I should be more disciplined. How could I while away so much time when I should be studying? I see type of mind talk and frustrations in many friends. We all really do want to improve our lives but end of spinning our wheels, getting digressed, and losing time all the time. So how does one learn to be more self-disciplined without the guilt and frustrations?
Having bigger goals in life gives you ability to see beyond immediate pleasure and energize you to the point that resisting temptation or laziness becomes moot. You also need a deeper understanding of universal principles of motivation, success and happiness:
- your thoughts become words, words become action and your action your destiny
- most worthy things require “delayed gratification” rather than immediate pleasure – success then is ability to understand and act based on that
- the joy of creation is more satisfying and motivating versus immediate gratification of consumption
- deeper fulfillment comes from building longer term and deep relationships and not from relating to meet our immediate voids
- that consistency of effort is more effective than sporadic heroic effort – A WOW life is created one day at a time!
Redefinition of “what is cool”
So is it more fun to watch comedy show on TV or the joy on the faces of elderly when you visit them at an old-age home? Instead of harping on your son (or yourself) about watching less TV why not define such activities as fun and plan for them. The media and consumerism is doing enough to define “what is cool” – shopping, partying, drinking and so on. Before you can really stop wasting your time, energy and money on such activities it is important you define your “new cool”.
May be the new cool is:
- learning a new thing
- helping someone
- doing something you really enjoy (versus what others think is cool)
- being organized versus fumbling and losing things when needed
- knowing about lots of things versus becoming an obsessed soloist
- having a early creative start to a day versus sluggish dragging late night outings
- eating healthy and feeling good inside versus the rush of excessive caffeine or alcohol
- spending on things such as traveling
- being your own person and spending time alone versus going with the crowd
Drop “have-tos” and “need-tos”
Another area of our life that needs dropping of the mental notion of “have-to” and “need-to” such as:
- I have to say yes to my boss for dinner if I have to succeed in my career
- I have to party with my friends to have good friends
- I have to help my friend every time they ask for help
- I have to teach discipline to my team members
- I have try harder if I have to succeed
In essence, “have-to” thinking creates a mind block to better use of your time and also to better and more creative solutions to the issue at hand. Once we drop the notion of “have-to” we can for example coach a friend who always call at last minute for trivial help to either plan better or to seek other easier sources (like online) of help that easier and equally effective.
Changing this mindset also makes it easy to say “No” to things that don’t work for you. In the end you can create a “stop to-do” list that helps you be better disciplined.
Separation / Isolation Zones
We live in an age where everything is merging. Work is seeping at home, personal calls and social media access is seeping into work. Our smart phones now have all our emails and apps sending us alerts all the time.
The best way to have focused attention is to create separations and isolation that are sacred and not violated (except for real emergencies):
- separate time blocks for self, work, family, and friends
- separate work areas / home areas for quality time in each aspect of our life
- separate email accounts, chat profiles, devices and device profiles (laptop etc)
Think through and restructure how you use various communication and interaction tools and go beyond the false urgency to know everything immediately. Most things we give urgent attention to are really not urgent and end up taking attention from the important.
In the end you have to create your own system with the big perspective in mind.
It’s AUTHENTICITY that builds sustainability, perseverance, endurance and willpower. (Khyati Birla, Life Coach)