Why Is Discipline Such A Dirty Word?
Whenever someone hears the word Discipline, they usually and immediately tend to conjure up an image of a demanding driving boss or parent or some authority figure that resoundingly haunts the memory of their childhood or maybe even early adulthood. I have to laugh because even as the author of this post, knowing full well the detail and crux of it’s meaning, I still revere those same images. This image is a perfect example of the one thought I continually have regarding the power of the mind, and that is, if it can be the source of fear, it can be the source of courage.
Whatever the case, this article will show you a completely different image. Your opinion of Discipline will drastically change once you begin to see how you can develop this skill and use it to your advantage. What I have come to know as “Automatic Discipline” is a physical and emotional reaction to a set of tasks that lies ahead of you that not only allures your attention but excites your desire to execute them with the utmost enthusiasm, efficiency, and skill. Once you realize how to develop an almost automatic response to simple things that you choose to get done in your daily routine, the process will become regular, as enjoyable and straightforward as walking in the park.
Developing this automatic Discipline is going to be a gradual and conceptual movement towards its understanding and achievement. It is not something I take lightly, nor do I believe it will ever be complete. It will grow and evolve with your ambitions and your accomplishments. It will develop into a personal routine that only you will understand. For this reason, you can share it with others in general, but your specific approach must be kept to yourself. You keep the possibility of negative feedback off the table, especially if you are learning and incorporating these skills for the first time.
There are always two ways to look at any situation. If you want to get granular, I would expect there are many different ways. We create this idea of Automatic Discipline by only breaking down what you are trying to accomplish and find the best and most enjoyable ways to go about doing that. We don’t worry about what we can’t do or don’t enjoy doing because you can do things in such a way that it encourages us to do more.
The first way to go about accomplishing this is to break every task down to the point where there is absolutely no barrier to getting it done. If you want to meditate, journal, or exercise every day but have a problem finding the time, break each task down until it is no longer a barrier to accomplishing it. Once you have done this and come to enjoy the two, three, or even five minutes to start, these tasks consistently over time, I guarantee you will find a way to increase the time frame of each.
Once you begin to see the benefits of each, the anticipation of doing them each day will create what you will come to know as Automatic Discipline. However, we must start somewhere, so why not start in the best place at the best time, in your home first thing in the morning.
I can hear the moans and groans all over the world right now. I am not a morning person, never have been, and never will be. That is quite alright. If you noticed I didn’t say you had to start in the morning, I said why not, though this routine does need to start your day. Whether you do that at 0500, noon, or even at night if you work that schedule, once you decide to embark on a productive day, your morning routine is the best place to start.
Because I am inclined to believe that most folks who begin their day do so in the morning, we will refer to this process as the morning routine. Its purpose is to get you moving and moving in the right direction. Before I deal with any life’s chaos, I have a set regimen that begins my day, almost every day. Even when I am not at home, I engage most of my regimen.
Actually, it starts the night before by making the coffee, so all I have to do is flip the switch on the coffee pot the next morning.
My routine begins each day by making my bed, prayer, affirmations, and watching short videos that catch my attention as I browse them at my desk. I listen to music or vibrational sounds depending on my mood, and from there, I complete a few simple tasks that merely do one forthright thing, but it is the most important thing I do all day. I set the tone for my day.
The purpose of the morning routine is to set your tone for your day. Therefore, I cannot tell you what to include or for how long. As long as you do whatever it is, that sets a peaceful and productive tone for your day. In one of my “Quotation Affirmations,” I make a point about this. “Get up every morning, make your bed, say your grace, and smile. The day will go exactly the way you start it. “
I can tell you that not only has it become an automatic discipline, one that I would find hard to live or start my day without, but it has become the most transformational of all the AD’s I have created. No matter what happens on any typical given day, even ones filled with chaos, disappointment, and even pain, I find a way to reset the next day with my morning routine.
What is important is some of the tasks in my regimen were at best once not exactly exciting to do and at worst downright abhorrent, like making my bed first thing at 5:00 AM. Now they give me such gratification each morning and have become my saving grace for mornings lacking enthusiasm and my enigmatic ceremony on mornings of great promise.
What You Do Must Be Attractive, Engaging, And Fun
Okay, we have now established, and I hope all agree that a morning routine is necessary. So what goes into creating, evolving, and perfecting (and I use this last word lightly) your routine? The tasks you develop will be your own, with your flavor and personality. Still, they need to have a few common attributes to give you a fighting chance at consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness.
If you don’t like to do something, at least in the beginning, by all means, don’t do it. First of all, we are all different and have preferences, desires, and enthusiasm for some tasks over others. When you begin, remember the idea is to create Automatic Discipline. If you are not attracted to a particular experience initially, it will be an uphill trudge to make it intuitive. It doesn’t mean that we won’t ever learn to like things we don’t know or may not know about now. We will evolve and grow as we continue down this path but to start, let’s give ourselves a chance. I’m not particularly eager to provide examples because I do not know what is attractive to you but make sure there is a learning or growing component. Eating ice cream every morning, I am sure, would be tempting to many, but how beneficial would it be? Find and even medium, it is easy to do.
One way to develop that compromise is to engage in activities that raise your emotional state to a heightened sense of discovery. Think about your priority or what you want to accomplish and explore different ways to move in that direction. I believe in the power of thought or, more generally speaking, the omnipotent power of our minds that I not only saw right thinking as a hobby but a necessity. I was at a point of literal fear of thinking a damaging thought. It might be overboard a bit, but from that priority, I decided I would bombard my daily life with affirmations, positive stimulus, and a sense of Amor Fati (a term in the Discipline of Stoicism which means to love and embrace your fate or circumstance). This idea helped me create all kinds of attractive and engaging mental and physical activities that I use as I go about my day.
I look forward to almost everything I do during the day. I focus on creating an even greater level of enthusiasm for daily life by evolving my exercises and toning my emotional capability to inspire myself and others by only doing what I find attractive and engaging.
If you go down this path, you can’t help but have fun. Life is fun, and for those times when things that happen to us, seemingly out of our control, our only business is to perceive it in such a way that keeps our cognitive momentum moving in the right direction with purpose and prospect. If you can master this, you will never find yourself without options or possibilities.
Must Be The Cerebral Equivalent Of Muscle Memory
The end game to real automatic Discipline is to commit it to memory, mental muscle memory. There are all things we do throughout our daily lives that we do not even consciously contemplate. For the most part, these are necessities like breathing, eating, and using the facilities. If you have a job and perform specific duties at that job, I am confident that many of those activities are so regular that you could do them with your proverbial eyes closed. Tasks you are not so excited about performing, but you do them anyway because it is your job. Suppose we develop and evolve our morning and daily routines with activities that attract, engage, and are fun. In that case, we will have the same consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness as our job duties, and we will look forward to doing them all the time. If you continue this practice, you will find pleasure in almost everything you do. It will be hard for you to leave things undone, like the dishes or making your bed. You will find satisfaction in everything you do because it all plays a role in your emotional and mental state and productivity.
Get To This Point Of No Return
When you sit down and watch TV to relax a bit and realize you can quickly get the dishes done, get a load of laundry in one commercial, you are most of the way there. When you pause a movie, you love to do the same; you have arrived.
These, of course, are mundane ancillary and additional benefits to creating automatic Discipline in all that you do. Getting things done becomes addicting, and your Cognitive Momentum is reinforced and grows exponentially. From your waking moment until the soft slumber, your purpose encapsulates you. Even watching Disney movies with your children or grandchildren has new meaning. You find knowledge everywhere and in all things, and you begin to look for it. It's as if a unique ability to learn opens up, and you can absorb all you want, like a kid and a candy store.
Getting to this point is a point of no return because you no longer want to say no to your dreams and goals. Every accomplishment, big or small, is recognized by your psyche, and it deposits and stores copious amounts in your confidence and vitality bank accounts. Automatic Discipline is the core element of Cognitive Momentum, and once you begin to develop it, no one can take it away from you. No one can stop you from doing more, creating more, and being more. I have searched my whole life to find a way to live by my means. I have found it by these practices, and you can find it by doing the same.