williams in Candy …”if it don’t feel good, what are you doin’ it for?”
2. Surround yourself with inspiring people
Don’t hang around in places or with people who keep saying no and pulling you down. It really helps to spend time with people who have drive and motivation; the people who know what they want. Joy, determination and enthusiasm are quite contagious actually!! I also really like watching motivating TEDtalks like Brené Brown’s on “The Power of Vulnerability” or inspirational movies like The Peaceful Warrior, and reading books that give you the desire to get out there and be all that you can be, e.g. John Wood’s “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World“.
3. Adopt a sense of humour and a good dose of compassion
As you develop your awareness you will start to recognize the strategies you use to escape reality and sabotage yourself. These might include, I’m sick, i can’t its too difficult, I’m in pain, I don’t have time, I have to look after the family, poor me, I’m a victim, I’m not good enough, it won’t make a difference anyway, it’s their fault not mine… You really have to laugh when you catch yourself making all sorts of child-like excuses to run the other way from taking responsibility for your life and your happiness. When you catch yourself having missed an opportunity and succumbed to the self-saboteur, then rather than starting a cycle of self-flagellation, offer yourself a lot of love and patience and vow to not miss the next opportunity to focus on what you really want and is good for you.
« A warrior does not give up what he loves.
He finds the love in what he does. »
from the movie The Peaceful Warrior