I know, I know, all of you might be vehemently denying the truth of this post title right now but take a few minutes out of your busy day and hear me out. Sit down with a hot cup of tea or coffee or whatever else floats your boat and work through this with me.
Take the time to imagine a world where your house is spotless, your environment is peaceful, all your chores are done, your work projects are all up-to-date and you are home, with a cup of hot tea basking in the glow of everything going right. This is the ultimate dream, isn’t it? But, think back to the last time you felt this way. If you are anything like me and a majority of the world’s population, it has been a while. Very rarely does this scenario occur in reality because we are constantly oscillating between procrastinating for a later date and working ourselves to the bone to reach a deadline. There is never a middle ground.
But, what if I told you there was?
What if I told you that you already know this magical middle ground? Its name is discipline and it has been following us for a while now trying to get us to bite. We all know about discipline but like other similar words we tune it out and label it boh-ring because of the connotation it has in our world. Words like discipline, consistency, stability, and good sense always conjure an image of a sad, routine, mundane, unexciting existence in most people’s mind and it did in my mind as well, until the beginning of last year, the year 2016.
Last year I understood this middle ground and made it my best friend. I had had enough of excuses on my part and New Year resolutions that never became habits were piled on my feeling-guilty list. So, I embraced discipline hoping it would give me better results and it did.
Practicing discipline was hard but the results on a day to day basis were anything but boring. But, I did struggle.
Having a goal and setting smaller goals to achieve them every single day was just the beginning of my tour through the middle ground. The final step of execution was the main and quite honestly my only problem. Eating out here and there, a few episodes of a new show watched one after the other, a few minutes (or more) of extra sleep, an extra hour spent on social media mindlessly scrolling through, an unnecessary phone conversation and other similar activities added to my already long list of distractions that hindered my discipline and consistency and there went the goal out the window, yet again.
Through the noble concept of try and try again and by mustering all my energy to sit in one place and focus on what was in front of me I learnt quite a few things. But, the most important and valuable lesson I learnt throughout last year and continue to learn this year is that there is always a choice and in the making of that choice is where most of us falter. I found that we falter due to a lack of knowledge- a lack of knowledge of what lies on the other side of disciplined life and even more importantly a lack of knowledge of what even is good for us.
Do we always choose the right thing for ourselves? I think not. I was constantly face to face with two options- momentary pleasure or long term gain. Though momentary pleasure felt so very good at the time, long term gain gave me satisfaction and contentment on a whole other level. I just had to wait for it a little bit and I knew of its gain if and only if I tried it.
Momentary pleasure is exactly that, momentary, and the good vibes last for the day, at the most. But, being on top of things, you will realize that you still have time for the momentary pleasures like a sudden plan for a movie, a road trip with a friend or just a cup of coffee at your favourite cafe without feeling guilty the next day or for days after that. The appearance of uncontrollable situations will also not be able to faze you because you are on top of things. How great is that?
Discipline is empowering. Not many people know that because not many people have tried or have given up trying half-way through. Those who have tried and sustained their discipline have reaped the benefits of a well-balanced, well-lived life. To outsiders it might seem boring but try it out and you will feel nothing lesser than badass.
If you don’t think a person who has it all together, still has time for fun and doesn’t get shaken by uncertainty is tough, uncompromising and intimidating aka a BADASS, then you seriously are something else altogether and I would really like to meet you. If you do think that people like this are nothing less than superheroes then try discipline yourself and walk in the paths of the badasses that have gone before you with a pair of cool sunglasses and a leather jacket if you wish, just for kicks.