Discipline: Pleasure or Pain?

Hello My friends,

This week has zipped by exceptionally quickly. I’ve had a birthday this week, now I’m a little older and wiser. They say the older you get the faster time goes by.

I was sitting in the back yard eating my lunch today. Our picnic table is under the huge Puriri tree, which is wonderful for offering shade from the hot afternoon sun. As I was eating my sandwich the little red flowers floated to the ground. I looked up into the branches, and hiding among the leaves, upside down was a little juvenile Tui. He is so young he doesn’t have a wattle yet. He was vigorously shaking the flower to get his beak right to the tip to extract all the nectar. I am so blessed to live in a garden where we have native birds sipping nectar.

Today I want to talk about discipline.

Okay, before you grunt and put your device away in disgust. Hear me out.

The definition of discipline according to the dictionary is, “The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience”

That’s how I grew up with the interpretation of discipline. Discipline was something to avoid at all costs, it created pain, and in my mind pain was not good. That’s how I raised my children. The motivating factor behind discipline in this sense is fear, if I don’t behave in a certain way something bad is going to happen to me. I am going to be punished.

Is it any wonder we ever do anything? Think back over your life, how many times have you, not done something good, that you really wanted to because you were afraid of going against the rules of your family? How many times have you rebelled against the rules of your family or society? Deciding to face the fury of your family. Isn’t that what all rebellion is about, breaking free from the ‘discipline and control’ of someone else.

What if we came to discipline from a place of Love?

Love desires the very best for the person love is bestowed upon. I’m not saying we don’t need rules, all communities require some form of governing. I’m suggesting that we create our own rules for governing our lives, and the rewards we get for following through with them.

Why is it that the gyms have lots of members but few patrons? I’d like to suggest it’s our lack of self-discipline.

Why do we ignore our credit card statements, and continue to shop? I’d suggest there is an emotional reason, one that we’re running away from. Self-discipline would help turn this area around.

We have two main operating systems in our brain.

The first is to avoid pain. We are wired to reject pain and move away from it. If we perceive that over eating or over spending or over drinking is going to numb the pain or remove it, we move in that direction.

The second is to run to pleasure. Every thing we do is to give us pleasure. False pleasure or true pleasure. False pleasure always has a sting in it’s tail, like a scorpion. It’s the overeating which creates health issues, it’s spending money on things you don’t want, which creates the debt and the over stuffed houses we live in, it’s drinking to excess which creates devastation in our families, health and finances. True pleasure leaves you with the feeling of well-being, it builds your self-confidence and self-esteem. True pleasure brings people together.

Do you find being disciplined difficult?

Do you find that you show up for other people, but not yourself?

Do you find you can be disciplined at work, but not at home?

What are the thoughts behind your version of discipline?

Are they thoughts of fear? “If I don’t show up for work I’ll get the sack” “It’s important that I show up on time and prepared, or I’ll be humiliated.”

What if we came to discipline from a place of self-love?

It is my belief that it is our thoughts that determine what actions we take, those actions determine the habits that we create and those habits determine whether we have a well lived life.

Discipline in and of itself is neutral, It’s a word. It is what you believe it to mean that adds the power to it.

Think of the areas in your life where you are disciplined. Yes, you do have areas of your life where you have discipline. It might be brushing your teeth, or feeding your children or pets, or putting on clothes to go outside. You have areas of your life where you have discipline. What are your thoughts when you do these things? Do you even think about it? Are they on auto pilot?

Discipline is the key to freedom. By being disciplined you create space in your life to move towards the pleasure and things you really want.

Do you want to lose weight? Discipline is the key, discipline from a place of self-love. Where you watch with interest the thoughts you are thinking when you choose foods that you know are not the best for your body. You watch the thoughts, that talk you out of going to the gym or for that walk around the block. Know that is just your brain trying to keep in in it’s ‘safe normal’ place.

Do you want to get out of debt? Discipline is the key, once again from a place of self-love. It is with self-love and acceptance that you can investigate without guilt or shame the stories that are running in your mind, creating your need to spend.

With awareness you will discover what you are thinking to yourself. These are the thoughts that are driving you. Are they thoughts of love for yourself or do they berate and belittle you, do they motivate you to move toward your goal or do they stop you in your tracks?

Discipline can be instilled in your life one thought at a time.

Choose a goal you want to achieve.

Why do you want it? (Do you like your why? That’s all that is important)

What do you need to do to achieve it?

Write these down? They will become your action steps.

To get something you have never had, you have to become someone you’ve never been before.

To make permanent lasting change stick you have to change the way you think about yourself.

Think about how you will feel when you have achieved your goal. How will the way you dress change? Will you be more confident? How is your life different once your goal is achieved?

What are thoughts you’ll be thinking?

If you’ve released your excess weight, You could be thinking, “I look good in this little black dress” “I love eating healthy and nourishing foods”

If you’ve paid off your credit card, “You could be thinking, “I have so much more money to invest in my future.” ” I enjoying buying what I need with cash.”

To become someone you have never been, you have to think in ways you’ve never thought before.

This week choose one little tiny activity that you can repeat over and over to create a new habit, toward s your goal. Buddy that action with something you already to do to double it’s success rate. Watch the thoughts that rise as you do this action. Are these the thoughts that the you who has achieved their goal will be thinking, if not choose a better thought.

You choose the thoughts you think at any given time. choose the good ones.

Take your discipline out of it’s box, dust it off, sprinkle it with self-love and a little tiny action and watch it grow.

Till next time, be your authentic self.

Linda Codlin

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