How To Gain More Self-Discipline

How To Gain More Self-Discipline

February 20, 2010 Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

Each one of us knows this situation very well: While going shopping with your wife or husband you discover a very nice jeans or pullover you want to buy instantly.

So you try it on and have to notice something awkward: it doesn’t fit! What to do?

Yes, to reduce weight would be a great thing. So you promise yourself: from tomorrow on I will start!

Damn! Again, I don’t get any parking place. And again I arrive too late this morning.
My boss kills me! I hate this stress and baiting in the morning. I definitely have to stand up earlier. From tomorrow morning on I’m going to start.

Urgh, this cough is becoming worse and worse. Perhaps it isn’t a good idea to smoke while having a cold. I must stop that. From tomorrow on I’m going to stop smoking.

Do you know such examples too? I guess I could imagine dozens of them based upon my own personal experience if I had enough time to :-) .

But okay. The first step is done. In all of these examples we recognize a special problem and strive to solve it somehow.

And of course there is a certain chance that these people implement what the have taken up.

But only one day later this chance has slightly decreased and after round about one week nearly 90% of the willing people resign and find themselves back in their antecedent life situation.

A life situation with no parking places, no suitable jeans, angry bosses and smoker’s cough.

What has happened? Why is it so difficult to implement something new like a new habit instantly?

Wishes and the emotional roller coaster

Obviously this question is not completely right: in many cases it seems to be quite easy for us to implement a habit instantly or at least not later than the next day.

At the beginning we are very motivated, full of confidence with a clear view at our personal goals. We are feeling this wonderful feeling of being completely identified with our wishes.

We know that we’re doing the right thing. We recognize how this identification inspires and energizes us. We are happy and confident while heading towards the chosen direction.

In this phase we appear very balanced. At least for the moment …

Then the next day arises, and the next one, and the next one …

From a certain moment on your emotional state begins to change. Some people recognize this earlier others later. Some of them have pains in their calves because of the new fitness program.

Others are afflicted with collywobbles because they have rejected the tasty burger the evening before in order to draw nearer to a lower dress size.

Different needs arise that let us ask intuitively always the same questions: Is this the life I’ve imagined and expected? Is this the emotional state of the people I adore and I emulate?

Suddenly you come to the conclusion: This cannot be the worthwile life I’ve tried to achieve. Tomorrow I could be dead so I better stick by my failings and enjoy my life a little bit instead …

And thank God the next burger, the next cigarette, the next portion of sleep gives us right: how great this feels! This must be the real, true, desirable, wonderful life.

It’s the small pleasures!

Then the next day arises, and the next one, and the next one …

After some time we’re wondering if this is really the true, desirable, wonderful life we have expected and hoped for. I’m still struggling with my dress size, my cigartettes still make me coughing, I feel swelled and somehow bad. No this is definitely not the life I was heading for …

Mhmm … so what has happened ?

Something deep inside of us seems to change within a few days. But what is it? The motivation? The clear goal in front of our inner eye? The euphoria?

Yes, certainly. All of this is true.

But how can this be? How can those wonderful and enlightened goals turn into their direct opposite?

The phase of euphoria

First of all we should have a more detailed look at our personal wishes. Everybody can do this in a very easy way: Take 10 minutes of your precious time and find a place where you can not be disturbed. Turn the light low, sit down in a very comfortable easy chair and close your eyes. Now visualize your wish as if it has already become true. See yourself how you’re smiling with a thin body or how you are talking to others without smoking a cigarette. It doesn’t matter what. Simply imagine that you have achieved your goals. Observe your emotions while doing this exercise.

What do you feel while looking at this mental image?

Probably you feel joy. Joy mixed with excitement. Perhaps you feel confident while looking at your mental image. But definitely you’re feeling and experiencing very positive emotions.

Emotions that show how beautiful and wonderful this image is for you.

It is very likely that you feel an inner need or wish to realize this mental image because it promises you a new and better attitude to life.

Probably it promises the ending of your personal afflictions and pains and the beginning of a new wonderful reality without any sorrows but full of happiness.

And exactly here is the first problem: this world full of happiness is just an illusion. A deceit. It is not real.

This mental image can bring you joy and pleasure only in the moment it is imagined. That’s it. The assumption that any promised feelings and pleasures of such a reality will in fact become reality must be followed by something really aggravating:

the big disappointment.

The phase of disillusion

Some people are hit by this disapointment earlier others later. But it is so compelling that some people are hit in such an early stadium where even your horse-sense is telling them :

“You must stay this course a little bit longer if you really want to succeed!”

Your emotional system works quite simple: State of happiness achieved? No? So give it up and look for something different.

In most cases this “something different” is your former life situation with all the antecedent thoughts and habits.

This is due to the meaning that in the past we were always able to satisfy our needs effectively and sufficiently as soon as they arised.

We have done this with the help of all the small pleasures we’ve enjoyed. They’ve brought us this actually lost feeling of joy and satisfaction. We are able to recall such losts very well!

But even in in the past we had to learn the lesson (in most cases subconsciously) that our emotional state always returns to an underlying feeling of affliction and pain which can not be eliminated by enjoying any pleasures.

So the subconscious comparision described above is not valid. It is not valid because we compare an former illusion with a new illusion. We lose a new illusion and try to substitute it with an old illusion.

The new, expected and desired state of happiness doesn’t manifest so we seek for happiness in our former life situation.

We tend to forget that the old state of happiness has only appeared for very short moments on our life when it could predominate the state of affliction and pain for a while.

But please remember: this has not been a real state of happiness! Your antecedent life situation was also affected by an underlying feeling of affliction and pain as well as your new life situation will be. There is just one difference: Your new life situation contains the potential to be affected by less affliction and pain.

And this is exactly what human beings should strive for:indolence.

Aristotle said: “The knowledgeable man strives not for pleasures, he strives for indolence.”

This means you should not try to find your paradise on earth simply because it doesn’t exist.

When you gather all these facts you must obtain the insight that the phase of euphoria can be a very generative one. This phase helps to apply the cornerstone in order to do the right things by aligning your ambitions and actions with your personal goals. It helps a lot to get you started with something. So from the beginning on you should be clear of the fact that the great joy you hoped for will not manifest.

And now the positive message: You will achieve a new level of serenity and confidence especially in the moment of achievement.

This moment conceals great pleasure.

But here you have to be careful with your expectations too! Happiness about the achievement of something should be enjoyed and celebrated.

But it should not be interpreted as the beginning of your personal everlasting state of happiness which eliminates your afflictions and pains.

Always keep in mind: this state doesn’t exist in this universe. Nowhere.

The phase of hope and trust

Many of you may argue now: Fine, better I don’t do anything. I think it makes no difference whether I suffer with or without my cigarette or hamburger.

In the end I’m suffering. So why should I change anything? Better I stick by my well-known habits knowing I can enjoy at least some small pleasures in order to bear my daily grind a little better.

That’s right. You definitely could do that.

Especially if you soon want to be afflicted with lung cancer, a fatty liver or diabetes. Or if you want stay the idiot who never gets a parking place but the warnings of your boss instead.

Or if you want to keep on gasping while going upstairs as if it was your last day. I think you know what I’m trying to say.

The fact that there doesn’t exist something like a paradise one earth must not necessarily imply that there is no better state of life than your actual one.
There is always a better state of life. A state with less pains and afflictions.

Keep on seeking for it! It is definitely worth the efforts.

Very often so-called new age or positive thinking is interpreted wrong in this context. Many people believe they could realize something like a paradise on earth by using visualization and imagination.

And after some time exactly these people are confronted with the big disappointment as described above.

The more a person has believed in the fulfilment of this wish the worse this disappointment can be.

It can even lead directly into a depression. Unfortunately many authors try to convince us that exactly this fulfilment is the result of a method like positive thinking. But this is a deceit.

Nevertheless, the benefit of visualization and imagination can be tremendous. These methods help to find out all the things that correspond with our real personality. So they can help us to reduce affliction and pain by finding the right job, the right attitude to life or the right partner for example.

These methods help us to focus on our personal goals and to enter the next level of indolence. But most of all imagination and visualization help us to change our perspective into a wanted direction.

Our reality is always subjective. Considering that it becomes quite obvious that the right adjustment of our consciousness which is a filter to our subjective reality is essential.

A cheerless consciousness only allows us to perceive a cheerless world.

As soon as we start getting aware of all these partly subconscious processes and begin to accept the big disappointment mainly caused by disillusion, something amazing happens after some time:

We return to our antecedent level of affliction and pain while having implemented new habits and thoughts into our daily grind.

This process works like a homeopathic medicament. First the symptoms are getting even worse before the real healing process can begin.

These new habits and thoughts merge with our personality. From now on they are no longer opponents to our former habits and attitude to life.

They have become a part of us because we’ve accepted them.

Now you’ve nearly made it! You have no big problems any longer with implementing your new habits and you can observe how you live and grow with your new friends.

You have trust in your conscious decision to follow this way and you hope for becoming a different person with less sorrows, pains and afflictions.

You have overcome you inner resistance by developing a realistic view at this transformation process.

There is no alternative

Now the last phase starts just before you can enter your new level of indolence. This phase requires patience and persistence. Nothing more than patience and resistance combined with intransigence. From now on you are going to proceed very well in the implementation process but the seduction to fall into antecedent patterns will be your persistent attendant.

This seduction manifests as offered alternative: Now, you’re doing actually this but you could also … You must kill this thought as soon as it arises. There is no alternative.

Finished. You’ve made a conscious decision and you’ve been aware of all the upcoming effects especially the following emotional roller coaster.

Now kill these thoughts about possible alternatives. Eliminate them without any mercy. Don’t start any discussion with yourself!

The implementation of new habits and thoughts takes time. It’s like a semen that is planted into the earth in order to grow and to become a wonderful plant.

In most cases it grows very slowly… Doesn’t it?

The secret of disciplined people

Very disciplined people simply know about all that. They know that they can improve their actual state of life by leaving it stepwise towards new levels of indolence.
They don’t strive for joys and pleasures. They strive for indolence. They are not searching for the paradise on earth.

This attitude allows them to bear the difficult phase of getting from one state into the other. They’re more persistent, more patient and confident with their achieved results.

They also know that after the upcoming happiness about the achievement of their goal a new phase of habituation occurs. This is their starting point for new personal goals.

These people are predestined to be great leaders or to fill another position that requires the assumption of duties and responsibility.

In most cases such people follow a certain role model. A role model they consider already to be on a very high level of indolence. This motivates them to keep on going.

Their personal way of personal development consists of drawing nearer to their role model.

In my opinion this is a great way to find one’s way in this world.

Have you already chosen YOUR role model :-) ?

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Posted in Self-Discipline on Feb 20th, 2010, 21:10 by haukeborow