I didn’t write a blog post last week. Or finish one, anyway. I started 3 or 4 different posts that felt totally inspired when I first got into them. But somehow, I lost interest and they suddenly they didn’t seem so great after all. Whatever the case, I skipped a week. And even though I was a little disappointed, I totally cut myself some slack. (Super generous and sweet of me, right?) But the days have passed quickly and here it is, next week already, and I still didn’t have anything prepared; Just several unfinished posts…waiting. Undone. Incomplete. But this week, it doesn’t feel like NBD. This week it feels lazy. It feels like too much time wasted scrolling through Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. And Pinterest. (Ohhhh. Pinterest. How I love thee. Hashtag TIMESUCK. GIANT. HUGE. TIME SUCK. But Please. Never leave me.)
There’s an un-fun truth here that won’t leave me alone: In my life, writing needs to be a daily discipline. Just like working out. Just like eating well. Just like making time for reading or meditation, or anything else that requires brain power, body power, will power, or focus. It’s a discipline. And generally speaking, we tend to resist things that are even loosely connected to discipline. Or maybe it’s just me. I tend to resist things that are even loosely connected to discipline.
the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.
synonyms: self-control; restraint, self-restraint, self-command; willpower, purposefulness, strong-mindedness, resolve, moral fiber; doggedness, persistence, determination, grit
By very definition, self-discipline sorta sucks. I mean. Ugh.
Self-discipline equates with hard. It requires something of us. It costs us something– time, energy, pleasure, sleep, relaxation. And yet, the hard is what leads to greatness. The hard is what separates the men from the boys. The badasses from the wimps. The accomplished from the unaccomplished. Catch me at the wrong time and I’m likely to say, “Who cares?” But the truth is, I do. I tell my girls all the time: We can do hard things. If it was easy, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.
“If it was easy, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”
If I want to grow as a writer, increase my readership and finish the books I’ve started writing, I need to discipline myself. If I want to grow as a runner, I need to discipline myself. If I want to be healthy and fit, If I want to eat clean, If I want to feel good, If I want to be the best mom I can be, I need to discipline myself. Even when I don’t feel like it. Even when it’s not convenient. Even when the hot flash of inspiration has passed. Even when my social media is all lit up with stuff more exciting than…this. There are always plenty of good reasons to cut myself some slack, with “I deserve it” being my favorite and most used line. Ever. Discipline for anything is hard. It hurts. It’s a conquering of the lesser part of ourselves with the better part of ourselves.
Here’s the un-fun truth. As much as I love social media. And reading. And doing crafty Pinteresty things. And shopping. And candy corn. And beer. Lots of candy corn and beer, too much of any of these things will keep me from reaching my goals, no matter how good and deserving they feel at the time. And if ever there were passing pleasures, all of these things rank right up there. Do I really want to sacrifice (insert important goal here) for candy and Pinterest? Um. Some days I do. But not mostly. Really. Not mostly.
Somewhere along the way, our brains started firing backwards about what it truly means to be good to ourselves. Why does my brain equate both physical and mental junk food with indulgence and pleasure, yet link hard work and successful, meaningful results (that I truly want to achieve) with deprivation? Self- discipline is a gift we give ourselves so that the things we want most are not over shadowed by the things we want now.
We all sort of know there are no shortcuts to greatness. We just wish it weren’t true. (If there are, I swear on everything holy I will find them for us and pin them. Trust me. They’ll be on my “Shortcuts to Greatness” board) Author Jim Rohn has said, “Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret” and “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” And really, who could disagree with such clearly inspirational statements
that sort of make me feel crappy ? Not this girl. And so here I sit, with a beer and a bowl of candy corn beside me, about to press “Publish” on this bad boy and recommit myself to the process of self-discipline. Because after all, I deserve it.