Daily routines seem to be boring phenomena to many. Especially if you have to wake up at six, reach office by nine and come back home by eight in the evening, after pushing your head through a mad traffic, you will start hating your life. Our elders always choose to advise us to be disciplined. They tell us about their experiences and site believable examples about SUCCESSFUL people who were successful (according to them) because they were disciplined. Many parents want their children to be disciplined to a level that often drives them crazy and children end up doing exactly opposite.
Discipline is not about a fixed routine. Discipline is about putting your own self to an order at the level of health and fitness, work and studies, friends and relationships etc.
1. “You turn down your friends offer to watch a movie because it’s an important day at office” – that’s discipline. “You don’t accompany your colleague for a cup of coffee after you finished your shift because you have to reach home by ten everyday’ – that’s not discipline. That’s you submitting to a routine.
2. “You wake up at 6 in the morning, brush your teeth, do some yoga exercises and then have a light breakfast at 8 before you leave for office” – that’s discipline. “You didn’t have your breakfast because your mom prepared something other than your favorite list of items for breakfast” – that’s certainly not discipline.
Discipline is about having the sufficient gut to do what you want and do it with full attention. If you take up a task, complete it by the deadline and do it well, you are disciplined at work. That doesn’t mean you should always follow a specific method or approach. As soon as you stop playing with methods and ways, you stop growing!
Here are key benefits of discipline:
1. You will be more organized. You can manage your time well and also find some free time to recreate yourself. Your life will be less chaotic and everything will make sense to you. You will not swear at the crowd where everyone is pushing himself forward.
2. You will be better at work or studies. You will keep disturbances and stress at bay and put your hundred percent in doing what you are supposed to do. You will love what you study or do because you will become good at it.
3. You will be a happy individual. Your head will stay safe from clutter and sudden unexpected audio visuals. You will have a peaceful sleep at night and you will appreciate the morning sunshine when you wake up.
When discipline becomes routine:
As soon discipline becomes a routine, you are becoming lesser a part of the practice under discipline. Your involvement comes to a halt because you don’t feel alive while you travel to office by bus, talk to your colleagues on escalator or sit on your desk.
1. You will start hating it. You will be less interested in doing what you are doing. You will find that you suddenly lost interest in doing what you always wanted to do.
2. Boredom enters your life sphere. Suddenly, you don’t like the atmosphere in laboratory or office where you were so happy earlier.
3. Everything starts messing itself up. When your head goes nuts, everything else follows.
When routine becomes habit:
1. That’s the worst part. You won’t feel alive. You will run from one corner to other but peace will continue eluding you.
2. You will stop dreaming about ‘good and great things’ you want in your life.
As soon as you start acting out of habit, whole joy of action is lost. It is important to lose habitual practice to have anything new in life. In the world of internet, majority of young population spend their time on social networking websites, chat rooms and several other portals. As long as the excitement is there, as long as the eagerness is there, they find it interesting. Then, it becomes a habit.
After a few weeks, they spend four hours on internet but do not enjoy as much. They keep spending time on it and start hating it. It’s ironic to see that they will still continue doing so until the dissatisfaction reaches alarming levels and head starts heating up like an oven. It’s important that we live a life with as few habits as possible.
Here are a few things you can try:
1. Go for a morning walk if you have not done it for years.Try a different trek if are already doing it and don’t find it joyful.
2. Visit an old friend or just talk to him/her online.
3. Stay offline for an entire day! Say goodbye to social networking sites for a few days.
4. Travel shorter distances on foot if that makes you happy. or by a new bike if you have been putting yourself at discomfort by walking too much.
5. Visit a new restaurant in your locality. Try new dishes and see if you like them.
6. Start writing a diary. Stop doing it for sometime if that was one of your habits you don’t enjoy any more J
7. Join a new course at the local institution. Learn music, writing, dance, drama, public speaking etc. Do what you wanted to do when you were young.
8. Take a day off and visit a nice place.
To sum up:
Discipline is like drinking milk daily because you think it makes you healthy and you enjoy its taste. Routine is like drinking milk daily for reasons unknown! Habit is like drinking milk daily while you have forgotten the true taste of milk.
Routine = Discipline – Interests
Habit = Discipline – Interests + Boredom
By Kamal S Thakur. Check out his blog at http://www.godisthere.wordpress.com