As you may have read, I have had some food wars and getting the better of them. However, no battle does not have it’s repercussions. In the aftermath of the carnage, much fat has been spilled onto my gut. So to clean up this mess, I have called in a specialist, a secret weapon that will eradicate this vile entity and keep him at bay. Once you learn to use your weapon, not only will you be able to stay fit and healthy – you will become far more productive and organized.
What am I talking about? Is it a magic pill? A special gadget? A genie’s lamp? No. I will go ahead and show you:
- Say positive morning affirmations
- Run one mile a day
- Train for at least 20 minutes a day
- Eat at least one fruit a day
- Write at least one page a day
- Read or listen for one hour a day
- Work on website for 30 minutes a day
- Brush my teeth and floss every day
You may be thinking, “Where is it? Is it a hidden message? Is it hiding behind the list?” Sorry folks, no fancy gimmicks involved with this one. The list is my way of using the secret weapon – D I S C I P L I N E!
Now if the first thing that comes to mind when you hear discipline is a catholic school nun hitting your hand with a ruler, we have a lot of ground to cover! What is discipline? If you go by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the first entry says one word – punishment. Geez, no wonder nobody wants to have discipline! That is a terrible definition. I will give you my definition:
discipline – to control one’s actions and thoughts through use of a coercive force
Discipline allows you to control yourself and do whatever it is you desire on a regular basis. People who have great discipline have great personal power. They can get themselves to make big changes quickly by enforcing a whole new routine. They are well organized, and have good structure. They know how to keep themselves occupied and be very productive. Martial Artists are known for their discipline, but there are many fields with great levels of discipline. Here is a quick list of things that can be accomplished with discipline:
- Always arrive on time for anything
- Have a healthy diet
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Organize your time between work, family and play
- Stopping yourself from saying bad words
- Making your bed every morning
Overall, discipline allows you to control the most powerful entity in the world – YOU!
Flashing back on my definition, reading “coercive force” might have brought about images of a whip being cracked upon your back, but don’t fret, it can be many things. The “coercive force” is what will keep you on track. It can be a positive or negative reinforcement. For example, a punishment for failure to do something would be negative reinforcement, or a reward for completing a task would be positive reinforcement. Which one you use depends on you – every person has different ways of being motivated. The standard tends to be negative reinforcement because humans will work much harder to avoid pain then to seek pleasure (e.g. What would you work harder for: $1,000 cash or running away from a rabies infected pit bull?).
Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. The tricky part about discipline is that it can be difficult to maintain. For example, say you wanted to do 50 sit-ups every day. First couple of days are no problem – you are motivated and are happy doing it. Then you have a long day at work, the kids are fighting, and you are exhausted. Now those 50 sit-ups are not an exciting prospect. You begin justifying to yourself, “Well I did work all day, I will just do it tomorrow.” With that one thought, you have destroyed your discipline. When your will is breaking and no longer willing to keep up with your routine, who is going to keep on track?
In the military, you have drill sergeants to discipline you. In our society, we have police officers making sure we obey the laws. Some of us may have personal trainers to keep us true to our exercise programs. But the great majority of people do not have someone to be the “coercive force.” So how do we make sure that we stay disciplined?
Stay tuned to find out!
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