a small child learns self discipline through aikido, a type of martial artskerr cuhulain is my favourite wiccan author so i was delighted to find out he now has a blog. kerr cuhulain believes in cultivating virtues (he calls them codes of chivalry), and proposes to focus on a specific one every month.

may is related to self discipline.  in thinking about that, i looked around the net to see what others have to say about it.

for example, alfi questions the ideas behind self discipline, especially in a teaching context, and  peter bankart compares western psychotherapy with buddhist approaches, linking the concept of self-discipline to right effort.

but as so often, steve pavlina takes the cake.  i don’t know why i don’t read his blog more often (hm, would that be part of self discipline?) – the guy is a genius in the way he clarifies concepts and encourages action.  he has a whole series on self-discipline.

here he compares the development of self discipline to developing muscle.

if you can only lift 10 lbs, you can only lift 10 lbs. there’s no shame in starting where you are. i recall when i began working with a personal trainer several years ago, on my first attempt at doing a barbell shoulder press, i could only lift a 7-lb bar with no weight on it. my shoulders were very weak because i’d never trained them. but within a few months i was up to 60 lbs.

similarly, if you’re very undisciplined right now, you can still use what little discipline you have to build more. the more disciplined you become, the easier life gets. challenges that were once impossible for you will eventually seem like child’s play. as you get stronger, the same weights will seem lighter and lighter.

don’t compare yourself to other people. it won’t help. you’ll only find what you expect to find. if you think you’re weak, everyone else will seem stronger. if you think you’re strong, everyone else will seem weaker. there’s no point in doing this. simply look at where you are now, and aim to get better as you go forward.

oh, and when i was about ready to post list little entry, i checked out @spiver on twitter today, who is working on a self-discipline project for a month.  among other things, she offers this quote by david allen, of getting things done fame:

stress comes from breaking your commitments to yourself

okay, i’m going to get off the computer now and do some things i have promised myself to do.

what about you?

image by felipe vieira

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