This is probably not the most fun sounding topic for a blog post, I’m aware. If self discipline was a dad he’d be the one who flips the breaker just when the house party starts getting fun.
But self discipline is one of the most essential components of a life well lived. We can have the passion, great ideas, and marvelous intentions but we’re not going to accomplish a darn thing without the self discipline to do the hard stuff that’ll get us where we want to be. I think it’s pretty rare that just left to our own unchecked, natural state that we’re going to consistently choose the workout over the couch or cauliflower over the donut.
So if self discipline feels like a kill joy, let’s try to frame it up in a way that makes us not resent it’s necessity but see it as a means to progression and developing into our best selves.
“If you do what is easy, life will be hard. If you do what is hard, life will be easy.”
This is one of my favorite sayings. I reflect on it ALL the time when I find myself procrastinating or complaining about something I don’t want to do. I’m working at not giving too much advice to people in my life (like, what do I know?) but if I do, it’s often just the quote above.
The concept seems to work in so many situations. If you have solid values and a good handle on yourself (what you need to do to make yourself happy and fulfilled), chances are when faced with a challenge or a problem, doing the HARD thing is likely exactly what you need to do.
It’s HARD to get up early. It’s hard to work an extra couple hours. It’s hard to choose the broccoli. Its hard to say yes to a challenging project or job. It’s hard to do that one extra workout. It’s hard to make a big change. It’s hard to be a good mother, partner or friend sometimes. Its hard to have a real, vulnerable conversation.
But the end result of each and every one of these hard things, will make life as it moves forward, easier. You’ll feel so accomplished at the end of your day after getting up early and maybe you’ll finally find time to read that book. You’ll gain recognition and financial love at work when you put in that extra effort. You’ll burst with self confidence when you pull on those skinny jeans. You’ll develop more character when you tackle big challenges. You’ll have the energy and strength to try a new activity and perhaps end up finding an undiscovered passion. You’ll find the people you have been there for, are there for you, when life gets hard.
Take your weakness and make it your strength At the Hit, I always love to ask girls what their least favorite station is on the circuit and I challenge them to make it become their favorite. The exercises we dislike the most are usually the ones we need most. They reveal what our weaknesses are and give us the opportunity to turn that weakness into strength.
Life gets easier as we get better…but we only get better when we tackle the tough stuff. Let’s just take training as an example. It’s hard but if we make ourselves do it, life gets easier. In straightforward practical ways, like chasing the kids at the park without getting out of breath. Less directly obvious ways as well, like how having a healthy body image and self-confidence contributes to so many areas of your life like walking into a room full or strangers easier or killing that job interview. Life gets easier as we get better.
Don’t wait to feel like it This is a biggie, I tell ya. It’s so easy to say “I don’t feel like doing this ‘insert hard thing here’ right now.” You’re probably never going to feel like it. And this is where self discipline shows up. So move past that. Take the emotion out of it. You know what it is that you need to do. So whether you feel like it or not is irrelevant. Do it. And all the good feelings you could possibly want will come AFTER you’ve done the hard thing.
When faced with a ‘what to do’ situation, don’t be afraid to ask yourself ‘what’s the hard thing here?’ The answer is probably exactly what you need to do. Then channel that self discipline and see it through.
We just can’t wait to see what you’re going to do.