Self-discipline does not constitute ‘doing’ anything; it is about BEING something.
“Self-discipline is an act of cultivation. It requires you to connect today’s actions to tomorrow’s results. There’s a season for sowing, a season for reaping. Self-discipline helps you know which is which.” Gary Ryan Blair
Often we have been urged to be self-disciplined in order to attain our dreams to the fullest. Though we try very hard to discipline ourselves, we often fall back into old patterns, and are unable to move into a frame of reality that would fulfil us, and unlock the fullness of our potential. This brings in despondency, which is accompanied by an unconscious belief that we lack that certain ‘something’ needed for success. This, of course, generates its own self-destructive energy of lack of belief in our abilities, further exacerbating the quandary.
At the root of this predicament lies ignorance of the true meaning of self-discipline, which is less about creating structures and more about establishing that intrinsic quality that truly defines who we are. Many balk at the word ‘self-discipline’ because unconsciously they associate it with rigid structures that restrict their freedom to do, say and think what they wish to. But, my dear friend, this is not at all what self-discipline is.
Self-discipline does not constitute ‘doing’ anything; it is about BEING something. This brings us to the first and most important step of self-discipline – Goal Setting. More often than not, our goals comprise of actions that need to be taken and objectives that need to be met in tangible, material terms that the intellectual mind can comprehend as ‘happiness’ or ‘success’. Of course such goals have their own place of importance, but they are significant only after the primary goal of self-discipline has been attained. Without this, these goals either remain unattained or are attained with so much stress that they cause more harm than good before they see the light of day.
Self-discipline lays down three criteria for the goal: the first, it must be a single goal; the second, it must remain constant for the entire length of time, and the third, but the most important criterion, the goal has to be a BEING goal and not a DOING goal or a HAVING goal. Let me explain this further, and from a very practical, down-to-earth perspective, rather than something that sounds ‘too spiritual to be real’.
You may aspire to have success that will bring with it money as well as a sense of personal satisfaction. This is your aspiration; it is not your Goal of Beingness. To search for your unique Goal of Beingness, you will need to enter a place of inner silence and introspection. This is important, as the Goal of Beingness is not a valid one if it is influenced by anyone or anything, either obviously or subtly. For example, if your Goal of Beingness is ‘being a man of notable business acumen’ because deep within you wish to impress your father with this ability, then the goal has been ‘set’ by your father and not by you. If you wish to be ‘a social worker serving others’ because in your difficult childhood you were helped by a social worker, the power of the intent lies in the event of your childhood, and not within you. The power needed to fulfil this goal cannot then be generated by you, as its focal point lies outside of you.
Take as long as you need to set this Goal of Beingness. Rushing through this stage, may set the foundation of failure instead of success. Ask your inner being to show you what to BE in order to fulfil your aspirations. The answer that comes from your Inner Consciousness will resonate with you so completely that you will have no doubt about it. The answers that come from your intellectual mind are conditioned by people and events that lie outside of you, so you must search for it from a source that is not influenced by this mind.
Once you have resonated with this Goal of Beingness, you inform the Universe of this goal. You can use whatever words you wish to declare this. It may go something like “The irrevocable Goal of Beingness that I choose for SELF in this NOW, is that I BE SELF-SUFFICIENT in all aspects of my life, such that through my business/work/career/profession I serve the largest number of persons that I can reach out to in the fullness of my potential.” With these words, you have not only stated your Goal of Beingness (in this case Self-Sufficiency) but you have also stated why you wish to be that. You now have a concrete purpose and a well-defined reason for that purpose. The combination of this releases the energy of your inner passion that is required to fuel the completion of this goal. Remember, not to clutter up the goal with more than one purpose, so that you give it undivided power and single-minded focus. Try to understand how the seemingly different aspects of your life, automatically fall under the wide embrace of this single purpose.
When you set the goal, do not use any words of negation like ‘no’, ‘not’, ‘never’. Words that we have as a human race been conditioned to consider negative (like jealousy, greed, anger, and so on) also need to be avoided when framing the affirmation of your Goal of Beingness. While the intent is affirmed to the Universe, occupy the place of self-honour, self-worth and self-belief as strongly as you possibly can.
Now you enter the second phase of fulfilment, which often becomes the place where many purposes find their burial ground. This is the phase of transformation. The new energy that you have generated by your single-minded focus of inner consciousness, must now find for itself place within your already existing energy matrix. This energy structure may consist of a lot of baggage that must be thrown out before the new energy can find comfortable place to enter and circulate, becoming a part of your cellular perception. Think of the analogy of throwing out old garments from your wardrobe, so that you can put in the beautiful new clothes without crushing them. Sometimes the task of spring-cleaning seems so overwhelming that we keep putting it off, till it has an unhealthy power over us which generates a strong sense of dread and uncertainty. That is why many purposes lose their strength in this phase.
Do not lose patience in this stage of transformation. It is not very wise to expect old energies that have found their ‘permanence’ in your energy grid over several years to leave ‘at once’.
There is one thing that will take you through this stage, without much resistance – constant rememberance of your goal. Every situation, every event, every experience, every encounter, small or big, must be viewed exclusively from the perspective of your set goal, and responded to accordingly. Yes, you will certainly fall into your reactionary habits of the past from time to time, but fierce awareness of your purpose will soon bring you back into the clarity of the new energy. As significant as the awareness of your goal is, so is the constant attentiveness to the reason behind the goal.
This will seamlessly lead you to complete fulfilment of your Goal of Beingness which will not only help you experience the joyous attainment of your original aspiration, but much more. You may now question how self-discipline fits into this process. My dear friend, your single-minded focus will help you to effortlessly move away from all the destructive patterns of thought, word, action and belief that earlier restricted you from attaining the fullness of your potential. Remember again, self-discipline is not about doing something or not doing something; it is about BEING the BEST YOU ARE.
Success can only be as large as the Power you ARE!