The Discipline of Being Disciplined

There is something important and useful about being strictly disciplined just for the sake of being disciplined. I don’t think that you should be strictly structured ‘just because’ in every area all the time, but there is value in choosing to limit or challenge yourself for a time. Religions fast and meditate all the time. The purpose is to focus the mind on something other than what you are abstaining from. I often think that the hunger pangs(or withdrawal symptoms) from whatever people have stopped doing should be a reminder to help them think and meditate about a topic that they have chosen.

You should choose something to be disciplined about too. Aside from your religious beliefs, you would find something to abstain from for a set time. Make it something challenging to give up. (Like coffee, or beer, or sleeping past 6 am.) Then stick you your commitment for the period that you set out. To make this a useful exercise, you also have to have something that you are going to focus on. It can be anything: business growth, poverty in Asia, the refugee crisis in Europe, your children. When you think about what you have given up (and it will come to mind naturally because it was a habit), then spend time thinking about whatever topic you have chosen.

So it is as simple as this:

  1. Choose a clear subject to think about.
  2. Give something up for a set period of time.
  3. When you have a craving for your ‘something’ from #2, think about #1.

I hypothesize that if you do this, you will change, and you will have new insights on the subject you have chosen.

I have to be fully transparent and tell you that I haven’t tried this yet. But now that I have written about it, I am going to try it this week. I’ll tell you the results next week.