Many confuse self-discipline with leading a
healthy, virtuous life, which ends up generating a lot of guilt when we
struggle. There is a simpler way to develop a long-lasting, strong self-discipline
in your life.
Self-discipline and Willfulness:
Discipline through remorse and humiliation works best in society, and innate impulses/instincts are suppressed through spirituality and philosophers. The suppressing of our natural impulses is a tool used to shield us from over-indulgence and through our own natural urges. Thinking self-discipline in terms of sheer determination fails, so it doesn’t work to beat ourselves for not working hard enough. Honestly, it’s backfired. And, as anybody who has ever wanted to go on a diet will tell you, it generally just makes matters harder. The concern is that the influence of the will behave like a muscle. If you work it too hard, it’s going to get exhausted and give up. The first week on a healthy diet, or a healthy fitness regimen, or a new morning routine, things seem to be going well. But by the second or even third week, you’re back to your regular, late-night, Cheeto-loving way. In order to have a hope of success, the determination must be continually trained over a long period of time. We need self-discipline over a long period of time to build up willpower, but to have self-discipline; we need enormous quantities of willpower. Seeing self-discipline in terms of willpower produces a mystery for the basic reason that it is not real. Developing self-discipline in one’s own life is a very different type of workout.
Why Depending on Sheer Willpower Does Not Work:
Our actions are not based on logic or ideas. Logic and ideas will affect our decisions, but eventually, our emotions can decide what we do. We’re doing what feels good and ignoring what feels bad. And the only way we will never do what feels really good, and do what feels guilty rather, is by a brief injection of willpower to deny ourselves our urges and emotions and instead do what is right. Throughout culture, morality has been found in this kind of self-denial and selflessness. To be a decent person, not only did you have to deny yourself any fun, but you also had to demonstrate your ability to harm yourself. You have heard monks beat themselves and locked themselves in rooms for days, and they didn’t eat or even talk for years to come. For little or no justification, you had armies of men tossing themselves into combat. The classical approach merged the idea of willpower, that is, the capacity to deny or refuse one’s impulses and feelings with morality. Someone who can say no to the things that they want is a genuine person. The one who can’t is considered to be a disappointment as a human being.
The Classical Self-discipline Method:
The classic strategy has the perplexing influence of teaching us to feel bad for all the stuff that makes us feel good. Basically, by bullying us, it tries to teach us self-discipline by making we blame ourselves for merely being who we are. And the theory is that we’ll be so self-loathing and afraid of our own impulses until we’re saddled with a sufficient amount of guilt for all the things that give us joy, that we’ll all act in accordance and do as we’re advised.
Ways to attain Self-Discipline:
For a moment, disciplining individuals by guilt succeeds, but in the long term, it goes awry. Inside a human, the mixture of feelings creates uncomfortable stress. Eventually, in one of two ways, this stress becomes intolerable and must overcome itself. Overindulging is the first choice. The stress has been so high that by going all out in a fantastic manner, we believe that it is best to overcome anything. Yet indulgence just doesn’t resolve the tension. This is just pushing the can down the lane. The other solution is to numb it to escape emotional stress. This helps in seeking something bigger, a more broadly appealing conflict, to distract oneself from the conflict. Alcohol is a popular choice, along with partying and drugs, and watching 14 hours of television every day can be another choice.