But what about when you are in the middle of crossing the stream and you take a break?
It's just as difficult, or more difficult, to pick up the great progress you made where you left off sometimes.
In the past two weeks I have not written anything. It happened by accident, in fact. It was abrupt and completely unexpected, but that's how discipline is attacked. It's a slow burning surprise.
But "no use" leads to uselessness, and it affects one's mind. When you are doing something, you find the meaning in it, and the meaning feeds your motivation to do it. It's a nice cycle, no matter what it is -eating well, exercising, or completing a project. When you are in the moment, keeping yourself doing what you should, everything fits like a puzzle.
Inertia is a funny thing, because once an object is in motion it stays in motion. But if one stops, it is truly hard to get started again.
So, after a couple weeks of staring at a blank page, I am returned.
There's no other personal purpose in writing this piece than to stretch my muscles, but it's also a refresher message: if you fall off track, get up immediately. Because I've noticed that a waning discipline in one area affects my discipline in another area, and soon everything is in danger of falling apart.
Likewise, when I am focused in one area, other areas fall in line as well.
This writing experiment was begun last winter - to write once a week, usually with a story related to our project, but one that offers universal value. I suppose the personal angle here is simply to return to the writing with this entry and stretch my muscles. But it's a universal reminder that self discipline is not a charge against laziness, and disciplining yourself to be better is not a punishment. Self discipline is the work it takes to enjoy the benefit of empowering yourself, of bringing more meaning to your life and others.
Too many people assign self discipline as a punishment, because it's easier to enjoy the immediate: the extra dessert, another glass of wine, the self deception that "I'll put it off this week, but I will write again next week." Two weeks later you might find yourself saying the same thing until "no use" becomes "useless."
And before you know it, you've forgotten how good it felt to do things right.
We don't pay a price for being disciplined, although it often feels like we are paying a price, because it requires focus and energy. But we do pay the price for not doing the work. We pay the price for not being disciplined. So it's good to remember the reversal:
We enjoy the rewards of disciplining ourselves. We benefit from our results. Living right does reward us.
It's important to finish. But one must also continue.
The Journey Continues
Tyler Gooden is the director of TheFCStartMovie.com - join us for behind the scenes rewards.