Self-discipline: An old fashioned virtue for modern times

I was driving around yesterday, trying to get a handle on this annoying experience of irritability that has been plaguing me for the last few weeks.

Ever have that?  Just feeling plain ol’ cranky for no apparent good reason?

And then it dawned on me what was going on behind the scenes. I heard myself say to myself – “Julie, you’re slipping on the self-discipline front.”

Yes, it’s true. I admit it. The thing is, it’s all those small, seemingly insignificant moments, those decision points, where I realized I have been taking the easy way out. Missing a blog post or 2 a week. Not getting around to my daily hikes. Not eating my veggies. I know – by themselves, they don’t seem like that big of a deal. However, they add up. Not only to the success of my long-term goals, my long-term health and well being, but just as importantly, to my self esteem.

Don’t get me wrong; I had lot of good reasons. I wasn’t feeling well. I needed a break. I’d do it tomorrow.

So, was that telemarketer even more obnoxious than usual?  Was my mum being particularly annoying? Was that doctor I was interpreting for being especially passive-aggressive?

Probably not. All along, it was me I was ticked off with. Imagine that! Because I haven’t been being true to what I know I should be doing. I know, should is a bad word these days.  I don’t really like it most of the time, especially if it is directed at one person by another –as in  You should….”.  Who likes that?

But in terms of its original meaning of ‘obligation’ – a self-imposed commitment, undertaken because we recognize that doing X will lead to desired outcome Y, then should is good in my book.

So, as always, life works in magical ways. Humbled by my roadside epiphany as to the source of my recent irritability, I arrive home to find Rory Vaden’s book, Taking the Stairs, in my mailbox.  

I open it up randomly and read this definition of self-discipline: “The ability to take action regardless of your emotional state, financial state, or physical state.”

OK universe, I get the message. Stay tuned as I implement Vaden’s seven strategies for self-discipline – want to join me?

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