Discipline and Procrastination: Self Improvement
Welcome to the show everyone, thanks for joining me!
Todays date is March 15th, 2019
We are on episode #5 of the Tasty Dangerous Podcast.
I hope your day is going as good as mine because I’m feeling like a kid in a candy store with this one!
I’m pumped because today we’re talking about Self Discipline and Procrastination.
Why does it matter? Well…. I’ll tell you. Specifically in terms of why it matters to Lifestyle Development.
But before we jump into the show… todays episode was inspired by a quote from
Jim Rohn, and it goes like this.
“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.”
Heavy stuff, but it makes a lot of sense.
For todays episode I’m gonna discuss some components of self discipline and simple applications you can make in your own routine and mindset.
I’ll also discuss aspects of procrastination and how to move beyond it.
Before we jump into todays show, I wanna give a shout out to Ryan from Minneapolis.
He reached out with some great insights recently into how he perceives self discipline.
To him, discipline is more about a sense of being or what makes up a person, rather than something they do.
Wanna say thank you Ryan for reaching out, it’s always great to hear from listeners.
I really appreciate the insights and the fact you reached out to share.
In terms of discipline being something you are… I’d agree with Ryan.
I also see self discipline in that manner… rather than just something you do.
Discipline really encompasses who you are through a variety of actions and choices you make.
So let’s jump into this episode and deconstruct self discipline to it’s core elements.
To do this, I’d first like to discuss what it takes to become disciplined.
This was something I read recently and was an overview from the book Living Deeply.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never read the book myself.
However, if what I read is accurate, it sounds like a good read.
The article I came across discussed 4 components the authors of Living Deeply suggest as 4 essential elements of transformative practice.
These 4 elements are intention, attention, repetition and guidance.
I like these components because there are action elements as well as self awareness components.
To truly become disciplined it’ll take attention and understanding of your own actions.
Briefly let’s discuss these four elements and how they can help with becoming more disciplined in your own life.
In regards to intention, the idea is to know what it is we’re trying to achieve and to set the goals.
If you haven’t already done so, check out my first podcast.
I discuss turning dreams into goals and taking action.
There’s also loads of blog content at tastydangerous.com that can help in that respect.
So goals and intention.
Having a clear understanding of your intent and the goals you hope to achieve will give you a target.
It will also help in creating a plan of action specific to your area you are seeking to develop discipline in.
Having a target and plan helps is a few ways.
One is it gives you something to measure your progress.
This is important because sometimes after we’ve been working on a project for a while, especially those in personal development, we can lose track of the small gains we’ve made over time.
It’s really beneficial to have something to gauge your progress for those times you need to see some of the fruits of your labors.
Use it as a tool to help motivate and inspire you through the difficult times of your personal development.
Remember, if you find something difficult it’s typically because you’re in a position of growth and are pushing beyond your comfort zone.
This is a good thing. Embrace it.
Moving on, attention.
This is the self awareness that’s imperative to have so you can make the progress you’re after.
You need to be real with yourself.
Call yourself out when you’re doing the things that aren’t constructive to becoming disciplined.
Let’s use going to the gym as an example.
I’m using the gym as an example because I think most people will be able to relate with the feeling of not wanting to go.
Especially after a long day or an early morning wake up.
Every time I think I about not want to go … I find myself in the gym 30 minutes later and feeling more energized and motivated than I thought possible.
This is because I remind myself of the benefits.
The long term goal of fitness.
This motivates me to get myself into the gym.
So attention, pay close attention to your own behaviors.
Be true to yourself and be capable of calling out your shortcomings.
Allowing yourself to make excuses will do nothing for your progress.
Become your own supervisor and hold yourself accountable.
Accountability yo… real talk.
Take the actions necessary to circumvent the decisions that don’t support a disciplined lifestyle.
To be clear this idea of being disciplined isn’t only for the gym or eating healthy.
Consider a creative endeavor.
Painting, sculpture, video production, whatever.
It’s really easy to make the excuse that you’re not inspired, to make yourself feel better about not creating.
Convincing yourself to wait until you have the “creative juices” flowing as some would say.
I get it. I’m a creative and have used that excuse many times.
However, it’s at these moments you will grow the most if you figure out a way to create.
Do the things you know are right, even when you don’t feel like it.
This is discipline at its core.
Moving on, the third of the four elements is repetition.
Continue to be self aware and committed to do what is necessary even when you find it difficult.
Do this over and over.
It’s like a muscles, the more you use it the more conditioned you become and better at performing whatever function it is you’re doing.
This goes both ways though, so be cautious.
Procrastination can be a repetitive choice as well.
Do what it is you know is right, even when you don’t want to and eventually you’ll see it become a habit.
Soon you’ll begin to crave the consistency of these repetitions.
I enjoy the process of forcing myself to create content or go to the gym.
Especially when my mind is saying I’m not inspired or my body is telling me it’s tired and doesn’t wanna go.
It’s a little victory every time I resist this laziness.
The sense of accomplishment is there as well and it feels good doing it.
At this point it’s almost comical when I call myself out for being lazy and trying to make excuses for why I shouldn’t do whatever it is I know I should.
Now the fourth and final element that will help you become more disciplined is guidance.
I mentioned something along these lines in my podcast on motivation and keeping the flame alive.
I agree that guidance and asking for help is imperative to becoming the best version of yourself.
If someone has already done what you’re trying to do there’s a value there.
It’s up to each individual to determine whether it’s worth it.
Consider finding a mentor or taking some form of training to level up your skillset.
Depending what area of discipline you’re focused on you can find someone with specific skill sets that could help you.
Trying to be more athletic?
Find a personal trainer or just a work out partner.
They’ll hold you accountable and should help with addressing shortcomings in your self awareness or actions you’re taking… or not taking… to become more athletic.
Trying to be more disciplined with your nutrition?
Find a nutritionist that can help you develop plans and new ways of prepping.
They should also be able to hold you accountable by monitoring your effectiveness of following your plan.
I’ll share a brief, but relevant, example of how using these elements contribute to developing the discipline you may be seeking.
Like I’ve mentioned previously, I’m a creative and find enjoyment in a variety of mediums.
One of the mediums I enjoy is painting.
To be fair I haven’t been painting nearly as much as I use to, but it is something I still enjoy periodically.
When I was at my peak and painting weekly, I found that I started struggling with inspiration.
I was getting bored of painting the same content and was struggling to develop on my style.
At one point I turned the frustration into motivation.
I had been just staring at blank or half finished canvases one evening and was frozen.
I didn’t feel like anything I was doing was what I should be doing and I saw every brush stroke as boring and uninspired.
I’m not exactly sure what caused it, maybe it was simply the build up of frustration, but I began just writing on my canvases.
I was using different techniques in my scribbles and writing thoughts and quotes that I had bouncing around in my head.
I just kept going.
Painting on multiple canvases at a time.
Playing with different colors and techniques.
Smearing the words out and writing over them if I felt like it.
Splattering paint over sentences and letting it dry just to do it over again.
It was liberating.
I stopped caring about creating that perfect piece or mixing the perfect colors.
Instead I just started having fun.
Granted, there was more at play here than just discipline.
However, pushing through the notion I couldn’t create because I wasn’t inspired is the point I’m getting at.
In that moment I pushed through the barrier I created for myself.
The truth was it just took me to start doing anything and the inspiration came.
Fact. That day I created a new line of work and have since continued to develop on that technique.
Now I’m not a Dali or a Van Gogh….but I am proud of what I came up with and that I was able to push through my defeatist attitude in order to do it.
I made it a point from then on that whenever I found myself struggling to be inspired I’d just force myself to start creating anything.
Now sometimes I’d end up ruining a canvass, but there have been more than one occasion that I came up with something different shortly after thinking I had nothing to create of value.
In a way it’s similar to the gym example in that you can feel very tired, but if you push through and get yourself into the gym you suddenly find energy you never knew you had.
Ok, I think you get it.
So now that we know the 4 essential elements of transformative practice we can take a look at discipline and deconstruct it even further.
The following is a basic component that very commonly distracts us from being self disciplined.
This is called the short term self. The feel good self.
The aspect of our life that seeks out short term enjoyment and pleasure to forge long term benefits.
This can apply to binge watching movies, eating all the sweets, avoiding the gym, not creating simply because we don’t feel like it… the list goes on.
It’s everything that will give us short term pleasure, but will bite us in the end, one way or another.
So, short term self… just being aware of its existence can help make the decision to move beyond its distraction.
The next time you find yourself considering the easy way out just remember this.
It’s your short term self trying to convince you of short term pleasures with long term consequence.
Remember the quote from the beginning by Jim Rohn.
“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.”
I for one would rather relish in the pain of discipline than look back after a long life of short term pleasures and feel the pain of that regret.
At least the pain of discipline gives a reward at the end that feels amazing.
The short term pleasures that pile up pale in comparison… sure, nice while they last, but then the regret.
So, moving on.
We discussed a variety of aspect pertaining to self discipline.
They’ve given us a better understanding of what self discipline looks like and some techniques to implement.
We’ve also touched briefly on procrastination, but I wanna dig a bit deeper.
In doing so I’ll share some techniques that should help you to push beyond procrastination.
When going on this journey of self development with a goal of becoming disciplined in one or many ways, the fist consideration is this.
Focus on why. Why are you doing this? What is the long term goal?
Remember discipline takes time and it’s the process that you’ll need to find enjoyment in.
Remembering why you’re doing something will give you the motivation you need even when you don’t want to do what it is you know is right.
Another great method to implement in your self development portfolio is work from your calendar.
What I mean by this is whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish in terms of discipline, put that on your calendar.
Then do it.
It gives you a date and something tangible to hold you accountable.
If you just keep thinking you’ll do it when you have time, it typically will never get done.
If it does get done, it’ll usually be last minute, rushed and leaving much to be desired.
An example would be if I wanted to be more disciplined in work I created as a painter.
Actually, using my own life as an example, in the past, painting was always something I’d do that was meditative.
It gave me a place to go that was free for exploring and just letting my mind wander… for better or worse.
However, if I allowed myself to get in the mindset I had more pressing things to do, like work or play video games, I’d go stretches without creating.
Eventually I’d feel like I had wasted so much time that I’d get down on myself and in a way force myself to start creating.
This isn’t the best method and left me feeling, well… forced.
In terms of being creative this conflict isn’t really beneficial, or it wasn’t for me anyway.
Instead, blocking out a chunk of time on the calendar is more accompanying and inviting.
It’s time you’ve allowed yourself to create.
For me, the times I tried this, it worked well.
I actually found it easier to tell people I already had plans.
Where as if it wasn’t on the calendar it would have been much easier to just make plans and continue waiting until I had the time to create.
Now keeping the calendar in mind, remember to be realistic.
This also goes back to my first podcast on turning dreams into goals.
Being unrealistic can really hurt you in terms of confidence, motivation, feelings of accomplishment… and many other areas of self improvement.
Be realistic. It’s very common for people to believe they can accomplish much more than they can and faster then is really possible.
Everyone will have their own version of realistic goals, it’s up to you to know yourself.
Trial and error will get you there, find what works best for you.
A major aspect of discipline and personal development, stop making excuses.
In the military I had a drill instructor that would repeat a quote over and over… and it stuck with me forever.
Thank you drill sergeant may have another?
some of you know what it is.
Well that quote went like this.
“Excuses are like toilets, they all stink.”
I get that there are some aspects of life that take over and control the situation if you let it.
A personal injury, a death in the family, health issues… the list goes on forever.
There are a million things that can come up, it’s up to us whether we allow that thing to be the excuse we’re looking for.
If you want it bad enough you’ll find a way.
I believe this to its core.
I apply it in my own life through the sacrifices I make to achieve the goals I aspire to.
You’ll see a difference in your own life if you remind yourself of the quote from the drill instructor.
It really works best though to repeat it to yourself in the same manner he said to us…. or rather scream it in your face at full volume and allow little pieces of spit to come out sticking to your face that you cant wipe off.
Ok…..Moving on, to wrap this up.
Let’s leave it on a good note.
Try this, knowing what you know now. You have a goal and understand your intention. You’re self aware and holding yourself accountable.
As long as you’re doing this allow yourself some rewards for good behavior.
Not just showing up once to do whatever it is, but mile stone.
Create milestones for bnnnn your self discipline objective.
Whether thats a breakfast donut once a week after getting into the gym regularly or buying a new paint brush or materials for your artwork after developing on a hard earned concept.
These little rewards will do quite a bit.
You may need to adjust them over time as you become more proficient in being disciplined and increase your expectations, but having them can be nice and beneficial to your moral.
Discipline is in you, it’s up to you to find it.
Have intent, pay attention, repeat and then repeat again.
It’s not easy, but that’s how you know it’s working.
Well that does it folks, I hope you enjoyed todays episode and feel like you got something out of it.
Be sure to hit up tastydangerous.comfor the show notes.
While you’re there, check out the blog section.
I’ve got a lot planned moving forward and it would be great to hear your feedback.
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So if you have something you’d like me to speak on or write about, let me know!
Also, if you’re a fellow creator, let’s connect! It would be great to see how I could help you out.
Until next time….
Keep living that Tasty Dangerous Lifestyle!
***Tasty Dangerous…. Lifestyle Development focused on Mindset, Creativity, Adventure and Business.
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