There was a discussion on discipline and devotion among my friends today. I am writing here my views on discipline and devotion.
Most of us have an ambiguous relationship to discipline because our initial experience of discipline consisted in being trained to obey rules with the consequence of punishment for disobedience. We end up associating discipline with loosing freedom. This distortion brings up a rebellious attitude against discipline that has the detrimental effect of convincing us to settle for mediocrity. Being mediocre undermines the drive to pursue an attitude of excellence where you consistently strive to do your best.
Discipline is a virtue one can cultivate and it becomes natural. For many of us fear of failure is what prevents us from taking action. Originally this may have been caused by being punished, criticised, or shamed for not meeting other’s people’s expectations. Discipline is action. Discipline is the act of working towards what you want. Discipline is not giving up.
For most people devotion grows out of being disciplined first. It is an acquired virtue that emerges as you learn to maintain your attention grounded in your heart. Devotion includes daily ordinary activity and roles. For example, all mothers are devoted to their children; all husbands are devoted to their families.
Devotion is a state of consciousness that can be perfected. It grows into a life style and becomes natural. This means that you are free to release the heavy mental and emotional burden of guilt, shame, resentment and regrets that keep you procrastinating or being mediocre. Devotion is hanging in there when the things we desire are not readily available. Devotion is also, believing in ourselves, in our potential and in our higher power when there is no real evidence they exist at the moment. Devotion is believing that with discipline you can accomplish amazing things. Discipline is the behavior that proves the devotion. You do, therefore you are devoted.
You can achieve what you set out to achieve. You must be devoted, you cannot just desire. Desire is to want – devotion is to never give up. It is to find a way. To keep on keeping on. If someone asks me how to deal with disappointment when not getting results despite a diligent, committed effort. My answer would be – How committed is committed? The universe does not work with a stopwatch. Though as humans we tend to do exactly that.
You are devoted to being disciplined and you are disciplined because you are devoted.