I have six core values, Adventure, Impermanence, Unity, Discipline, Simplicity, and Efficiency. These values are the tools that I use to steer the boat of life towards my goals. Some of them are poetic or symbolic, but today we’re going to discuss one that is practical. Today’s value is Discipline. From running endurance training to working on these blog posts every morning, Discipline affects many aspects of my life. I define what Discipline means to me as such:
Discipline – do the thing, especially when it’s hard
This value seems simple enough. When I set out to do something, just do it. I am a very nervous person, and I struggle with doing things that cause me anxiety. Discipline is the guiding value I use when I’m looking at a next task or goal that I need to do, but my anxiety starts to tell me not to do it. As the Van Halen song goes “Jump! Go ahead and jump!” I find that being able to just get moving towards a task that I’ve been avoiding can help me accomplish more goals and do more things. I recently read “The 5 Second Rule” by Mel Robbins, her basic system is that you start counting backwards from 5 and when you get to zero you start doing the task at hand. This is exactly what I do. I pause think about the thing I need to do, and just start moving forward. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you just start.
For me, the second part of the definition is the real key. We often put off the difficult tasks or the uncomfortable situations. This value encourages me to grab my most difficult task and conquer it. When you start off your day with the hardest thing you need to do, the rest of the day seems easier. And when you’ve finished a difficult task, it’s not weighing you down any further. For example, I had to go talk to my supervisor’s supervisor about picking up a second job. I was extremely nervous about it, but I jumped and walked into his office and asked him if I could chat about a personal matter. And guess what! It was an easy discussion. He didn’t have many questions, he seemed totally satisfied with my answers, and at the end of the discussion, he said he didn’t see any issues. Discipline also comes up when I need to make phone calls at work. Phone calls are my least favorite part of my job. And sometimes all I want to do is stall. But when I bunker down, and pick up the phone at 8AM. The calls often over in less than a half hour, and then the call is done. It’s so satisfying crossing that difficult task off my list, and I don’t need to spend the rest of my day agonizing over it.
The benefit of this value is that I start to find value in difficult activities and task. I look for the challenges. I seek them out and discipline helps me follow through. This value has allowed me to accomplish more things than I would have thought possible, including launching this blog, running a marathon, and applying for a second job. In all of these cases and more, I could have let my anxiety stall my progress, I could have just said “someday”. But I thought about Discipline, and I jumped.
What is something you’ve jumped for recently?