On self-discipline

Alarm clockIt is 07.15 on Monday morning, and I am up with my watercolours and Macbook so I can write this week’s blog post before I go to work later. I hadn’t yet decided what to write about until I was in the shower earlier, when I figured that perhaps the very fact that I had set my alarm for 6am in order to write my blog would be worth reflecting on. So, here we are.

I have always been self-disciplined. When I was at school, I was firmly of the ‘work now, play later’ persuasion and would always start doing my homework and revision straight after school. Perhaps it is due to a strange type of culturally-ingrained Calvinism, but I am one of those people who can only properly relax once I have crossed things off my to do list. Which is not to say that I never push that to do list aside and allow myself to get side-tracked (I’m not a robot), but I always feel that bit more relaxed after cleaning the house, writing that paper, or washing up.

Is this self-discipline good for me? As with most things, it’s not a straightforward yes or no. If I didn’t have any self-discipline, this blog might have fallen by the wayside many months ago, and I probably wouldn’t have achieved many of the things I am proud of (getting into a good UK university; progressing my career; making my career break work out in the way it did). At the same time, self-discipline can be a source of stress – and ok, perhaps I would have benefited from an extra hour in bed this morning. I am going to reward myself later with some prime staring-out-of-the-window action on the train later, though.

How self-disciplined are you? And is it a help or a hindrance? As ever, reading your thoughts makes me happy. You can leave them here or contact me via Twitter or Facebook.

 

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4 thoughts on “On self-discipline

  1. I think i’m the opposite! Part of me wishes that I could be more self-disciplined, but I think that ultimately I value rest and down-time more than getting stuff done. The idea that I could be working all the time, being successful and getting stuff done sounds…tiring!! While this, let’s face it, laziness has definitely been beneficial for my own mental health over the years, it has probably held me back a bit career-wise. However, when I get my stubborn determined streak on, I can switch on the self-discipline. I have to really, really want to do something to sacrifice fun or relaxation to fit it in. So I guess it ensures I put my energy into my priorities. Ultimately though I think these things link with our personalities, and are balanced out by what we want to achieve?

    Good food for thought for a Monday, Anne! Thanks for getting up at 6 and making it happen 🙂

    • Thanks Marie – all I can say is, good for you! I like how you describe focusing energy on those things most important to you – that’s kind of what life is/should be about. I also firmly believe that ‘career’ isn’t everything and certainly not more important than happiness. And ‘rest/downtime’ are better words than ‘laziness’ 😉 I am trying to learn to ‘let go’ and not constantly put pressure on myself, and think I am getting better at it, but I could do to take a little leaf out of your book every now and again I think. As with everything, it is all about balance. I do realise with hindsight that getting up at 6am in order to write about self-discipline is potentially a little bit strange, ha! 🙂

  2. How great that you are disciplined! I’m in transition at the moment from undisciplined to disciplined as a result of a quote that shifted my perspective: Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. -Frank Herbert

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