Day Three, Discipline

Day three and I’m already stuck on what to write.  Well, I have lots to say, but what do I really WANT to say is the problem.  Sometimes some things are just better left unsaid.  I guess today I’ll talk about discipline.

I suck at discipline.  If you know me, you may be questioning this.  (Or you may be agreeing and I suck at guessing how people perceive me as well.)  But it is the truth, I simply suck at discipline.  At least in some major ways.

Maybe some definition and clarification is in order.  When I use the word discipline, I mean the strength or resolve to accomplish a task that we really don’t want to accomplish.  Doing what you don’t really want to do.  Things like diet, exercise, and even being nice are all examples where we discipline ourselves.  We really want to eat the food that tastes good, but it is high in calories.  Or we don’t really want to run/ride/lift because just sitting around doing nothing is easier.  Those things we don’t really want to do require discipline if we are going to accomplish them.

I stand discipline on the one hand against determination on the other.  See, I can be very, very determined.  Determination is the drive to accomplish something that we really want to accomplish.  Things like making time for seeing an interesting movie, talking to that interesting person, or reading a book we like are all examples of things that require determination.  We all have busy lives, and in order to accomplish these things we have to set aside time to actually get them done.  We have to determine that we want to do them, then get them done.  The distinction between what I’m calling determination and discipline is a fine line (a very fine line), but a valid one just the same.

I don’t really know how to exercise more discipline, that is, how to be more disciplined.  But even as I write today, I’m thinking there are many time I do things I don’t want to do, not really out of discipline, but because I don’t want to deal with the potential fallout of not doing it.  Paying the bills, for example.  I don’t want to do it (and not just because of the money part, it is just boring), but I fear the fallout of not paying bills much more than the pain of actually paying the bills.

There’s a term for this.  I don’t remember what it is right now, but the process of measuring the mental/physical “weight” of action against that of inaction is defined somewhere.  That process of measurement, I need to figure out how to add extra weight to the side of the transaction for things I know I should be doing that I’m not doing, like my diet.  If I could figure how to add more weight to these things, maybe I could be more disciplined.

That’s your friendly crazy, old man rambling for today.

~CC

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