“The further you go in the spiritual life, the greater becomes the responsibility. And the greater the responsibilities become, the greater becomes the need for self-discipline.” —Harold Klemp The Language of Soul
When you examine your life, you find that most of your challenges and problems have arisen from a lack of self-discipline. Self-discipline is simply doing the things that need to be done, regardless of how tired or unmotivated you are. Self-discipline like many things in life evolves over time. As we evolve our expectations and goals also change.
These changes require more self-discipline than we needed previously. This process is almost like a spiral. Once we reach the very top of a spiral, our view of the world changes, we realize we can do more than we did before, and we commence pushing for the next plateau. I have always felt a shift within myself when this occurs. These shifts are like little internal nudges that push you on to do more with your life.
Over the years the gym has become my haven. I consider exercise and proper nutrition and supplementation more of a norm now than I did previously. When I’m in the gym I feel exhilarated, accomplished, and even a little special. I feel special because so many lack the discipline it takes to continuously push themselves to great heights of fitness and health.
Self-discipline is interesting because it tends to “bleed over” into other things. Those of you who have experienced this know what I’m talking about. Once you attain a certain level of self-discipline it tends to grow. You find it easier to do things you disliked in the past. You find yourself anxious to tackle the next challenge. You gain a little self-confidence in yourself because you realize that you can handle more than before because the self-discipline you have developed has demonstrated that what you need to do will be completed.
I think the key to all of this is understanding your “why”. We all do things that are good and bad for us. When you really analyze why you do what you do, you’ll see the “why” everywhere. It is easy to do things we want to accomplish when there is a big, fat “why” behind the activity. I interact with quite a few of my friends in this regard. One of these friends asked me to help him out with his fitness routine. The very first thing we discovered was his inability to stick to his routine. He was always “outthinking” himself, coming up with every excuse in the book as to why he couldn’t exercise today.
I think this is about anything we set as a goal or New Year’s resolution. We start out strong, but then realize that we just don’t have the discipline or drive to keep it going. I think this is because many are doing things or pursuing things because of what the “other guy or gal” is doing. Or perhaps they are doing something because someone outside is telling them to. Neither one of these solutions is effective.
You must set goals for yourself that really align with your “why”. What is it? Is exercise something you want in your life, for the rest of your life or are you just trying to cut some pounds only to gain them back again. Fitness is one of those things that is really an all or nothing venture. If you want to change your diet, your exercise regimen, your sleep schedule, etc., you must really want it. Your “why” must be stronger than your excuses.
This discipline follows you everywhere. If you want to learn how to do something new, you have to pay the price. You have to read the books, do the tutorials, interact with people who are already doing what you want to do and find out what they do. Self-discipline is about taking care of your responsibilities. If you want to live a long-term, quality life, you need to begin doing things that will help you continue to improve or at least sustain the health you have. Do you really want your body to degrade so much that you need to be helped out of a chair or walk around with an oxygen tank in tow?
Sadly, a lot of my relatives, who are all in their 70’s has succumbed to their age much faster than they should have. Their minds have slipped, their bodies are brittle, their eyesight and hearing are failing, and the flexibility of their youth is long gone. Today, there are folks who are at this age competing in bodybuilding competitions, marathons, even triathlons. That’s who I want to be when I’m 70. Do you?
Until next time…