The power of thought is the only thing we have complete control of. Let’s not waste it…
Out of Control:
At this moment in time we here in the United States and around the world, are dealing with the Coronavirus. Our most vulnerable citizens are the elderly and especially those with underlying health conditions. Some of those with underlying health conditions were born with them and therefore no fault of their own. Then we have those who made themselves vulnerable by a lack of self-discipline. They not only ate too much they ate bad stuff, saved too little, smoked and drank too much, worked less than they should or worked more than they should. When it came to exercise, they did too little, too much, or nothing at all. In other words, they were out of control. If their brain didn’t force them to go to the bathroom, they’d walk around with wet pants.
Trial and error:
A few of them tried the self-discipline route, but the minute things got tough, they gave up. They didn’t have what it takes to conquer self-discipline. Now faced with the Coronavirus, they wished they would have tried a little harder. Those gym rats they used to make fun of? They don’t have time to make fun of them anymore. They’re too busy worrying about something they should have been worrying about long before this, their health. If you ignore it, it will go away. Of course, I have to admit, some people do get a little carried away with the health and fitness thing. In this case, I’d rather be carried away than put under.
The power of thought is the only thing we humans have complete control over. Self-discipline requires us to use that power. The ability to do that is what separates us from all the other creatures on the planet. There is a reward for using it properly, good health, prosperity, etc., or we can deny ourselves those things by neglecting to use it, excepting whatever the stray winds of life blow our way. The decision is entirely up to us, not our Creator. He gave us the gift, it’s up to us to unwrap it. Taking control of your mind is the key that unlocks the door to self-discipline. In its simplest terms, tell the mind you’re the boss and be willing to back it up.
I stumbled onto the key to developing self-discipline purely by accident. At the age of thirteen, I decide I want to build my body. Get me some muscles. I got a set of weights and started pumping iron like crazy. Months of grunting, groaning, sweating and swearing with my friend in his basement, and all I had to show for my effort was a sore back. The mirror told me I was wasting my time. There wasn’t a muscle in sight. That’s when I got the bright idea to buy a few body-building magazines and read the articles. Muscles were something I wanted bad enough to get off my keister and learn all I could about how to get me some. I had a motive, a burning desire. I wrote down a schedule. I knew what exercises I would do on what days, how many sets, how many reps. Careful to remind myself of what I’d read about the importance of good form. I also wrote down some things I wanted to eat. More protein, less fat. The first time I miss a workout, I feel so guilty I can’t sleep. That schedule I wrote kept flashing in my mind. It was easier to work-out than feeling guilty.
Self-Discipline in Action:
If we want to master anything, our golf swing, dancing, surfing, skiing, bodybuilding, whatever, we have to learn the basics. The fundamentals. So it goes with Self-Discipline. There are things we have to master, and that takes practice. Number one is willpower. You want to lose weight, you know you have to eat right and exercise, with a doctor’s approval of course. Nobody has to tell you that. But without willpower, you’re not going to lose a pound. Willpower for a week doesn’t count. Starting with a written down plan makes you stare willpower right in the face. When you look at that plan, ask yourself, who’s the boss, me or the food, me or the booze, me or bad health. We can chart our course to whatever destination we choose but it takes willpower to stay on course. Start small if you must and keep your mind on not disappointing yourself. Feel the guilt. Number two, remember, the power of thought is the only thing we have complete control over. Practice controlling your thoughts. Stay away from the negative ones. Free yourself from the stray winds of circumstance by knowing what you stand for ahead of time. When you do, tough decisions are a lot easier to make. You came equipped with a brain for a reason, use it. Walking around on autopilot is not what your Creator intended for you. The brain is for making choices. Make good ones.
Living a Balanced Life:
The key is to live a balanced life and that takes self-discipline, a lot of self-discipline. The good news is once the brain is convinced you are in charge it develops the habit of reminding you of who’s in charge. YOU! Self-discipline, like anything else, can become a habit. No way do I want to insinuate that using your self-discipline to become health conscious will exempt you from contracting the Coronavirus or any other virus, but if you should contract something, you will be in the best condition you could possibly be to deal with it. Mentally as well as physically. That’s not a bad thing.
Keeping the motive alive:
Sixty years later and the only workouts I’ve ever missed were the ones I had to miss because I was battling cancer. As soon as the doctor gave me the go-ahead, I was back in the gym. Thank goodness for muscle memory. The key that started it all was writing down a schedule and committing to stick to it. It wasn’t until later in life I realized how important that schedule was. To have something to make up a schedule with, there was work to do. I needed to find the proper information to put it all together. So I went out and bought bodybuilding magazines. Every new piece of information became an exciting discovery. Once I got my mind engaged in the project it let me know in no uncertain terms how disappointed it was when I missed a workout or didn’t put forth my best effort. What you write down is not just a list or a schedule, it’s your motive staring back at you. The list keeps it alive, and after a while, you won’t need the list, (but always start with one) the brain will keep it alive. Take a personal inventory of yourself, and be honest. “To Thine own self be true.” to quote Shakespeare. Make a note of what needs fixing and map out a plan. By now, you know what to do. Master your mind power through self-discipline and you’ll not only please yourself you’ll please everyone you come in contact with, most of all, your Creator.