Discipline is a beautiful thing.
I know you may not agree with that. I get it. However, when we are so passionate about something that we show up for it every day, it is poetry in motion. This daily commitment to what we truly desire turns into success.
This was so clear to me at Air Force Academy football game.
I'm no raving football fan, but it was absolutely beautiful to see those confident, well-trained cadets doing their thing with such mastery. I'm not just talking about the football players, but also about the marching band, the dance team, the cheerleaders, the precision parachute team (see the picture...SO cool), the falconers, the cadets who stood in their blues for the entire game, and the pilots that flew over the stadium in formation.
All beautiful expressions of passion and discipline.
Discipline gets a bad rap because we all think of discipline gone bad. Punishments, shame, and beatings. The parents who force their children and push them to do what THEY want them to do. The coach that berates and belittles his team unless they win. Endless driving that results in anxiety, resentment, and exhaustion.
That isn't the kind of discipline I am referring to.
Discipline isn't always easy, for sure. Sometimes I bet those kids don't want to show up. Sometimes, I bet it's really hard. But when they win the game or stick the landing, well, I know they are ecstatic that they did what they set out to do, that they put in the hours to become masters. That they showed up, day after day, and focused on their true desires - on their passion.
Discipline is a gift you give yourself - and your dreams.
It is a loving container for creating what you really want. The best kind of discipline is the one that is driven by love. The discipline related to your most passionate desires - building the non-profit, creating a successful store-front business that serves your community, paying off debt and saving for retirement, developing and executing the marketing to bring in the right clients - day after day.
Not always easy, but when we embrace the practice and the consistent discipline of showing up for our dreams, it brings in a sense of ease. Even when it's hard.
Some folks don't like this position.
And you know, I get it. I spent years resisting discipline. I struggled to complete University because I wanted it to be easier. Same with the CPA exam. Same with corporate accounting. I spent many years not wanting it to be at all hard. Resenting discipline and it's seeming punishment. I've felt resentful of people who "have it easy" and have a seemingly effortless relationship with their true desires.
Resisting the discipline of mastery makes it all so much harder.
Watching that football game reminded me of my husband. He has a Master's degree in International Business, he competed at a high level in cycling, triathlons, and running. He is amazing at his job and always recognized for his service. He is also an incredible father and a very loving and supportive husband.
Yoga began teaching me all sorts of lessons about creating that loving container of discipline - and my husband has taught me even more.
He embodies loving discipline. He shows up. He doesn't make excuses for himself. He does what it takes to support his true desires. And I am amazed to say the same thing about myself, knowing who I was.
If you want to create a business, generate more income, hone your message, or become an author or a well-known public speaker - discipline is your friend.
Bring discipline into your life with love.
- So what do you really, truly desire? Go ahead and write down your top three to five desires.
- What are you willing to do every day to make those true desires into a reality?
Let's stop here for a moment, shall we?
If you start thinking about the daily action - the practice and the discipline - that would create your desires and it makes you feel tired or resentful, here's my hunch.
Either you don't REALLY want what you say you want (or the timing just isn't right) and it's time to get super truthful with yourself. Perhaps you are operating under a "should" or something someone else wants for you. In this case, it's time to let it go and move on with your life.
You want it to be easy. And when you think about daily action, you start whining a little bit to yourself about how hard it is. In this case, I would encourage you to give up on easy and embrace that to create what you truly desire, there will be hard times, and times of flow, and times when you want to give up. And that's okay. Lovingly let your inner 5 year old who is throwing an, "I don't wanna" tantrum, that this isn't negotiable and this is the path to your true desires.
When you do this, it will become infinitely easier. Our experience is just so weird and consistent that way.
- Last, create that loving container for yourself to get it done. Once you know what you want, and what action you are willing (and hopefully excited) to take daily, make these actions that are aligned with your true desires your most important priority.
Embracing the beauty of discipline is self-worth at it's best.
This is the path to mastery. This IS the path to your true desires.
It's your turn now. Are there desires it's time to let go of? Where do you want to build mastery and embrace loving discipline? Let's talk about it in the comments.