Many of us struggle with self discipline. Why? After all, when we look at what we want to do or become from a logical perspective, it’s obvious that we should take actions that are aligned with our desires. So why is it so much easier to give in and do things that we know are counterproductive (including doing nothing)?
Why is it easier to open the fridge and reach for the fried chicken than to make a salad? Why is it easier to sit on the couch instead of going for a run? Why do these feel so good initially and then we regret them later? Because they’re habits, and habits are meant to be easy, pleasurable and comfortable, even if they go counter to our goals.
The Efficient Mind
The mind is incredibly efficient. Much of your life is spent performing habitual actions and thinking habitual thoughts. Whether it’s a thought habit or physical habit and whether it’s desirable or not, you become extremely efficient at it the more you do it. It becomes very easy and doesn’t require mental effort. You get really, really good at your habits – and that’s a good thing! Otherwise, imagine the mental effort it would take to tie your shoes, read, walk, or any of the many actions you perform every day. You’d be totally overwhelmed and you wouldn’t have the energy to learn anything new!
But habits also keep us in a rut, so sometimes we have to give ourselves some tough love and use discipline to get rid of habits that don’t serve us.
Breaking a thought habit or physical habit requires discipline as you imprint a new habit into your mind. You’ll want to revert to your old habits because whatever new idea you’re imprinting can be difficult in the beginning. You’ll want to listen to the voice in your head that says, “it was easier the old way” and oh, that voice is so tempting! The good thing is, it doesn’t take forever to create a new habit – a disciplined effort for 30-60 days will imprint it. When you look at the big picture, 1-2 months creating a great new habit isn’t much! If you can commit to being impeccably disciplined for this short amount of time you will see amazing results!
Benefits of Discipline
With self discipline, you can:
- Take action on your goals instead of procrastinating by checking your email just one last time…
- Choose to respond calmly when someone makes you angry, instead of letting it get to you.
- Take charge of your life instead of letting everyone else run it for you; that means having the discipline to make changes in yourself so you can do what needs to be done.
- Achieve the goals you want, not the ones you settle for. EVERY goal requires discipline.
All Silva Method exercises involve learning and applying self-discipline. Even something as seemingly simple as visualization, (central to the Silva Method program), involves self-discipline. Control over visualization is essential. Otherwise, we would never have images of doom and gloom in our heads – no scenarios to worry about and lose sleep over!
In the program, you will learn that daily practice of the techniques when things are going well (not just when you have a problem to solve) is the key to success. Waiting to use your techniques until things are bad won’t give you the results you desire. Imagine if an Olympic athlete were to apply what he or she learned in training only in competition, when stress levels are high and there’s a lot at stake, and spent valuable training time watching TV. You can imagine the results, right? It’s the same with you. Going into the alpha level daily, even just for a few minutes, is going to result in you having far greater mastery over yourself than if your practice is sporadic – so that when the going gets tough, you’ll be ready.
And that takes discipline! In short – doing what you don’t want to do until you get the results you want.
A lot of people picture a military boot camp or a monastery when they think about discipline. That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun for most of us; it makes discipline sound quite awful. That’s because a lot of institutions such as the military rely on punishment to get you to follow the rules.
True, many of us tend to be a bit lazy and we can often use a push. But using the Silva Method techniques will make it fun to develop your self mastery – and discipline will become something that you’re proud you’ve developed!
Tough love doesn’t mean beating yourself over the head if you do something wrong. It means lovingly yet firmly guiding yourself to adopt thought and behavioral habits that are in alignment with your dreams.
- Love yourself and remember how important your goals are to you. Whatever you’re tempted to do that goes against what you know is the best path for you, remind yourself that the end result will give you even more pleasure than this temporary satisfaction.
- Know that every emotion passes very quickly; when you feel the urge to do something you know you shouldn’t, feel the emotion within you for a minute or two; don’t act on it, just observe it. The feeling will pass; and the second it does, congratulate yourself for not giving in! Then get busy and divert your attention.
- Be aware. Be aware of what triggers an urge to engage in a negative habit (much more on this in the program!)
- Change your attitude. Look at all the growth you’re undergoing as a positive challenge. Reward yourself when you make progress. Little successes build on themselves!
Loving yourself and looking toward a pleasurable goal, recognizing the temporary nature of emotions, adopting a different attitude and self-awareness make it easier to maintain discipline and make some fabulous changes in the way you think and behave.