Get rid of discipline! Here’s a better way

To me, discipline sounds like the sledgehammer of Getting Things Done!  The message it sends is that the only way we move forward in our lives is to hold a gun to our head.  Ugh.  Let’s get rid of discipline!  

Are you with me?  It’s time.

This time of year invites us to examine what should stay in our lives and what should go. We look at crowded closets and plan how we will clear them. We look in the mirror and vow to drop unhealthy habits.  We determine what we need and set goals to attain it.

For the month of November, I have vowed to exercise every single day.  Every single day.  The only time I’ve done that in my life is… never.   My Dream is to weigh 5 pounds less than what I did before I left Colorado, and I know that for me, exercise works.

Honestly, though, I’m afraid that I’ll slack off like I’ve done before.  That I’ll give up on the goal and on myself.  I remember my past behavior, especially all the times I failed, and figure I’m in for a repeat. 

But, no. I am determined to release this COVID weight.  I do not like carrying around this soft middle and I want my clothes to fit properly.

It’s time to Make It Happen!

Doesn’t that take discipline?

Discipline forces us to do what we think we ought to do in order to make our Dream a reality. 

We know we “should” do that thing if we want to reach that milestone, i.e. I “should” exercise.  Discipline drives us toward our goal.  It has us barrel through our fears, but it isn’t always the best way to make Dreams come true.

Here’s how we move toward our Dream:

  • Declare a goal.  The arrow never hits a target that isn’t there, or one that keeps moving.  When we are nonspecific in what we desire, there are no breadcrumbs to follow.  Our amazing brain has nothing to plot toward.  
  • Dream a new vision.  A vision tells us how things will be and how we will feel when it is real.  Visions pull us forward by creating an emotional pathway in our brain.  
  • Devote yourself.  Amplify the vision so that it becomes the object of our deepest desire.  We long for our desire. We pine for it.  We will do whatever it takes to make our Dream come true.

When I imagine how much better I’ll feel when that extra weight is gone, I’m creating an emotional pathway in my brain.  I know the outcome I want and I imagine the feeling of enjoyment when I move through my day lightly, feeling a dance in every step.  

I’m devoted to the feeling of confidence I feel when I know I look good. 

That’s the point where discipline kicks in, but it often isn’t enough.

But what if…?

We fear negative outcomes, we fear dropping the ball, we fear judgment from others.  Mostly, we fear we are not capable.  That we don’t have what it takes.

The bigger the Dream, the more there is to fear.  Risk runs both ways, we can win big, but we can also lose big.  So, we buck up our courage and force ourselves to muscle through what must be done. We exercise the discipline muscle.

The truth is that the antidote to fear is not courage, it is commitment.  Forcing our way is the hard way.  

There’s a better way

When we are clear on our goal and our vision envelops our Dream like a fluffy cloud, when we fall in love with our desire, that’s when we decide to never give up.  Our devotion inspires tenacity.

Tenacity is like a river that carves its way through rock.  It’s consistent, steadily moving forward, committed to the Dream. When we embrace tenacity, we are drawn toward our Dream like metal filings toward a magnet.

Discipline pushes. Tenacity pulls.  

When you’re ready to make meaningful change, get rid of discipline and let tenacity pull your Dream into reality!


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