Thursday, December 15, 2011


"Discipline and will-power deliver you to the highest level of living possible and though it might seem difficult to develop at the outset, once these muscles are consistently exercised into a habit, stunning results appear and once-hard tasks become easy. With discipline you can raise your standards of physical fitness, tap into amazing reserves of knowledge, start and finish major tasks, control your diet, triple your energy level, build your character to achieve a more fulfilling life and enhance your personal relations. Discipline will shape the tremendously important habit of mind control and positive thinking and free you from worry. Discipline will dramatically improve your confidence levels and your productivity as you start to put first things first.

"Without discipline, or at least a clear desire to build it, you are lost and are destined to be the servant of your mind rather than having your mind serve you. Instead of mental toughness and agility, dose powering thoughts will creep into your brain freely, zapping you of your personal power and redirecting your attention from worthwhile goals to useless activities that might feel fun but will offer no value in the long run. Without will-power, you will eat too much, worry too much and sleep too much. Study the lives of Gandhi, Washington, Mother Theresa, Helen Keller and Bruce Lee and you will be studying will-power in action."

Robin Sharma

Ah, those nasty sounding words: Discipline and Will-Power. Both, at first glance, seen with strict, "thou shalt not," restrictive connotations hanging over our heads as we simply try and enjoy life. Beyond that first glance, though, if we really take the time to investigate them we see that they are just the opposite; they are liberating, life-giving words and attitudes.

As i begin my annual year-end ritual of looking back over the past year and seeing what lessons i can, and want to, take forward into the new year, i find those two words staring me right in the eyes. I admit that i let myself get side-tracked in the last half of the year; my discipline has diminished as a result of lagging will-power.

Contrary to what many people believe, it is this decreased will-power, this reduced discipline that restricts my life, that forces me to live in a cage. Contrary to what many people believe, it is discipline and will-power that break the locks and set you free.

Until the locks are broken, we are trapped inside those habits, conditioning, expectations, and beliefs that keep the real you locked out of sight. And, as the old adage goes, "out of sight, out of mind." But it is exactly this that we must learn to conquer. Only will-power and discipline allows us to keep this conditioning in mind, every minute of every day, all year long. Only discipline keeps those expectations and beliefs under our zafu and under our butt, where they belong, instead of up up in our heads.

By living a life of discipline you break free to see and live the life we were meant to live — a life where love, and not hatred, predominates; a life where openness and inclusion, and not exclusion, predominates, a life where awareness, and not emotions, dictate your actions; a life where giving, and not taking, determines how you live your days.

So, as i think about next year, i recommit myself, for the one-millionth time, to that discipline that opens doors.

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