I just set my intention for 2023: Mental Discipline. That means, I’m going to consciously and rigorously make sure my thoughts are positive, uplifting, and loving (especially to myself).
I proudly shared my intention with a few friends. Their reaction was less than positive.
“That’s awfully harsh,” one said.
“Doesn’t sound appealing to me,” said another.
I wasn’t surprised. Clearly, the word ‘discipline’ tripped them up.
I sometimes wonder if most people instinctively recoil from discipline, like a kid ordered to eat veggies. It may be good for us, but damn it, we’re not going to like it and we’ll try anything to get out of it.
I love the word discipline. I truly do. In my experience, discipline is essential to a happier, richer life.
Unfortunately, discipline has been given a bad rap…perhaps because most don’t understand what it really means.
Oprah described it beautifully, talking about how she lost weight.
“I used to pray for discipline. I thought if I prayed hard enough and long enough, one day I’d have it,” she wrote. “But it wasn’t until I made the decision to be true to my word that my prayers were answered. I began to work out every morning whether I liked it or not. And before long I started to behave and look like a disciplined person.”
As Oprah demonstrates, the word Discipline (which comes from the Latin root ‘disciple’) actually means ‘being a disciple unto oneself.’
Which is exactly why I’m determined to practice Mental Discipline. As I discovered from studying neuroscience, our actions, especially our habitual behaviors, derives from how we think.
I vow, this year, to become my own biggest fan, viewing myself in the very best light. I vow to be kind to myself when things don’t go well and gently encourage myself to do what I may not be keen to do, but doing it anyway knowing how happy it will make me.
In my world, mental discipline is a source of pleasure, the essence of power, an act of self-love and the very heart of a life well lived.
How do you think applying discipline to your thoughts will help you succeed? Leave me a comment below.