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The good news about self-discipline

“I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time today.”

“I wish I’d stuck to the plan”

“I wish I had just pushed through a bit harder”

I’ve lost count of the number of the days I’ve gone to bed with the above thoughts.

Om Swami defines discipline as the ability to do what needs to be done whether you feel like it…or not.

When the alarm rings at 6 AM, we snooze it endlessly.

Just when the time comes to roll out the yoga mat, we pick up the phone instead.

Just when it’s time to sit down and practice music, we slouch on the couch instead.

It’s not your fault.

Its biology. Your brain is wired to conserve your energy. To take the easiest path.

We’re naturally inclined to make decisions that give us short-term benefits rather than achieving long-term goals.

While this was useful in the stone-age — to help us protect ourselves from a tiger that might attack us out of nowhere, it doesn’t help us today.

Kind of :). But the “biology coin” has two sides.

While one side wants us to conserve our energy, the other side loves to help us build habits.

If you have habits, you don’t need discipline. Isn’t that cool?

Yeah, it seems like it :).

Check out the following idea from The One Thing:

As you can see, if you can stick with your plan for doing anything hard for just 66 days [more or less], you’re good.

Not only will it become easier to keep doing that what-was-once-hard-for-you thing, you’ll, in fact, find it hard to not do it!

Happily hitting the sack 🙂

This isn’t just theory. It actually works!

I’ve tried it on a bunch of things:

  • Daily Yoga
  • Daily morning prayer
  • Daily evening prayer
  • Daily meditation

Each of the above was a bit difficult to do, for the first 60–80 days. After that, it’s been a breeze.

These days, I go to bed happier. Instead of regrets of missed opportunities, there’s the satisfaction of having spent one more day on the planet more fruitfully.

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