Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Guess what I'm still struggling with...

From Steve Pavlina care of Rosa Say...

Similarly, if you want to increase your self-discipline, you must know where you stand right now. How strong is your discipline at this moment? Which challenges are easy for you, and which are virtually impossible for you?

Here’s a list of challenges to get you thinking about where you stand right now (in no particular order):

*Do you shower/bathe every day?
*Do you get up at the same time every morning? Including weekends?
*Are you overweight?
*Do you have any addictions (caffeine, nicotine, sugar, etc.) you’d like to break but haven’t?
*Is your email inbox empty right now?
*Is your office neat and well organized?
*Is your home neat and well organized?
*How much time do you waste in a typical day? On a weekend?
*If you make a promise to someone, what’s the percentage chance you’ll keep it?
*If you make a promise to yourself, what’s the percentage chance you’ll keep it?
*Could you fast for one day?
*How well organized is your computer’s hard drive?
*How often do you exercise?
*What’s the greatest physical challenge you’ve ever faced, and how long ago was it?
*How many hours of focused work do you complete in a typical workday?
*How many items on your to do list are older than 90 days?
*Do you have clear, written goals? Do you have written plans to achieve them?
*If you lost your job, how much time would you spend each day looking for a new one, and how long would you maintain that level of effort?
*How much TV do you currently watch? Could you give up TV for 30 days?
*How do you look right now? What does your appearance say about your level of discipline (clothes, grooming, etc)?
*Do you primarily select foods to eat based on health considerations or on taste/satiety?
*When was the last time you consciously adopted a positive new habit? Discontinued a bad habit?
*Are you in debt? Do you consider this debt an investment or a mistake?
*Did you decide in advance to be reading this blog right now, or did it just happen?
*Can you tell me what you’ll be doing tomorrow? Next weekend?
*On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your overall level of self-discipline?
*What more could you accomplish if you could answer that last question with a 9 or 10?

Just as there are different muscle groups which you train with different exercises, there are different areas of self-discipline: disciplined sleep, disciplined diet, disciplined work habits, disciplined communication, etc. It takes different exercises to build discipline in each area.

My advice is to identify an area where your discipline is weakest, assess where you stand right now, acknowledge and accept your starting point, and design a training program for yourself to improve in this area. Start out with some easy exercises you know you can do, and gradually progress to greater challenges.


Blogger Jay said...

SO what are your views on this? How does it make you feel? Where do you fit into the Self Discipline questionnaire, and does it really matter if one is self disciplined in all areas? I think if one were to always exercise, get up early, be well groomed, and eat healthy food one would risk a limited existence, but maybe I'm short sighted. I think his advice is sound, but I fail to understand why discipline should be necessary in every area of life. What about living?

8:49 AM  
Blogger nigel said...

I think his point (or maybe what I choose to be his point) is that if you are feeling you want self-discipline in a certain area of your life (ex. work) then examine what "self-discipline" means to you and how you practice self-discipline in those areas of your life where you feel 'in control'.

I think about people trying to explain Love, externalise it, and how they just end up with, "you just know." Self-discipline, or the steps to achieving it, can be just as hard to explain; therefore, I felt it very helpful to have Pavlina suggest we look at how we practice what we believe to be successful "self-discipline" in those other areas of our life.

I am certainly not advocating a tightening of the reins on Life. I am just exploring how to increase my job satisfaction.

Thank you for encouraging me to critically think about the quotes I throw down in a post.

10:12 AM  

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