My wife and her trophies
Self-discipline is an absolute necessity if one is to have a productive spiritual life. Replace old tastes and preferences with new, better ones. But do it in the name of the Holy Spirit, with love and a sincere heart, or nothing will come of this experiment.
—Harold Klemp The Language of Soul
Self-discipline is nothing more than doing what you agree to do. These agreements can be about your exercise routine, your diet, planning your day, and any other topic you can think of that requires effort. A person who can evaluate themselves and come up with a game plan to improve weaknesses or bolster their strengths are powerful people. They can do anything because they are willing to commit and stick with it.
Change is difficult. Evaluating yourself is difficult. Holding yourself to a new standard is also difficult. Self-discipline enables these and more.
So many people just ramble through life. They occupy their time with meaningless activities with no forethought. Think about all the people who literally live on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or Pinterest. What are they accomplishing?
Are you happy with your life? If so, change nothing. Keep doing what you are doing. It’s your life. If you’re happy and fulfilled, why change anything. This article is for the rest of us that are not happy with our current circumstances. We want to lose weight, get in better shape, eat better, and build skills that will garner us the ability to make an income throughout our lives.
Where do you start? This is probably the hardest thing to do—decide. We only have so many hours in the day. What will you spend your time on? Do you want to write a book, start a blog, or create poetry? Do you want to learn a new language? Do you want to start an exercise program? Do you want to start a business? What other things can you do each day that will contribute and build?
I started my search online. I wanted to know what I could do to improve my life, make lasting change, and build skills that would provide me with an income as I pursue a third career. I chose specific areas of my life to look at. These areas are Physical (eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercise), Mental (reading and learning every day), Social (staying connected with friends and family and make new friends and connections), and Spiritual (daily meditation, religious readings, attending spiritual events and retreats).
The areas I want to learn are two-fold. Write books (nonfiction and fiction) and learn how to write computer programs. Once I began my investigation into these areas, I found all kinds of resources to help me on my quest. These are now daily habits that I dedicate my time to. I write every day for this blog and work on my books. I also code every day. I have made great strides in both areas because I do a little each day to add to my abilities.
I need a little discipline in these areas because I love both. I love writing and I love coding. They are closely related because a programming language has rules and a whole new language to learn to enable my code to work. Book writing is a combination of actual writing every day and learning the craft. I try to read a writing book daily and find courses online that can teach me the various aspects of writing whether these classes are on grammar, style, or the specifics of writing a book. There are books on plot development, world building, and character development. The learning never ceases.
What are your passions? What would you like to do with the rest of your life when you retire? Do you want to keep working? Do you want multiple streams of income? Take time on a weekend and think about some of these things. Once you have discovered what you’d like to do, add that to your day. Do a little on these areas each day. How long does exercise need to be to be a benefit? How much writing do you want to do each day? What can you fit into your schedule after your workday is done and you’ve attended to your home responsibilities?
When you start out, put in a half-hour or so to each thing you’d like to try. I would recommend grabbing one item you’d like to add to your day. Then, once you’ve solidified your newfound habit, add another and another, until you are hitting all the things you want to pursue. You’ll be amazed how many things you can do by chipping away a little at a time.
Well, folks. I hope you are having a great Saturday! Enjoy your weekend. If anyone is interested, comment on this thread. I am more than happy to give you some ideas to help you move forward.
Until next time…
Every problem contains a solution. The key is self-discipline and surrender of the mental habits to the Holy Spirit.—Harold Klemp The Language of Soul
Do you remember any problems in your past that took a while to solve? What solved the issue? Did you change something? Did you realize that the “problem” wasn’t really a problem? Did the problem resolve itself or did you have to do something to solve it?
Problems come in all shapes and sizes. Some of our problems arise because of a mistake in our thinking. Some problems arise because of personal neglect. Some of our problems involve people. Some of our problems involve things.
We have problems with our health. We have problems at work. We have problems with the stuff we own. We have problems with other people. How do we solve these issues?
I have solved problems by changing my mindset. This is what Harold refers to with mental habits. Some of our problems are literally caused because we want our world to be a certain way. These problems tend to fade when we look at our life and world differently.
I used to have a lot of focus on money. When I realized that I had more than enough to survive and thrive, my money issues disappeared overnight. I have also had problems with people in my life. When I realized that other people’s problems were none of my business, they faded from view.
Self-discipline can eliminate a lot of problems in life. If you exercise, eat in accordance with your body’s needs, and get enough sleep, many of the ailments that we suffer from will disappear. When we detach ourselves from material things, outcomes, and our egos, many of our problems fade away. When you adopt the belief that everything is in its rightful place in the worlds of God, our expectations no longer cause us problems because we begin to accept things as they are.
People are a source of problems. You may have a disagreement with a loved one. We are all human and these problems will arise. When we realize that everyone has problems they need to work through and that these problems are theirs not ours, life smooths out quite a bit.
Problems can also cause a lot of worry, particularly those problems we do not see a solution for. When we realize that problems are given to us to solve and grow and learn from, they tend to evolve into lessons. There is a solution to every problem we face. What I have discovered is once we solve a problem or a set of related problems they tend to stay away.
We all have problems. They arise, we change, we take action, we adjust. Problems are a reality. None of us will exist without problems arising in our lives or the lives of our loved ones. Problems arise for us to solve. They are not done to us. Be confident that problems have a solution, they will go away just as easily as they arose, and that you will be a better person when they are gone.
Cherish the problems in your life. They are what make life interesting and exciting. Problems are not really problems in the end. They are merely communications from God to alter our way of thinking and doing. Nothing more. They are teaching us how to become more patient, loving, and spiritual.
Until next time…
This is a short video featuring Joachim De Posada and the famous marshmallow experiment that demonstrates the importance of being able to delay our gratification for better things. It is really short and the videos of the kids in these experiments are absolutely adorable. Enjoy!
Until next time…
“As our self-discipline increases, we discover that life can no longer defeat us. We move tranquilly under the protection of that Presence we know as the ECK, or Divine Spirit.”—Harold Klemp The Language of Soul
Self-discipline. This is one of the hardest things to master. When we discipline ourselves, it is NOT about what other people or society require of us—it is what we tell ourselves to do.
Managing ourselves is hard, particularly when examining bad habits. Habits like drinking too much, smoking too much, doing drugs, eating too much, not exercising enough, not sleeping enough, gossiping about other people, and the list goes on and on. To simplify this, it is about keeping promises to ourselves. If you tell yourself you want to exercise and then blow it off, this hurts us inside. It eats away at our inner core. It is like you are looking at yourself walking off a cliff and you cannot stop yourself. You know what you’re doing is harmful, but you just can’t stop. You must have another chew, another smoke, another drink, another candy bar, another bag of chips. You can’t stop talking about other people, you can’t get up on time, you can’t stop watching the television, or playing just one more video game.
It was quite a few years ago and I discovered a truism for myself. It was this:
“The moment you discover you cannot keep commitments you make with yourself is the day you discover you are absolutely fucked.” – Dave Gardner
This was my situation. At the time, I was overweight. I was in an unbelievably horrible position financially. My marriage was falling apart. My career was in the toilet. If anything could go wrong, it did. I think, in retrospect, that we cannot really grow or improve until we’ve hit this level of despair. We finally begin to understand that when life goes sour it is not because of outside circumstances in most cases. It is about what is going on inside of us. Our internal attitudes, the way we look at the world, our character, are what cause us the most pain.
I realize that some folks are hit with something that is unbelievably horrible. When I think about natural disasters, car accidents, crime, illness, and any other situation that comes out of nowhere and knocks us in the dirt, it is a different situation. Many people, because of their inner strength and self-discipline can pull themselves out of these things and continue to thrive. When you cannot trust yourself or do what you know you need to do—it is horrific.
Attitude has a lot to do with our lot in life. Victor Frankl was a Holocaust survivor. He witnessed his family systematically murdered by the Nazi regime. He experienced untold horrors at the hands of these animals. In light of this, he learned a great deal about himself in the camps. The one quote I came across that really stuck with me is here for your review:
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Victor Frankl
Our attitude has a lot to do with self-discipline. The way we interpret the world is filtered by our attitude. If we believe we are a victim, we will assume that everyone is out to get us. We will look outside of ourselves to blame circumstances on our lot in life.
Let’s return to the statement I made about natural disasters, car accidents, and other items of chance that happen in our lives through no fault of our own (in most cases). One person will look at it and blame God, the universe, or wallow in self-pity. Another person will not blame anyone, accept the situation for what it is and get on with their life.
When I began to realize that my attitude and my ability to control myself were responsible for my lot in life, I began to change the way I looked at things. This was not a quick fix. It took a lot of pain, suffering, and time to get through all the problems I had created for myself.
I began to set little goals for myself. I felt if I could begin rebuilding trust in myself I could pull myself out of the pit I created. I started by getting up at a certain time and making my bed. Then I began exercising. Not a lot of exercise, mind you, but exercise. I began eating right. I called creditors and set up payment plans I could handle. I got a physical and went to the dentist. I began reading my Bible and praying regularly.
I began small. I set little commitments and kept them. After a while, I began to increase my personal commitments to challenge my new-found discipline. Sometimes I slipped and fell. I picked myself right back up and re-committed. I kept going. I began to realize that I could not lose if I kept going. Each time I slipped in my self-discipline, I forgave myself, got up, and started again. This was another major learning event for me. I realized another truism:
“You can’t lose if you don’t quit.” – Dave Gardner
What is the moral of the story? We are responsible. We choose how we respond to outside events. We reap what we sow. We can recover from despair and bad situations. We can overcome our weaknesses and rise again. Our internal character, self-discipline, and attitudes are what create our external realities.
Until next time…
“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” – Aldous Huxley
I hope everyone had a terrific weekend. It’s that time again—Motivation Monday!!! What do you control? What can you affect? You’ll find that the only thing you can control is you.
You can’t control your cube mate, you can’t control the other people on the road, you can’t control the attitude of the barista making your coffee. You can control your attitude. You can control what goes in your mouth and body. You can control your reaction to outside events and people. You can control what you read, what you listen to, and who you associate with.
Concentrate on the things you can control and your “circle of influence will increase”. Concentrate on the things you cannot control and your “circle of influence will decrease.” (Covey, 1989). Your circle of influence is composed of all the things you are in control of. Focus on your circle of influence and your life will turn around.
Some of you are working right now. Some of you are at home. Some of you are having a terrific day, while others dreaded going to work this morning. I’ve been there. I’ve also experienced the phenomenon that Covey (1999) addresses. I was more concerned about the things outside of me, rather than the ones inside.
It is so easy to play the victim. Why take personal responsibility when you can blame your parents, your siblings, your luck, or some other “outside” thing. Easy right? If there are all these outside things affecting my ability to perform it isn’t my fault. I am not responsible. Get it? This is why it is easy. This is why so many people fall into this trap. Taking responsibility is hard, but it is a necessary step to personal growth and effectiveness. The moment you own your life with all of its successes and failures will be the moment you begin to realize that you are in charge.
When you begin to realize that you have the power to change, the power to work on your weaknesses, the power to control your attitude and response to outside circumstances you will awaken to a new reality. A reality that you have complete control over. If there is something you do not like about yourself, read, study, learn how to make the change. There are articles, books, and YouTube videos that will show you how. You have all the power in the world to make the personal changes you want to make.
It’s up to you.
Until next time…
“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…
I wanted to give everyone an update. I just started a Kris Gethin workout and it is terrific! I won’t give any details, but if you are interested in getting in some very intense metal work, hit him up at: www.kagedmuscle.com.
Today’s workout was back and biceps. Here’s the breakdown:
Bent over Barbell Rows
Lat Pull Downs
Reverse grip Lat Pull downs
Alternating Dumbbell Bicep Curls
That’s it for today folks!
See you next time…
“If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.” – Napoleon Hill
This quote is all about self-discipline and doing the things we commit ourselves to. I was going to write an article on this topic, but this quote reminded me of a poem I found and have kept for safe keeping. It is called The Habit Poem by John Di Lemme and it is awesome (see below).
The Habit Poem
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me,
and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed; you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great men.
And, alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine.
Plus, the intelligence of a man.
You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin; it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will put the world at your feet.
Be easy with me, and I will destroy you.
Who am I?
I am a HABIT!
–John Di Lemme
I wish each of you a great Friday!!
Until next time…
“Unfoldment is a two-step process. First, knowing the way; second, walking it.” – Harold Klemp – The Language of Soul
Today’s quote is about integrity. Most of us know right from wrong. We also know what’s good for us and what isn’t. We all have an internal compass that points the way for us to act and to respect others.
Obviously, knowing the way is the easy part. Walking it is where the discipline comes. This is the part that challenges us. This is the part that has the most meaning.
Until next time…