Last weekend I went to see a play, and afterwards I hung out with some friends. Being normal people they decided to make a pizza, while I ate Clif Bars, and grapes for dinner. I understand this isn’t the most social gesture, but it’s worth it because it allows me to feel better, and also be able to otherwise bring more social energy to my interactions.
Since this group of friends are already accustomed to my dietary strictness they no longer tease me for it, but what I found really interesting was a question one of my friends asked. She said, “Isn’t being disciplined boring?”
My answer? It depends, but not if the discipline is coming from the right place. I’ll elaborate on that later, but first let’s talk about why the majority of people think being disciplined is boring.
Y U NO LIFE? DISS-CIP-LINE NO MAKE FUN
Why do most people think being disciplined isn’t fun? Two reasons.
The first is that they think of being disciplined as the sterotypical workaholic. The problem is that being a workaholic doesn’t make you disciplined. I’m in the process of recovering from being a workaholic so this is painful for me to acknowledge, but being a workaholic actually makes you undisciplined.
Consistently working excessive hours to the point of burnout and having those hours being unproductive merely indicates that you do not have the discipline to respect balance in your life through allowing time to recharge.
The second reason most people see those that are disciplined as tightasses is because most people are coming from the wrong paradigm. Most people see work as a means to an end. They work a shitty standard 9 to 5 during the week so that they can make money to stimulate themselves on the weekends. I’m not going to label that as wrong as good and bad are subjective, but what I will say is that living that lifestyle will never lead to personal growth or the stereotypical defintion of success, AKA, “fame and fortune.”
The best way to become disciplined is to develop a lens you view the world through that limits the necessity of discipline. In other words, take actions that most people perceive as requiring discipline by wanting to do them, rather than having to do them.
So It’s Possible To Have Fun Being Disciplined?
Yes, and if done properly more fun than you could ever experience through a lower level paradigm. People imagine my daily summer routine of working out, writing a blog post, reading, juggling, and commenting on other blogs as being extremely boring.
It wasn’t. It was the most fun, and fulfilling three months of my life. It wasn’t easy, but I put in the work both because I knew doing so would create a better future for me, and because I enjoyed the process of it all.
Most people see work as bad because if detaches them from the constant stimulation of the News, Twitter, Facebook, etc. What I’d suggest to you, however, is that if you can wean yourself off the constant stimulation of the world, and find a suitable occupation work then becomes one of the most enjoying things in the world.
Your current mindset and state of emotions is addictive, and your brain works to preserve them. You may be stuck on a loop of stimulation, but once you begin challenging your brain to develop, and learn new things that frame of mind will become your new addiction.
I write these blog posts partially because I see http://cameronchardukian.com as being able to support me financially at some point, but more than that I write them because it allows me to sort through my thoughts, creatively express myself, and help others in the process.
I enjoy my work, so even though it requires going against human beings’ natural inclination to preserve energy I still do it. That’s what I want for you.
Working hard also allows you to actually enjoy your time off. I now enjoy meditating more than I ever enjoyed the stimulation of video games, and even when I’m just relaxing at the beach with friends I’m able to enjoy myself more than ever before because I know I earned it.
I’ve consistently experienced the highest satisfaction in life when I work extremely hard, but at the same time allow myself 10-20 hours per week to relax, and socialize. You may find a different balance that allows you to experience your highest life satisfaction, but that’s what I’d recommend as an initial baseline.
Do things because you can, and not because you have to, begin challenging your brain to establish improvement as your new emotional addiction rather than stimulation, and remember to maintain an appropriate work-life balance and you’ll enjoy life more than ever before.
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