Monday, 15 September 2014

"Over Prepare, Then go With the Flow" - Unknown.

How to have personal discipline:

My personal discipline isn't excellent yet, but I'm working on it.   I think that having a little bit of personal discipline helps you to improve your life.  I like change, entropy, unpredictability,  novelty, and creativity.  Thriving in chaos is an excellent skill to have in this day and age, and to thrive in chaos you need to be able to think on your feet. In order to think on your feet, you need some sort of initial framework that constitutes personal discipline.  Over thinking leads to rumination, negative thoughts,  insecurity, and depression.  You need to be self confident and prepared in order to think on your feet in life, because if you lack self esteem and self discipline, then you will just second guess yourself constantly.  As a result, you  will be unable to take action effectively.   Being able to be adequately organised, disciplined and prepared, gives you the freedom to thrive in chaos later on. 

Again, I don't claim to be an expert because I'm just learning, but here is what I have discovered so far:

1.  “If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things" - Admiral William H. McRavenThis quotation has been going around the Internet ever since Admiral William H. McRaven said it in a commencement speech  at the University of Texas-Austin.  He went on to advise students to make their beds every morning as an example.  I think the takeaway from this is that sometimes details and routine matter for the sake of discipline and self confidence.

2.  Start small and work your way up.  Every day, schedule one easy tasks that requires only a very small time commitment.   For example, if you want to begin exercising, start with a 5 minute walk every day.   You will find it very hard to think of an excuse not to do a 5 minute task.  After a while you will realise that you CAN stick to commitments, and it will give you the confidence to do more! Also it will create a habit. 

3.  Convince yourself to treat self discipline as a tool to prevent a future situation in which you feel the discomfort of regret.   Time will pass regardless of your actions.  While being mindful and living in the moment is important, sometimes you have to do what is best for 'future you', for the sake of practically and getting things done.   Remember, motivation comes after action, not before. Sometimes, doing things that you don't want to do, or that are outside of your comfort zone, can be character building exercises. 

4. Make it easier on yourself by removing temptations, and creating situations in which it is easier to be  follow though with disciplined.  For example, it's difficult to resit ice cream that is already in your freezer.  It's easier to just not buy the ice cream at the grocery store in the first place.

5. Be kind to yourself.  Making sure that you are mentally and physically healthy will only allow you to be even more confident and disciplined in your life, so take care of yourself.  Continually work on having good self esteem.   Also, do not fall prey to negative thought processes.  If you mess up on being disciplined sometimes, don't beat yourself up over it.  No one is perfect.  Finally, don't forget to reward yourself for a job well done, and to take adequate breaks from your self discipline routine so that you don't get burnt out.