I think I may have misunderstood self-discipline: it has nothing to do with demands, it comes from the willingness of the heart.
So I want to have a deeper understanding of self-discipline. On the one hand, I focus on the research on this topic in recent years. On the other hand, I go back to my life practice to explore self-discipline. I tried to ask myself a few questions:
1. What is self-discipline?
2. What misunderstandings do people have about self-discipline?
Self discipline is the embodiment of ones willpower. What is willpower? I also quite like Baidu Encyclopedias explanation, that is a kind of human spirit. It refers to the quality that a person consciously determines the goal, controls and adjusts his actions according to the goal, overcomes various difficulties and achieves the goal. As long as we are human beings, this spirit exists in everyone.
Therefore, the first mistake is to label yourself as a person with weak willpower and loose willpower. For a long time, I put such a label on myself. In this way, we can put off with ease and find reasons for all kinds of self-discipline behaviors. In a good name, elder sister is very willful and free.
Kelly mcgoniga, a health psychologist at Stanford University, absorbed the research of psychology, neurology and economics, and wrote a bestseller named self-control. In Kellys research, she found that the more severe people are, the more they feel self blame and shame, the more difficult they are to jump out of this vicious circle. And those who are friendly to their mistakes have enough resilience to get back on track.
There is also a group of people who seem to have the will of iron and steel, have extreme self-discipline, get up early every day, go to bed early, exercise, persist in reading, and pay homage to oneself. There are such examples in our life. I remember reading a best-selling book a few years ago about a CEO of a top 500 enterprise who suffered from cancer in his 50s. When he got the news, he was very shocked: for he once thought his living habits were exemplary, whether it was sleep, exercise or diet.
Health scientists have shown that too much self-control comes at a price. Concentration, weighing gains and losses, and restraining desires require the hard work of the brain and the active cooperation of the body, which are very energy consuming. Because self-control is very energy-consuming, many scientists believe that long-term self-control, like chronic stress, will weaken the function of the immune system and increase the risk of disease.
When mental strength comes up, willpower, the spirit that everyone has, naturally presents itself in life.
In short, all four contribute to the development and connectivity of the human prefrontal cortex, which helps us to focus on meaning and long-term goals without being carried by impulse. You may have said that if you want to do these four things, dont you also need self-discipline? Its true. Next, Id like to share some of my experiences in this road in recent years.
Its a process of constantly learning about yourself and being friends, not a process of transforming yourself with violence. Since it is a process, repetition is inevitable. In this process, I found that self-discipline can be mild. When self-discipline becomes gentle, there will be a lot of joy and surprise along the way.
On this road of exploration, the first friend I was surprised to find was the desire from my heart. I was eager to live what I believe in. I hope to show the world a possibility with my own existence: each of us has natural resources.
So, every morning, I would say to myself: I am willing to take responsibility for my life, self-discipline, please help me live my potential. I will also have a dialogue with myself: how would I like to spend my life? How would I like to spend the day? When the answer comes up, I feel the power of the answer and start the day with it.
My daily schedule may not be fixed, but I will arrange some basic core exercises, such as standing in line, doing perceptual exercises on the way to pick up children, such as meditation in taxis and airplanes. And the purpose of these exercises is to help me settle down in the moment and work at ease. Self discipline is not to write a to-do on your calendar and tick it when youve done it. Its a state of every moment. Because of this, I have a chance to return to self-discipline every moment. This discovery is so exciting.
I have to admit that most of the time, I cant live in the present. As soon as I feel bored, I want to find something to fill in. As soon as I feel impulsive, I want to act recklessly. However, my tendency of turtle hair perfectionism makes me feel embarrassed and want to give up. At this point, I want to run away, to escape the discomfort caused by this discomfort. At this point, I slow down, stop and relax. In this gap, I do will rise again, which is the opportunity to come back.
I also have a discovery to myself, why cant I insist on many things in the past? Thats because of my ambition and my demands on myself. At the beginning, I will set a grand goal for myself, because I am perfect, and the starting point is naturally higher. So its easy to get frustrated and give up. Later, I set a goal for myself: I didnt promise to practice every day, but I was willing to come back no matter how many days I left behind. Its not perfect, but it keeps me from giving up. Sometimes its too hard to insist, but at least I dont run away completely. Ill wait two days and come again.
In the process, I did feel freedom. No matter how chaotic and noisy the outside world is, I can return to breathe, cant I? No matter how stubborn I am, how deep the inertia mode is, I can see it if I want to, isnt it? This freedom does not depend on the outside world, nor is it constrained by internal mental models and emotions.
At the end of each day, I will take some time to review this day. Because of self-discipline, I feel that my spine has straightened a little, and I can go to sleep more safely. I am worthy of my trust. Self discipline has brought me two friends, patience and reality. Self discipline allows me to tell whether Im escaping discomfort, trying to prove myself, or living my life?
Dear friends, I would like to invite you to think about it. What insights and inspirations does this article give you about self-discipline? What misunderstandings about self-discipline have been clarified? And then, in order to make the willpower in your life grow towards the direction of more self-discipline and more freedom, where do you want to start?
Author: Zhang Qing, co-founder of system intelligence Academy. He used to be the head of consulting business, executive coach and chief trainer of the worlds top talent management consulting company; translated several leadership books executive succession and total victory; learned from and worked with many leadership masters. At the age of 40, he finally found unconditional love, clarity and wisdom in his life by walking into psychology, organization, leadership, education and children. This article is authorized by the official account system intelligence school.