The Ultimate Discipline

ultimate discipline

I was reading “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman and this quote really jumped out and grabbed me “A warrior is happy without reason.  That’s what makes happiness the ultimate discipline… Happiness is not just something you feel – it is who you are.”

And I started thinking about and pondering it over and over in my mind.  Is happiness like any other habit that can be cultivated?  Is it like eating right and exercising and flossing your teeth?  Is happiness a skill that can be learned and internalized to the point that you don’t have to think about “being” happy because you just “are” happy?

millmanI posted this picture up on our Cheslow Achievement Group Facebook page yesterday with the caption:  “My challenge for you today: Just be happy today! For no other reason than that it feels good. Shock the people around you with your happiness, with your positivity. Be stubbornly unwilling see anything other than opportunity, blessing, and awesomeness in whatever you encounter today! Imagine what would happen if everyone did this today.”

I took my own challenge and was surprised at how difficult it was.  There are SO MANY distractions in our daily lives – so many bits and pieces of information that can derail us from what we plan to do.

vintage-social-mediaI’m 50 years old, and I very vividly remember a time when the most distracting things that happened at work were phone calls, the office chatter around the coffee machine, or the scramble to get something done for a manager in an emergency.  Holy cow, there was no internet (at least not in the way we know it today), no cellphones (I believe our GM had one and it was the size of a carry on suitcase), no email… I THINK we had a fax machine – you know, one of the ones with the rolls of thermal imaging paper – LOL).  There was so little to distract us from what needed to be done.

And yet, as I sit here today, I wonder how on earth businesses ever operated back in the stone age of pre-1995.

Now, I find myself absolutely paralyzed multiple times a day as my brain is bombarded with more stimuli than I had to deal with in a week back in those days – Facebook, Twitter, email, instant messages, text messages, calendar reminders… Hell, my freaking WATCH even yells at me to “MOVE!” if I sit idle for more than 45 minutes.

32082831_sThen, in the midst of my paralysis, I had to breathe and start shutting down programs before my head exploded!

Work… Freak Out… Breathe … Shut Down … Reboot … Smile … Be Happy … Repeat…

That is how my day went yesterday as I took my own challenge to be persistently “happy.”

And I consider myself to be a HAPPY person!

I am very positive and optimistic!  If this was so difficult for me, imagine how hard it would be for someone who doesn’t have my normally sunny disposition?  LOL!

So, I’m curious…

What is your most persistent obstacle to happiness?

As much as I hate to say it, I think I am going to have to unplug from social media except for certain windows of time during the day.  Ya’ll help hold me accountable, okay.  I am going to persist in this pursuit of the ultimate discipline.  Who wants to join me?

What I Want Most

discipline1_largeIn my business we talk a lot about DISCIPLINE.  When we are working with people who are trying to kick their results up a notch or two (or 100), you just can’t get past the issue of changing habits, which requires the dreaded “D” word.

In my own life – post 2010 at any rate – I was NOT a disciplined person.

Oh sure, I had all the information and the knowledge I needed to do pretty much anything I wanted – lose weight, get in shape, make more money, have a better relationship with my then-husband, be a better Mom, a better friend, a better person – all that, but knowledge is never enough, there has to be action.

And taking the right actions until they become new habits is hard – especially under stress.  When you’re under stress, or have to “react” in the moment, your conditioning and old habits are going to be what comes out, not the new behavior you are trying to form into a new habit.

At its most basic level discipline is the choosing between what you want NOW and what you want MOST.  Seems simple enough, but it is obviously very difficult in practice or else there would be one hell of a lot more thin, fit, rich, happy people in the world.

This  morning I was in my karate class and Deb got real with me.  She said, “Angie, you are light years ahead of anyone – past or present – leading up to their black belt test in terms of your command of the “book” – you know the material cold. Congratulations.  But your fundamentals are sloppy.”

aristotleShe went on to share that during my upcoming test for black belt in July I won’t have a brain left at many different points, and what will come out during those times are the things I have practiced 10,000 times – right or wrong.  And if “wrong” comes out too many times  – in terms of basics and fundamentals of self-defense (like good covers and snapping up at the end of a move ready to fight and intensity of movement even at slow speed) then all hell will break loose in that testing room.

Brown Belt Promotion

My goal is to have one of the best black belt tests ever in the history of our school.  I want to walk out knowing that I gave everything I had and did the very best I am capable of, not that I just squeaked by, or God forbid, that I failed.

So, in front of God and the blogosphere, I, Angie Flynn, commit to having the self-discipline to work on the fundamentals of my sport each and every day.  It’s back to the basics for this girl – intensity, proper form, snapping techniques, following protocols, and more.

It is so easy to get free and loose during class with Deb and laugh and fool around, and that has it’s place, but not between now and July.  Because, again, in the heat of the moment, what I have done 10,000 times in class is what will show itself.  I’ve got work to do.