Become a disciple of discipline

Discipline can be perceived as a dirty word, conjuring images of toil and labour as we strive towards impossible goals that we inevitably abandon. But discipline doesn’t need to be about deprivation and drudgery. It can become your ally, helping you to live your best life. The Dalai Lama suggests, “A disciplined mind leads to happiness, while an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.” Perhaps it’s time to become a disciple of discipline.

Redefining discipline

The word “discipline” has all sorts of connotations. You can instantly feel straitjacketed by a sense of strictness, regulation and restraint. Our lexicon for living well has changed in recent years and we now gravitate towards terms like “flow”, “acceptance” and “presence”, whereby we feel a sense of ease and calm.

The notions of discipline and flow are not mutually exclusive, though, and don’t need to be in opposition. Taking a disciplined approach to life can lead to a sense of true autonomy whereby you can create the space to relax and pursue what really matters in your life. In tandem, they can lead to a meaningful outcome.

Discipline should not be seen as a denial of having fun but rather as saying yes to those things at the right time. There is nothing better than treating yourself after you have done something to earn it.

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