The Art of Discipline
Most people are taught the world discipline in a completely unrelated meaning. Children grow up knowing the word discipline as a word for behaving, not being too loud, being respectful, doing their homework, etc.
Due to these misconceptions of discipline, it becomes harder and harder to make that word be associated with a better life in the future. Many adults, after having been taught the word in a completely different manner than what it means, find it almost impossible to adhere to the actual explanation of discipline.
All of this can be associated with the trauma suffered during childhood, as every kid tried to avoid this word as much as possible because they knew what it would make them do. In short, it wouldn’t be fun.
But the world we currently live in is full of distractions, meaningless entertainment, desires, addictions and various other issues that people face in their adult lives. They may have been negligible when they were children, but during adulthood, any distraction that lasts for more than an hour is already a bad habit.
Therefore, in this article, I’d like to explain what is the true meaning of discipline, how to practice it, and how to benefit it from the long run.
The actual meaning of discipline
The interpretation of the word discipline and how it is defined in a dictionary is completely different. For example, a dictionary could say that discipline is a practice that forces people to obey some kind of arbitrary law or code of conduct. I would disagree in that case simply because nobody teaches a person discipline other than themselves.
The true meaning of the word is “being able to concentrate on a single thing/goal for a long period of time”. Some people like to then further enhance this understanding by “training themselves to ignore distractions and unproductive desires”.
Training one’s discipline is a mental battle that is fought almost every time one has to do something uncomfortable.
For example, imagine yourself getting up at 05:00 AM when it’s still dark outside and nobody is awake. Instead of dragging yourself to the shower, having a slow breakfast and sitting on the phone for a while, you immediately start working out, have a cold shower, read a book or start reading emails and etc.
It’s the ability to do something that even thinking about it brings discomfort. Should one be able to do it for a long stretch of time, the amazing skill of discipline will manifest over time.
How discipline is taught in groups
As already mentioned, discipline is something a person always learns by themselves, but this doesn’t mean there can’t be other people to help him or her learn it.
This is one of the reasons why there are special groups that focus on each other’s’ discipline training.
Most of these groups are represented through collective therapy. It’s pretty much something that people do when they gather with others that have similar issues or desires.
For example, a therapy group for those that are playing live casino games online excessively or have some kind of drinking problem use methods that keep their participants accountable to each other.
What they usually do is establish a goal or some kind of challenge for the group so that members have the desire to out-perform each other. In most cases, out-performing means avoiding the very thing that got them into therapy in the first place.
It’s quite a genius design as well. Cheating at the competition would not bring clarity or fulfillment to the participants as they will know that they ultimately lost the challenge. Therefore it puts all of the weight on their heads to avoid the toxic activity.
How to manifest discipline alone
Some people are naturally more introverted. What this means is that the challenge of proving themselves to their peers has absolutely no effect on their sense of fulfillment. Most people like to measure their success based on logic rather than emotion, which is why they keep track of their discipline training almost every day.
Let’s imagine that you want to discipline yourself to read a book for 1 hour every single day. Some usually go for a specific number of pages, but it has proven to be a lot less effective due to speed-reading or scanning.
Therefore, people mostly track their book-reading hours on paper or a specific application and make sure they put in that 1 hour no matter what happens.
It doesn’t have to be a consecutive effort as well, meaning that beginners can simply break it down to 15-minute reading sessions when they are commuting or have nothing else to do during the day.
Almost every activity, chore, hobby or job that one wants to do without distractions starts off with small intervals, and as the brain gets used to it, the intervals grow.
No matter what you may have planned in the future try starting with 15-20 minute sessions. If you do them every day, you’ll have clocked in 120 hours a year, which is a full 3 weeks of working.
Looking at the small picture is always important. Knowing that you have to do 20 minutes of reading before bed is a lot easier to manage than having to read 120 hours within the year. The brain becomes overwhelmed and afraid of the challenge.
Therefore, even if you’re an expert disciplined person at this point, breaking down your goals into manageable chunks is essential.