Benefits: Redefine what it means to develop self-discipline.
So That You Can: Gain the self-discipline you need to live with intention every day.
Go From Inspiration to Action With the Worksheet Below!
Gain the Awareness You Need to Develop Self-Discipline
We, as a society, lack self-discipline. Wouldn’t you agree? It’s pretty hard to argue against this statement, right?
And, wouldn’t you also agree that we need to develop self-discipline if we hope to live the fulfilling life we were meant to live; if we hope to live with intention; and if we hope to become the best version of ourselves?
Yet, even reading the words, “You need to develop self-discipline” can be quite confronting. As I write them, I can feel my muscles tense, and I find myself holding my breath (which is one of the odd things my body does when I’m really focused or nervous). But why?
Maybe it’s because we know that developing self-discipline is going to be difficult and painful, and we tend to avoid pain at all costs. Maybe it’s because we don’t believe in ourselves enough or don’t think we’re worth the effort it’s going to take. Or, maybe it’s because we don’t have a good understanding of what it means to develop self-discipline.
So, we’re going to work on gaining this understanding today by discussing:
- What self-discipline is,
- What it is not, and
- The addiction you have that makes developing self-discipline nearly impossible. (An addiction you probably don’t even realize that you have it.)
It’s going to be a fun ride, so let’s get into it. (Yes, I realize that my definition of “fun” is a bit different than most 😂.)
My Understanding of Self-Discipline Has Changed
That’s what I love about writing these essays; I’m learning right along with you.
Originally, I’d planned to promote the idea of being proactive, rather than reactive, in this essay. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because it’s become pretty apparent to me that this split — between reactive and proactive people — is yet another way we have found to divide ourselves.
I’m writing this as we near the end of a presidential election cycle, so it’s hard to escape the bombardment of political ads everywhere. And I’ve noticed that these political campaigns are either geared at reactive people — by focusing on fear and scarcity — or proactive people — by focusing on hope and unity. And, with this realization, I became curious . . .
Curious to learn more about what drives reactive behavior because, surely, if we know that, we can work toward becoming proactive. And being proactive is exponentially better than being reactive, right?
Wrong! Yes, I was wrong, once again. 🙄 I found out that being proactive isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but we’ll discuss that in a bit. First . . .
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Self-Discipline is Not Synonymous With Being Proactive
. . . even though I thought it was.
Let’s consider the definition of self-discipline, from Oxford Languages:
[Self-discipline is] the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.
Let’s face it, you can be proactive and still struggle to control your feelings and overcome your weaknesses. How do I know? Because I’ve been proactive my whole life, but I’ve only become self-disciplined in recent years by adopting an intentional living lifestyle. And this definition of self-discipline actually reminds me of the definition of intentional living.
According to Wikipedia, intentional living is:
. . . any lifestyle based on an individual or group’s conscious attempts to live according to their values and beliefs.
Now, let’s combine these definitions into a Deliberate Thinker’s definition of self-discipline:
The daily practice of consciously considering your thoughts, feelings, and actions so that they do not stand in the way of your continual pursuit to live according to your values and beliefs.
Wow! That’s pretty powerful if I do say so myself. 😄
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Then What The Heck Does It Mean to Be Proactive?
The Fatal Flaw of Being Proactive
The Addiction Plaguing the Nation
How and Why Would We Be Addicted to Stress?
Only Have 1 Minute
Sources & Inspiration
Proactive vs Reactive | Be Proactive, posted to YouTube by Time Management and Productivity on 7.23.16
How Do You Deal With Unconscious People?, posted to YouTube by Eckhart Tolle on 2.19.16
Staying Conscious in the Face of Adversity | A Special Message From Eckhart Tolle, posted to YouTube by Eckhart Tolle on 3.21.20
Living in SURVIVAL vs. Living in CREATION – Dr. Joe Dispenza, posted to YouTube by After Skool on 9.29.20
Higher Consciousness, posted to YouTube by The School of Life on 5.11.15
Adrenaline, Cortisol, Norepinephrine: The Three Major Stress Hormones, Explained, Sarah Klein, HuffPost Wellness, 4.19.13
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