Sometimes I sit back and wonder where all the time goes. I mean, I intend on doing this or that but for some reason, those carefully crafted plans never come to fruition. Why is that? What is keeping me from “being all that I can be” to quote a familiar motto?
Okay, here’s what I seem to tell myself:
- I don’t have enough time to do it all so I won’t start yet.
- I cannot do it because I might make a mistake.
- I’ll get to it later.
- First, I need to do XYZ; then I’ll hit it running.
- And so on…
Excuses definitely fit the bill for the first reason for lack of discipline.
And there’s distractions, and anything can be a distraction.
- I need to plan this out first.
- Oh, let me put this away; then I’ll get to it.
- Look at all the piles; I better do something.
- The yard needs to be mowed, weeds plucked, flowers watered, birds fed…
- Sleep, blessed sleep…or perchance to nap?
So, distractions count as the second misstep on the road to discipline.
So how about lack of emotional fortitude:
- It’s all too overwhelming so I won’t start now.
- It may require thought and emotion to do it.
- It has no end (aka it’s never-ending).
- It makes me sad, disappointed, chagrined, sarcastic, cynical, upset.
Then third on the list is emotional barriers to the road of discipline.
Next in line…commitment:
- I want to do “it” and often think about “it” but I never set the time aside to do
- I need to placate other people first, then I can commit to it.
- Before I start XYZ, I need ABC.
- I’m too tired now.
Commitment is key to discipline as are internal speak, emotional fortitude, and distractedness, but what do these all have in common?
Yup, you heard me…Me.
I (my thoughts, expectations, perceptions, beliefs, values) am my biggest deterrent to self-discipline. It’s the reason the word “self” is there. My thoughts, actions, and allowances for distractions and excuses permit the abandonment of discipline. And yet…
I know in my heart that I would feel so much better being more disciplined. I know that I would complete so many self-assigned tasks and “to do’s.” I know that I would feel emotionally un-constipated with a bit more rigor in my daily discipline. I know, I know, I know.
And yet there it is…an undisciplined life. The results? Feelings of lack of accomplishment, regret, what-if, self-doubt, self-esteem, and purposelessness (if that is even a word).
But perhaps I am trying to start discipline too big. Taking on everything in a disciplined manner and becoming so overwhelmed with life’s…my… “to do’s” that they become “no do’s.”
Perhaps a simple, easily accomplished, small daily discipline is what is needed. That or a full-body contact change of life (but I would rather avoid that scenario).
So maybe just wake up 10 minutes earlier today and tomorrow. Then 20 minutes the next day. Eventually, add reading a daily devotional or inspirational message in that “newly” found morning time.
Maybe tackling one small pile whether it is a physical pile or a mental, spiritual, or emotional virtual pile. Then tackle the next small “pile.”
Or perhaps it is letting go … of expectations, of plans, of a “well-ordered life” … and accepting the moments as they come and letting discipline go by the wayside.
That’s how I got into this mess.
That’s why sometimes I feel overwhelmed.
That’s why sometimes I feel incomplete.
I (and so many others) am a creature that seeks to understand my role, purpose, and meaning in life. And discipline clears a path that will allow me to explore other things. It, of itself, provides a semblance of purpose such that my true purpose can be exposed and grabbed with my mind, body, and spirit.
But first, I need a nap…and I will be very disciplined about it.
The root of the "problem" of self-discipline is me.