Navigating the voyage of self-improvement starts with understanding this concept: your ONLY competitor is who you were yesterday. Entrusting yourself with your growth journey means eliminating the distractions of societal comparisons. True progress comes when you compete against your previous self, recognizing your strengths, learning from your weaknesses, and taking ownership of every step you make. Remember, one small step forward, when consistently taken, will culminate into a journey of limitless potential!
"Discipline is the root of all good qualities. But you have to absolutely apply it to things outside of just waking up early. It's everything. It's working out every day, making yourself stronger and faster and more flexible and healthier. Discipline is eating the right foods to fuel your system. It’s about disciplining your emotions so you can make good decisions. It's about having the discipline to control your ego so your ego doesn't get out of hand and control you. It's about treating people the way you would want to be treated. It's about doing the tasks you don't want to do, but you know will help you. Discipline is about facing your fears so you can conquer them. Discipline means taking the hard road, the uphill road, to do what's right for yourself and for other people."
- Jocko Willink
This quote speaks to the comprehensive nature of self-discipline and how it impacts various areas of our lives, going beyond mere imposed discipline. Discipline, when it is by the self, allows you to take that daily step even through the tribulations of this world.
In a world filled with rules and external expectations, it's vital to search for a purpose that resonates deeply with you. A life without a defined purpose can become susceptible to societal pressures while opening you up to potential detrimental effects from social media. Instead of succumbing to external validations and being a slave to societal whims, take the wheel and steer your life in a direction that is personally meaningful to you; do not let others dictate your purpose either. This purpose, your purpose, will be your beacon, helping you sail even when the waters are murky and the winds are turbulent.
"Life is suffering. So, work through the suffering and understand its nuances."
- Jordan Peterson
Dwelling on external comparisons can result in self-betrayal, hatred and ultimately depression. This is why, in this life, you must learn humility through Purpose. When you have selected something to go after, you must first learn and make mistakes. In order to truly thrive, you must transcend your ego and embrace a life anchored in genuine self-awareness, humility and service. Ponder on the life of Jesus Christ, a humble carpenter, who exemplified a life of purpose and humility. He offered healing and solace without seeking glory, a testament to the power of service, humility, and perseverance. I am not saying you can live Jesus Christ’s life, as he is the embodiment of God (the universe), but I am saying that you must learn to humble yourself to allow for personal growth to continue through daily steps towards your purpose.
The essence of life is motion, akin to a shark in the ocean. To stagnate is to regress, and to stop entirely is akin to death. We, too, must keep pushing forward, setting goals, and working towards them. Start small, perhaps with something as tangible as cleaning your room, as Jordan Peterson likes to bring up. Or perhaps you have another form of action, discipline, that you can engage in daily that moves you towards your purpose? As Marcus Aurelius wrote in his 'Meditations', "Your daily habits, routines, and actions define your character." By establishing order in your immediate environment, you lay a foundation to tackle bigger challenges in life.
To truly effect change, you must break the inertia of past failures. Harness the energy of self-awareness, set clear actions, and follow these steps:
Pin down a single goal/path or purpose.
Carve out four principles to guide you towards this goal.
Detail four actionable steps under each principle.
Now, you'll have a list of 16 tasks. Every day, prioritize one from each principle.
List them according to importance and tackle them one by one.
Maintain focus, ensuring you complete each task before moving on to the next.
If you fall short, don't despair. Commit to daily effort. One step every day is progress!
As you accomplish each task, mark it off and celebrate your progress.
Remember, self-discipline is the cornerstone of transformation. Begin with a spark, fan it daily, and watch it grow into a roaring flame of achievement. Trust in the process, believe in yourself, and watch as you forge your path to a brighter tomorrow.
"Believe in yourself when no one else does by saying, 'I am responsible for who I was, who I am now, and who I will be tomorrow.'”
- Coach Mark Wine (me)