The Secret to Discipline
We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.
Discipline isn’t a single giant choice. It is million small ones. Like the grains of sand that compose the majesty of Yosemite’s vast slopes. The grand is built of the minuscule.
To achieve anything, you need a system. A way to line up all those tiny choices and point them in the same direction. Like a military general coordinating troops. It’s not about any single individual, it’s about the whole.
Don’t make the mistake of neglecting the small choices. One leads to two… leads to more… so choose the ONE correctly. It sets your course. Don’t discard it any more than you’d devalue a single human life. Each is precious and important.
Discipline is all about momentum. In the beginning it feels like you are stuck in the details. Like you’ve been bogged down with all the unnecessary, but that’s the illusion. These “extra” details aren’t extra. They are the glue. What holds it all together and makes it gel. Without all the small pieces you end up with a ramshackle collection of ideas and actions, but nothing to bind them. The result is easily fractured upon its first testing.
Instead, know that when you set yourself upon your course, the execution of each step is essential. Each is a micro-progression that allows the next to unfold and come closer.
Climbing a stairway of small manageable steps is vastly easier than climbing larger boulders or vertical walls. Don’t neglect the stairs. They may not garner the glory, but your surmounting the summit will.
Take the first step and the next step will be revealed.
Go into your daily practice with the knowledge that taking care of what needs care will always produce the result you seek. Simply put, do the right thing. Even if it seems unnecessary. The certain course isn’t always the shortest, but is always surest. Because completion matters.
Most importantly your work will get done. Your flag planted. Your art will exist for the world — both inner and outer — to experience.
I used to look at the mountain top and dream of reaching its vista. But I was unable to make the entire leap in a single bound, so I stood rooted where I began. The result was emptiness. Lack of confidence. The belief that I didn’t have what it takes.
Don’t plant this lie within yourself. Instead set your sites and begin. Now.
Even if you don’t know where you are headed or what it will take, start moving. The journey itself will reveal all you need. Where nothing previously existed, doors will appear. Through those unseen portals you will make progress… and that is all you need. Progress.
It has been said success is making progress toward a chosen, worthwhile goal. Undertake that progress now. Today. Choose to eat healthier THIS meal. Commit to saving a portion of THIS payday. Stand up for yourself THIS time. Make the phone call NOW.
There is magic in the doing, so begin it now!