Discipline is something we all wish we had a little more of. Sometimes you just have to do something you really don’t want to do, but it can be a great opportunity build discipline by finding the silver lining.
Photo by Mark Turnauckas
If we were allowed to only do what we want, most of us wouldn’t ever get anything productive done. Leo Babauta at Zen Habits recommends seeing the good in doing an activity, no matter what it is:
Discipline is really learning that you don’t need some incredible reward — there’s inherent good in just doing the activity. For example, if you’re going to eat healthy food, you don’t need to make it taste like your favourite dessert or fried food (rewarding food) — you can just enjoy the activity of eating fresh, healthy food. If you’re going to exercise, it doesn’t need to give you a flat stomach or nice arms — you can just enjoy the activity. Practise this: No matter what the activity, find the good in doing it, and the activity becomes the reward.
Stop thinking about what you’ll get out of something and believe that just doing it is reward enough. Eventually the simple act of “doing” will make you feel good and your productivity will increase. Learning to delay satisfaction — or eradicate the need for it — will actually give you more satisfaction overall.
7 Discipline-Mastering Practices [Zen Habits]