Discipline is the key to life. Discipline leads to success. Discipline is reliable. Without discipline, you are nothing. Ok ok I admit, that might be a little melodramatic but those statements are 1000% fact.
We often get caught up in our society with a discussion regarding the importance of motivation, which I agree can be a huge driver. However, motivation is like any other emotion and “emotions are the chemical consequences (or feedback) of past experiences.” (1) Once your subconscious has linked a specific chemical reaction to a past experience it takes work to change those emotions. My point, finding a purpose to work towards that elicits positive energy and motivation is vital, but in order for those to come true you need to add discipline (habits) in your life.
Discipline, by definition, is the practice of behaviors or guidelines. This is a skill that, once acquired, will drastically improve and change your life. Here are the best places to start in order to become wildly successful at life while getting in the best shape of your life:
1. Learning… as I often say, “the human mind is the greatest muscle in the body.” With any muscle it must be trained and worked, otherwise it will atrophy. Discipline yourself to take 20-30 minutes out of your day, every day, to learn or experience something new. Read a book (take notes), try to create something new, etc… the list can go on and on but the point remains the same, learn something new daily.
2. Training… your expectations in training have to line up with your goals. First, every training session you need to work on the mind-body connection by pushing your limits and training with purpose. Second, set a weekly schedule that has you training a minimum of 4 times per week with a minimum of 1-hour sessions. Have a definitive focus and/or plan, do not go random.
3. Sleeping… 7-9 hours is the optimal sleep time, according to “experts.” Although I concur that it is optimal for most, your body adapts to what you do. You can get away with less sleep as long as you work on time management with your entire schedule. However, you MUST discipline yourself to hold a bed time (or shut down time) and wake up time through the week. This structure will put your body, similar to a computer, on a schedule that will allow for optimal recovery, both physical and mental.
4. Eating… there is a lot of discussion surrounding nutrition and what you should eat, particularly around the topic of dieting. I am not going to dive in to details of how you should eat but rather the best way to start adding discipline in to your diet. Write a list out of 10 things you love to eat but probably shouldn’t be eating. Of the 10 eliminate eight of those items and for the remaining two, only allow yourself to eat those items one time per week, on separate days. Once you have built discipline in to your diet by cutting out what you know you should cut out, then you are ready for more details.
5. Meditating… the misconception behind meditation, where do I begin!!! First, meditation does not mean sitting in a steaming hot room with people who need deodorant (well it can be), it means disconnecting from the busy world around you. I will save the topic of brain waves for another day but in meditation your brain wave patterns change and your body begins to become the mind. Healing, immunity, relaxation, anti-stress, strength, focus and so much more can be characterized with this practice. Various forms of meditation can be alone in silence sitting, painting, reading, drawing, gardening, martial arts, and so many other things… the emphasis here is to discipline yourself daily for a minimum of 20 minutes per day to engage in an activity that is similar to the ones I listed. I highly suggest first thing in the morning if your schedule permits.
The only thing we can control in life are the “choices” we make, nothing else. Start living a DISCIPLINED lifestyle today and watch your entire world change.
1. Becoming Supernatural. Dr. Joe Dispenza. © 2017