The Power of Self-Discipline

Will Smith blessed us this past Sunday with his Instastory about self-discipline. The most notable quotable from the video for me was

Self-discipline IS self love.

That hit me right in the jugular and I knew I wanted to expound on Will’s point. I have to agree with him totally. Sometimes we see self-discipline as depriving ourselves of the things we want. But, shaping our mind frame to receive self-discipline as an act of self love is key.

Instead of focusing on how much we hate waking up in the morning to workout and hitting that snooze button. Self discipline as an act of self love says, “I know you’re tired, boo, but working out regularly is going to help you increase your energy so that you can function optimally through your day.”

Instead of ordering the bacon cheeseburger that you want, self discipline says, “Girl, remember the indigestion you had last time? That’s not a good move. Let’s have something that is going to nourish you. You deserve it.”

We struggle with the cognitive dissonance of doing what we want versus doing what’s best for us. We like what we like and we want what we want. When we learn to put our ultimate goals ahead of our immediate wants, we’ll realize that being disciplined is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. As much as Hollywood would have us believe, life is not a crap shoot. One moment of serendipity is not going to get you to the life you’ve dreamed of. There is no such thing as a “big break”. The big break comes from tireless dedication to your craft which prepares you for the moment someone discovers your greatness. It’s not in the moment. It’s in the hundreds and thousands of disciplined moments that lead up to it.

Jeff Olson’s The Slight Edge chronicles a story about two frogs, brothers, that get dropped in a bucket of cream. They panic immediately until they get the idea to start swimming. One of the brothers gets tired after he swims for what feels  like forever. When he feels like he has reached his breaking point, he quits and tells his brother farewell because they’re never going to make it. They had been swimming non-stop and nothing had come of it, so he resigned and sank to the bottom of the bucket. Trying to quickly recover from his loss, the second brother determined that he was never going to give up. He swam and swam and swam with all his might. He had to find a way out of that bucket. He refused to get stuck. And through his heartache and sore muscles he continued to swim on until suddenly he realized, that the cream was not liquid anymore. His swimming had turned the cream into butter. Full of joy, the frog was able to rest and simply jump right out of the bucket.

I’m paraphrasing, but that’s how the story goes. Olson’s point was to illustrate that no single stroke turned the cream into butter. It wasn’t the first, or the fifth, or the thousandth. It was all of them.

That’s what self-discipline will do in your life. I know it isn’t easy, but we all have to strive to become more disciplined. If we want to live our dreams, it is going to take that sacrifice, effort, and constant action. It is tiresome, sure. But it is so worth it. I challenge anyone reading this to love yourself enough to be disciplined enough to become the person you’re destined to become.

Xoxo Kaisha

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