personal development

Discipline Is Slowing Down

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What if I told you that to be disciplined you’ve got to slow down?

We all think we need more discipline, but what we really think when we think discipline is "willpower." 

We think if only we had more willpower we would love ourselves more. We would stop eating sugar. We would go to the gym everyday. We would do more exciting things and have more exciting lives.

This is a lie.

You don’t need more willpower. You need more discipline.

Discipline requires you to decide what your values are and act on those values even when in the short term it isn’t exactly fun. Discipline comes after you’ve experienced the downfall of lack of discipline. Discipline requires wisdom and long term thinking.

Willpower is the idea that we can ‘will’ ourselves to do something. We can’t.

One the most important things I’ve ever heard is devotion and love will always outlive drive and motivation. And devotion requires the wisdom and repetition of discipline.

So how do we grow discipline?

One might argue that we grow discipline with willpower.

But I don’t see it that way at all. The idea that we have to “fight” ourselves in anyway to get what we want is just falling back into the old paradigm of “life is hard” and that we have to “work more” and “sacrifice” to “build something for ourselves.” The paradigm that the world is a difficult place to be. This is an old and tired way of thinking. It’s boring and it’s ran its course. 

How we really build discipline is by committing to slowing down and asking ourselves meaningful questions.

To grow discipline we engage in mindfulness when we eat, when we talk, when we listen, when we live

It’s simple. Just slow down. Watch what you’re actually doing. Let eating food be enough, don’t work while eating. Let walking to your car or to the next store be enough and don’t check your phone for the 100th time that day. Think about what you’re saying before you say it. Really listen to people when they talk.

We build discipline by slowing down and listening to what the soft animal of our body actual wants and doing that. It’s as simple as stopping the autopilot of life.

It’s so surface-level-attractive to speed up in life. To distract, escape, and avoid. But to live a life of intention and soul-led-purpose we’ve gotta slow down.

Slowing down doesn’t mean that you can’t get anything done. In fact, I’m willing to bet that you’ll probably get more done. But you will “lean” out your to do list. Activities that seemed like life or death may get dropped. You may find yourself engaging with different people or groups or even switching careers.

But don’t be afraid to slow down badly at first. Just give it a try. Notice how many times a day you check your phone just to fill space. Notice that you feel frantic most of the time. Notice that you literally don’t stop or take a deep breath all day.

Awareness starts to decondition. And it is the key to a mindful life. So start there. See what happens.

How are you building discipline this week by slowing down?

Can You Be Trusted with More?

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We talk a lot about what we wish we had. We tend to talk a lot about how “nice” it must be to have more money, a new car, a dream home, hired help, fancy vacations, great relationships and friends, and on and on. We tend to talk a lot with people and in our own heads about how things would be different if we just had a partner, or more money, or a different body. 

We don’t, however, spend a lot of time considering if we could actually handle what we say we wish we had.

Can you be trusted with more money, deeper relationships, more influence or power, a more fancy job, a nicer/bigger house, more happiness?

What if you were given everything you say you want tomorrow.. without going through the process of creating it.. would you keep it for very long?

There is a much quoted fact about lottery winners...in most cases in a few short years the winners end up in the exact same financial situation they were in before they won lottery.

Every time we “level up” in life, it comes with a whole new host of challenges, requirements, and responsibilities. Can you handle those? 


The truth is: you can have whatever you want. You have the means to decide to go after pretty much any goal you can think up. This world has so many opportunities for you..it’s figuratively dripping with them. You’re not any different or less capable than Beyonce or Bill Gates. They’re human too. They have just the same amount of hours in the day that you or I do.


The problem is it’s really easy to think about what we want and feel like a victim because we don’t have it and focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do have. It’s the norm. It’s the everyday vibe permeating most of our society. It’s really easy to say, “I wish I was a millionaire with the happy marriage and rocking health.” But it’s a lot harder to actually do the things that would lead to having those things. So we just decide it’s not for us, and keep pining over someone else’s life. 



So my message to you today is this: next time you find yourself wishing you had something else, ask yourself, “Could I be trusted with it?” There is no secret sauce, no different kind of person. We’re all just people. Some people have just decided to focus on what they do have control over and slowly, over time using those things to leverage themselves into whole different realities. 


If you want deeper, more fulfilling relationships, are you committed to staying open and vulnerable, even when it’s super uncomfortable? Are you committed to being honest, but kind with the people around you so that you feel fully understood, but also respect your partner’s or friend’s or family’s feelings? Are you wiling to take time away from what you want to do, to spend time doing what other people want to do. Are you willing to be available to your partner or friend or family member? Having deep, full and mature relationships requires that we become more deep and mature ourselves and that typically requires discomfort, doing things our ego would rather not do, and showing up over and over again.


If you want to be healthier are you able to decide to go to bed at a reasonable hour, skip social engagements, and make more time for yourself? Are you committed to speaking love to yourself and giving yourself compassion when you fall into old habits (news flash: self-berating doesn’t work!)? Are you willing to take advice from others who have done what you want to do as far as health? Are you willing to change your lifestyle? To be healthy and vibrant we need to have a lifestyle that supports vibrancy.


If you want more money, are you willing to gain financial literacy, make sound investments, and actually look at your bank accounts, credit cards, and loans? Are you willing to take risks financially and invest in your future? An issue I see with most people when it comes to money making is that they are too scared to put in the initial financial risk to get the return. Money wants to be in flow, it doesn’t want to stagnate or pool. To make a lot of money, you’re going to have to take substantial risks and get WAY more comfortable and literate in finances. 

There is never any “destination” in life. There will ALWAYS be challenges and hardships and growth required, no matter what you have. That’s the beautiful nature of being a human. As you gain more of the things you want, you will be required to change and shift. 

So the question isn’t whether or not you’re “lucky” enough to have the things you want. It’s "Are you actually willing to make those changes and shifts that would make the kind of life you say you want possible?"

It’s actually COMPLETELY OK if you are not willing. Maybe there is something you’ve been saying you wanted forever and you realize that you’re actually not willing to do what it might take to get it. 

That’s good. Now you know. You can take that space in your brain back and fill it with something you are willing and excited about doing.

Deciding we are willing or deciding we are unwilling to do things both give us power. Knowing where we stand gives us the solid base for jumping off and changing our life. Maybe for years you’ve been wrestling with the idea that you should work out every day to be healthy. But when you really sit down and examine it, you realize, you actually aren’t willing to do that. You’ve got too many other things going on. You do realize that you are willing to workout three times a week, however, or just on the weekends. This is SO much more productive mental health-wise and physical health-wise to know that’s what you’re willing to do. Then you do it and you save yourself all the grief of worrying about not working out every day. 


We get to decide what we’re willing to do and what we’re not. It’s not about getting all the things, it’s about remembering we get the choice to decide what we’re willing or unwilling to do. And move on from there. 

I’m with you.