My dance teacher had once told me – “To become an excellent dancer you will need commitment along with passion. Commitment is having the discipline to come for practice even when other things are not hunky-dory.”
There was a time, I believed that passion alone would help me do what I want. Where there is a will there is a way, right? Over the years, I have realised that discipline is the bridge between passion and accomplishment. It’s the ability to take charge irrespective of a situation.
Many of us start work on a goal with super enthusiasm. I can’t even express the excitement I feel when I have to start work on a new project – personal or professional. However, on encountering even the slightest of setbacks we get upset, sad, disappointed, annoyed and either give up or postpone the goal. We want everything to be smooth and why not? No harm done in wanting things to be picture-perfect, but it’s a very rare scenario that everything remains picture-perfect in this dynamic environment.
For us to achieve anything, there are two primary factors at play – the internal environment and the external environment. The external environment involves many factors and you have no control over it. The internal environment also has multiple factors (we are complicated beings!) but here you are the controller.
We love to plan, plan, and plan, but sometimes cannot take charge of our actions. It’s because we make the internal environment (our actions & reactions) dependent on the external environment. That’s the premise of our planning. We build a strong dependency cord between the two. Now, suppose something stirred the external environment a bit, our premise gets shaken and as a result, our internal mechanism crumbles. Eventually, we give up on our goal and ask that very special question, “Why does this always happen to me?”
If only we had more discipline to achieve what we wanted! Discipline is about taking charge to fulfil your ambition. It’s about doing what we require doing irrespective of the external environment dynamics. Easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. When you form the habit of taking CHARGE in a situation, you make yourself independent and capable.
What do I mean by taking CHARGE?
I put taking charge as – Committed to Higher Action Regardless of Gruelling Events
Let’s explore this framework with an example:
Suppose my goal is to lose weight. My sister gets an out of turn promotion and has a party at my favourite restaurant. The promotion is not an unpleasant event here, but that it gives scope for me to indulge at my favourite restaurant while trying to lose weight is the gruelling event.
Now it’s up to me what action I take – skip the dessert, eat healthy at home and just have a nibble at the party or try to stick to a soup.
Our natural impulse is to choose action within our comfort zone.
For instance, in this case, I would choose to skip dessert (this comes naturally to me as I am not that fond of sweets!).
This, however, is an opportunity for me to push myself towards my weight loss goal by choosing to have only a soup. By doing so, I commit myself to a higher action (out of my comfort zone) and will be closer to achieving my goal.
Taking CHARGE implies committing to a higher action in any situation. By using this framework, you will become aware that there is always a path that takes you closer to your goals. This will help you come out of your comfort zone one step at a time. You consciously attempt to stick to the higher possible action.
Over time, you see that choosing the higher action helps you progress rapidly towards the goal. This is true discipline – you will creatively work out how to achieve your goals, no matter what the situation.
E.g. In the example of losing weight and going for party, my natural impulse is – skip dessert; higher action is to have soup only; in a couple of months, the natural impulse will be having soup only while (further) higher action will call for eating at home and then heading to the restaurant.
With practice and more practice, there will surely come a day where no matter what the situation, you will take CHARGE towards fulfilling your goals.
Taking charge stimulates out-of-box thinking to handle any situation rather than giving in.
You become creative as you strengthen the bridge between passion and accomplishment with discipline.
Feeling overwhelmed to become disciplined? Schedule a chat today and together we can shine a path that’s right for you.