“The only difference between Buddhas and ordinary beings is discipline.” – Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920 – 1996) a great Buddhist meditation master.
When you hear the word “discipline” do you think of Samurais, Shaolin Warriors and Buddhist Monks? Do you think about professional football players or perhaps members of the armed forces? Do you feel like it is something that is reserved only for a few dedicated and extremely tough individuals? Well it isn’t.
This post is the complete guide to developing self-discipline that lasts. Not self-discipline that lasts one or two weeks. Discipline that lasts your entire life. Once you have developed this, anything is possible. The guide is based on lessons and tips I have learned from many successful people who have mastered self discipline. I, however, have a long way to go.
Why we lack self-discipline in the first place
What is the one thing a person needs to attain their goals and dreams? Self-discipline. Sure there might be a place for influential contacts, money and natural ability but in the end it comes down to discipline. It is the one part of the “success equation” that you cannot do without. Every great person has possessed it. So why are we lacking in self-discipline?
Well, the answer is actually pretty simple. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work it out.
We are all spoiled.
That’s right. Spoiled. Now don’t go an get all offended on me. I am not personally attacking anyone. I am saying that in general, as a culture, we are a pretty spoiled bunch. We have televisions to occupy us, internet social sites to keep us connected, alcohol to numb our depression and a fair amount of money to spend on short term entertainment. We are pretty spoiled. It is called instant gratification.
I am not saying that everyone here has it easy. You don’t. Many of you (I know because you email me) have mortgages the size of Everest and children to feed. This is not an easy life. Far from it. In fact, you might already have more discipline than you think!
The reason I say that we are spoiled is not to make you feel guilty or ashamed. It is to highlight the fact that, other than the things like work and family, we have it pretty easy. When we want to be entertained we just flick a button. When we want some food we just go to the supermarket. When we want to be satisfied we just… well… you know…
We have grown accustomed to getting things quickly. And when our dreams, goals and ambitions don’t come as quick as everything else we lose motivation. We lose self-discipline. After all, why would we work on something that is arduous and difficult when we could be watching TV? Instant is so much quicker.
Why we need self-discipline to be successful and happy
Okay, I’ll admit it. Instant gratification is pretty good. I like a good drive-through meal as much as the next person. But is it truly satisfying? Does it forever quench your desire leaving you in a permanent state of bliss?
Originally posted on October 13, 2008 @ 5:15 am